California attorney general seeks to halt gay marriage lawsuits
April 01 2004 12:00 AM ET
California attorney general Bill Lockyer proposed Tuesday that three lawsuits seeking to overturn state law banning same-sex marriages be stopped until the California supreme court rules whether San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom overstepped his authority in February when he ordered county clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Lockyer has asked the state judicial council to coordinate the pro-gay-marriage lawsuits with two other suits filed by groups opposing same-sex marriage. These groups seek to invalidate the 4,037 marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples in San Francisco. The court has already issued a stay on the two antigay lawsuits pending a decision regarding Newsom.
Lockyer also asked that any action in the pro-gay-marriage lawsuits be put on hold until the council rules on his request. He said the move would alleviate any legal confusion and inconsistencies.
"It's a delay tactic," Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights in San Francisco, told the San Francisco Chronicle on Wednesday. Minter also said it makes no sense combining the three suits with the two brought by the conservative groups because each involves different issues.
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