Prop 8 proponents go back to court to try to stop same-sex marriages

June 29, 2013 at 7:03 PM
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LOS ANGELES, June 29 (UPI) -- Opponents of same-sex marriage in California went back to the U.S. Supreme Court Saturday to try to stop an appellate ruling opening the way for gays to marry.

The Proposition 8 Legal Defense Fund said in a release issued in Sacramento it had filed an emergency petition with the nation's highest court requesting it stop what it called the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal's premature move to require same-sex marriage licenses in California weeks before the Supreme Court's decision even goes into effect.

The petition was submitted Saturday to Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, who decides such motions pertaining to the 9th Circuit.

The Prop 8 supporters contend the 9th Circuit jumped the gun, noting the Supreme Court had directed the stay against same-[sex marriages "shall continue until final disposition," which they maintain is at least 25 days the court after announced its opinion in the case.

"Today's petition asks the Supreme Court to find that the 9th Circuit had no jurisdiction to order same-sex marriages on Friday, since the case had not yet come back down from the nation's highest court," the group said.

"Suspiciously, the 9th Circuit's announcement late Friday ordering same-sex marriages came as a surprise, without any warning or notice to Proposition 8's official proponents.

"However, the same-sex couple plaintiffs in the case, their media teams, San Francisco City Hall, LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the California attorney general all happened to be in position to perform same-sex marriages just minutes after the 9th Circuit's 'unexpected' announcement."

"People on both sides of this debate should at least agree that the courts must follow their own rules," Andy Pugno, general counsel for the Coalition, the official proponents of Proposition 8, said. "This kind of lawlessness just further weakens the public's confidence in the legitimacy of our legal system. We hope the Supreme Court will step in and restore some order here."

Plaintiffs in the landmark case challenging Prop 8 were the first gay couple to marry in Los Angeles after the Supreme Court ruling. Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo were married Friday at the Los Angeles County registrar's office in Norwalk, in a ceremony officiated by Villaraigosa, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"I've done a few of these over the years. Never have I been so joyful," Villaraigosa said. "How happy we are for you. Thanks to you, ceremonies like this will be celebrated with joy throughout California. Today, your wait is finally over. You're just as in love today as you were when you met 12 years ago."

Other gay couples in California rushed to county offices to receive marriage licenses after the Supreme Court Wednesday let stand 9th Circuit Judge Vaughn Walker's 2010 ruling overturning Proposition 8.

The 2008 proposition amended the California Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

After the 9th Court issued its order, California Gov. Jerry Brown notified officials throughout the state to begin issuing marriage licenses for same-sex couples.

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