The San Francisco honeymoon is over

By
April 1, 2004

The California Supreme Court ordered San Francisco’s county
clerk to immediately halt same-sex marriages on March 11.

Following the court’s decision, more than 200 protesters marched
from the Castro to the California Supreme Court and at least six
same-sex couples filed a lawsuit against the state.

On Thursday of last week, state Attorney General Bill Lockyer
stated that neither Newsom nor the city clerk “have the power to
determine the constitutionality of state statutes, nor do they have
the power to enact a new system of marriage in California.”

The court plans to rule this summer on whether Mayor Gavin
Newsom had the right to go against Prop. 22, a law restricting
same-sex marriage. The state’s Supreme Court refused requests from
the city’s lawyers to address whether California’s law prohibiting
same-sex marriage is constitutional.

The court’s ruling, which followed Lockyer’s push for a stay,
does not invalidate the 4,037 marriages performed since Feb. 12.
However, if the court rules against Newsom’s actions, they will be
nullified.

“They’re definitely not going to legalize it for a long time,”
said Cameron Holly, sophomore. “There will be many other appeals
but [the marriages in San Francisco] were a good break. It stirred
things up that needed to be stirred.”

Meanwhile, the Senate Judiciary Committee began hearings on
March 23 on a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex
marriage. The proposal was rephrased, March 22, by removing a
reference to state and federal law. The revised section of the
amendment reads, “Neither this Constitution, nor the Constitution
of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the
legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the
union of a man and a woman.”

“Numerous critics have propounded the false notion that we have
far greater restrictions in mind and it is my hope that our
technical changes will serve to clear the air of this charge,” said
Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., a sponsor of the amendment. “The policy
goal has been and will continue to be to define and preserve the
historic and cultural definition of marriage, while leaving other
questions to the respective state legislatures.”

Christopher E. Anders, an American Civil Liberties Union
Legislative Counsel, called the revision of the proposal, “a
desperate political move.”

“The sponsors of the amendment realized that they did not even
have a simple fifty percent majority, much less a two-thirds
majority in either house of Congress,” said Anders.


The San Francisco honeymoon is over was published on April 1, 2004 in News

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