California attorney general to ask state supreme court for marriage ruling
February 28 2004 1:00 AM ET
California attorney general Bill Lockyer is planning to ask the California supreme court on Friday whether San Francisco's issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples violates state law, which designates marriage as reserved for heterosexual couples only. Lockyer has said that he personally believes San Francisco is violating state law but that the high court should decide the controversy.
San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom says he's following the California constitution's equal protection clause, which demands that all people be treated equally. Newsom also says California's law banning same-sex marriages is unconstitutional. More than 3,400 same-sex couples have been married in San Francisco in the past two weeks.
On Wednesday opponents of same-sex marriage asked the state supreme court to block San Francisco from issuing any more same-sex marriage licenses and to nullify the thousands of weddings already performed. Two groups previously failed to get the weddings immediately stopped in superior court.
The high court did not indicate whether it would even hear the case, let alone immediately act to block the city from issuing the licenses. California's justices usually are loath to take cases until they work their way up through the lower courts, which has not happened in this instance.
On Thursday a conservative group called for Lockyer and Newsom to be removed from office. The Sacramento-based Pro-Family Law Center filed a legal action with the attorney general's office calling for their removal for breaching their oaths of office.