GOP activists launch recall campaign of California attorney general over gay marriage

BY admin

February 25 2004 1:00 AM ET

A pair of conservative Republicans who helped organize last year's gubernatorial recall election said Tuesday that they will try to remove California attorney general Bill Lockyer from office for failing to enforce the state's ban on same-sex marriage. U.S. Senate hopeful Howard Kaloogian and political consultant Ted Costa opened a petition drive seeking to recall the two-term attorney general even as Lockyer was preparing court papers seeking to stop same-sex marriages. Lockyer said he would ask the state's highest court on Friday whether San Francisco's issuing of same-sex marriage licenses violates state law.

"The criticism of the attorney general is fueled by misinformation and falsehoods. It's been abundantly clear that Lockyer was going to defend state law," said Lockyer spokesman Nathan Barankin.

Lockyer, a potential Democratic rival to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006, has been criticized for not moving more aggressively to stop San Francisco city officials from issuing thousands of same-sex marriage licenses since February 12. Kaloogian and Costa said Lockyer has been ignoring Proposition 22, a voter-approved measure that requires the state to recognize only marriages between a man and a woman as valid. "The attorney general is clearly abdicating his responsibility to uphold the laws of the state, and he should be recalled," Kaloogian said.

Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Margita Thompson said the governor thinks the attorney general should be given a chance to do his job. "The governor is satisfied that the attorney general is moving expeditiously," Thompson said.

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