SAN FRANCISCO (BP)–The California Supreme Court turned back pro-family groups June 4 by refusing to delay its “gay marriage” decision from going into effect, giving the green light for same-sex couples statewide to get “married” June 17.
The 4-3 margin ruling — identical to its earlier decision — came without comment and was a serious blow to social conservatives who had hoped the justices would stay their ruling until citizens consider a proposed constitutional marriage amendment on the November ballot. Some amendment opponents believe they have a greater chance of defeating the amendment if “gay marriages” already are taking place, a scenario which now will be the case.
Two Christian legal groups, the Alliance Defense Fund and Liberty Counsel, had filed legal briefs requesting the delay.
California now will become the second state, after Massachusetts, to legalize “marriage” between homosexuals. The amendment promoted by the group ProtectMarriage.com would reverse the court’s ruling, although there will be some legal debate as to what happens to the licenses if the amendment in fact passes.
Glen Lavy, Alliance Defense Fund senior counsel, said in a news release that the original decision, handed down May 15, was “the most egregious case of judicial activism in modern American history.”
“The refusal to wait for the people to decide by the constitutional process confirms that,” Lavy said.
Liberty Counsel’s Mathew D. Staver agreed.
“Denying a stay in light of the certification of the Marriage Protection Act for the November ballot reveals the political agenda of a handful of judges,” Staver said in a news release. “Judges acting as judges and not as legislators would have granted the stay. The battle over marriage is far from over and will not be decided by four judges. The people will decide in November.”
Compiled by Michael Foust, an assistant editor for Baptist Press. For more information about the proposed constitutional marriage amendment in California, visit www.ProtectMarriage.com. Contributions to the campaign can be made by clicking on “contribute.” There is no limit on contributions and people outside of California are eligible to give.