The California Supreme Court, without
comment, on Monday declined a request to immediately block the
issuance of marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples as it
considers a broader request to reinstate Proposition 8, considered
unlikely by most legal experts.
Last week, Protect Marriage, the group
that sponsored the 2008 voter-approved constitutional amendment which
defined marriage as a heterosexual union, asked the state's highest
court to reinstate the ban, arguing that Democratic Governor Jerry
Brown did not have the authority to end enforcement of Proposition 8.
Protect Marriage lawyer Austin Nimocks
vowed in a statement to continue fighting for the ban.
“Although we would have preferred for
the California Supreme Court to issue a stay so that the state's
marriage amendment would be respected sooner rather than later, the
proponents of Proposition 8 will continue to urge the court to uphold
the rule of law,” he said.
Proposition 8 tumbled after the Supreme
Court ruled that interveners lacked standing to defend the law,
leaving in place a 2010 circuit court ruling declaring it
Within days after the Supreme Court
ruled, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted its stay in the
ruling, allowing same-sex marriages to resume in California.
However, Protect Marriage argues that a
provision in the California Constitution prohibits state officials
from refusing to enforce a law unless it has been deemed
unconstitutional by an appellate court.
Protect Marriage also argues that the
2010 ruling only applies to the two counties where plaintiffs live,
not the entire state.
On June 28, Brown ordered clerks in all
58 counties to resume issuing marriage license to gay couples.