California Supreme Court Refuses to Halt Same-Sex Marriages

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In a terse, one-sentence ruling Monday, the California Supreme Court refused to halt the same-sex marriages taking place in counties across the state.

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Protect Marriage, the group that sponsored Proposition 8 — which eliminated marriage equality rights from the California Constitution — had no standing to challenge U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Williams’ ruling that the initiative violated the federal Constitution’s equal protection clause. State officials, including governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown and State Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris had declined to defend the proposition in court.

Protect Marriage appealed to California’s high court, arguing that Williams’ ruling applied only to the two counties in which the plaintiffs who brought the federal suit against Prop. 8 reside. The group asked the court to halt same-sex unions in other parts of the state until it’s appeal is heard, which now appears will occur sometime next month.

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On Monday, the court curtly declined to issue such a stay, ruling: “The request for an immediate stay or injunctive relief is denied.” The justices gave no reason for their decision.

California Atty. Gen. Harris argued to that Protect Marriage is asking the state’s high court to unconstitutionally interfere with a federal court order.

In Washington, Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign and organizer of the federal suit against Prop. 8, said “Our opponents have failed in a desperate attempt to deny happiness and protections to lesbian and gay couples and their children and no amount of legal wrangling is going to undo that joy. Marriage equality has returned to the Golden State.”

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