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CA: Supreme Court Considers Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

California’s Supreme Court yesterday considered whether to invalidate marriage licenses given to more than 4,000 lesbian and gay couples in San Francisco earlier this year. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom had directed the county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, arguing that the California state law defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman violates both the state and federal Constitutions. The state Supreme Court after one month put a stop to the marriages based on legal complaints from state Attorney General Bill Lockyer and right-wing groups opposed to same-sex marriage. The majority of California’s seven Supreme Court justices appear to believe that Mayor Newsom overstepped his authority in issuing the licenses based on their questions at the hearing yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reports. “I think it’s obvious that the court has serious concerns and reservations about what the city did,” said Kate Kendall, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, according to the Washington Post. “But what happened today, and what happens when the court eventually rules on this issue, says nothing about their ultimate analysis on the key constitutional question.” The state Supreme Court has 90 days to make its decision.

Sources:

LA Times 5/26/04; Washington Post 5/26/04