California supreme court could soon hear case on same-sex marriage
February 27 2004 12:00 AM ET
The California supreme court will soon hear the challenge brought by conservatives to stop same-sex marriage licenses from being issued in San Francisco, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.
Groups opposed to marriages for gay and lesbian couples went to the state's highest court Wednesday and asked it to order San Francisco to halt the marriages. State attorney general Bill Lockyer is expected to ask the supreme court on Friday to determine whether the more than 3,200 gay marriages granted by San Francisco are legal, the newspaper reported. If the court granted an order to halt the marriages while lower courts determined their legality, "that would be a significant indication of their likely view on the ultimate merits of the case," McGeorge School of Law professor J. Clark Kelso told the Times.
Santa Clara University law professor Gerald F. Uelmen told the newspaper that it "would be very unusual" for the supreme court to block, even temporarily, gay marriages without agreeing to review the legal issue itself. The petition filed Wednesday asked the court to refrain from immediately deciding the constitutionality of marriage laws and rule only on whether the city has violated state marriage laws.
San Francisco officials contend that the state's marriage laws, which define marriage as the union of a man and a woman, violate the state constitution's equal protection guarantees.