California AG Urges Court to void Gay Marriage Ban
Sponsors of the California ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage are seeking to nullify marriages between couples performed after the state Supreme Court ruled them constitutional. In an about face, the California attorney general has changed position, and is now urging the Courts to void Prop 8.
The sponsors Friday filed responses to three anti-Proposition 8 lawsuits with the state Supreme Court. The briefs also defend Proposition 8 against opponents' legal challenges, including an argument that the amendment needed a constitutional convention to be added to the state's constitution.
"We are confident that the will of the voters and Proposition 8 will ultimately be upheld," said Andrew Pugno, General Counsel for ProtectMarriage.com and the Proposition 8 Legal Defense Fund.
California Attorney General Edmund "Jerry" Brown called on the court to reject the initiative.
In a dramatic reversal, Attorney General Jerry Brown filed a legal brief saying the measure that amended the California Constitution to limit marriage to a man and a woman is itself unconstitutional because it deprives a minority group of a fundamental right. Earlier, Brown had said he would defend the ballot measure against legal challenges from gay marriage supporters.
"It became evident that the Article 1 provision guaranteeing basic liberty, which includes the right to marry, took precedence over the initiative," Brown said, in an interview Friday night. "Based on my duty to defend the law and the entire Constitution, I concluded the court should protect the right to marry even in the face of the 52 percent vote."
Both Brown and gay rights groups argue that the gay marriage ban cannot be applied retroactively, but proponents say the amendment is clear on that issue. The outcome will affect some 16,000 - 18,000 gay marriages in California.
News release issued Friday night by the Office of the Attorney General.
For more information, please visit our Proposition 8 Channel.
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Los Angeles, California, United States