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Gay marriage opponents seek to halt Calif. same-sex marriage licenses

SACRAMENTO, July 12 (UPI) -- Opponents of same-sex weddings in California filed a lawsuit Friday seeking to bar county clerks statewide from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

ProtectMarriage.com said the California Constitution still legally defines marriage as being reserved for heterosexual couples and clerks are duty-bound to reserve licenses for male-female couples.

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"County clerks statewide are lawlessly defying that law by issuing gender-neutral marriage licenses. We are asking California's Supreme Court to restore the rule of law and the public confidence in the integrity of the initiative process," Andrew Pugno, general counsel for ProtectMarriage.com, said in a written statement.

The U.S. Supreme Court last month refused to hear a case involving Proposition 8, a voter-passed measure defining marriage as being between a man and a woman.

The court did not address the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, finding only that private parties did not have legal standing to defend Prop 8.

"The man-woman definition of marriage, as passed by the voters, is still a valid part of our state constitution," Pugno said.

The lawsuit contended 56 of California's 58 county courts also did not have standing in the U.S. Supreme Court case, and the governor and state attorney general did not have the authority to order clerks to disregard the state Constitution.

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