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San Diego clerk seeks to block same-sex marriage licenses

July 19, 2013 at 11:34 PM

SAN DIEGO, July 19 (UPI) -- The county clerk in San Diego filed a petition Friday seeking a court order exempting county clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Ernest Dronenburg contends in his petition to the California Supreme Court that county clerks were not subject to orders from the governor or other state officials, and that he and his fellow county clerks need further clarity on the legal status of Proposition 8, which restricts marriage in the Golden State to heterosexual couples.

"All I'm really searching for is clarity and finality," Dronenburg told U-T San Diego. "If they answer, it will be over and we'll have a final decision. And if they don't, those issues can be brought up in the future."

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June did not affect the status of Proposition 8, which was passed by the voters as an amendment to the state Constitution. Dronenburg said he and other county clerks were left in the lurch by Gov. Jerry Brown's administration, which announced counties should proceed with issuing same-sex marriage licenses, the newspaper reported.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors said in a written statement that Dronenburg had acted on his own and not on their order, KGTV-TV, San Diego, reported.

Backers of Proposition 8 issued a statement accusing Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris of badgering clerks into opening the door to homosexual marriages when the matter was still in a state of legal flux.

"We applaud San Diego's county clerk for courageously standing up against the attorney general's attempt to bully local officials into ignoring our state Constitution," said Andrew Pugno, counsel for ProtectMarriage.com. "The attorney general's obsession with re-defining marriage has put the integrity of the people's power of initiative, and the rule of law itself, in great jeopardy."

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