Court's Decision on Marriage Should Go into Effect on Schedule, Says Legal Brief on Behalf of Couples
State notifies county clerks that California lesbian and gay couples can marry starting June 17; Field Poll shows majority support for allowing lesbian and gay couples to marry
(San Francisco, May 28, 2008) — Attorneys representing same-sex couples, Equality California and Our Family Coalition filed a legal brief today opposing a request to stay the court's ruling and prevent couples from marrying for several months. The request to stay the California Supreme Court's ruling was filed shortly before the Memorial Day weekend by an Arizona-based, right-wing legal group, the Alliance Defense Fund, on behalf of the Proposition 22 Legal Defense & Education Fund.
On May 15, the California Supreme Court ruled that the state may no longer exclude same-sex couples from civil marriage.
"This delay tactic by the other side is a desperate attempt to stave off what we all know to be true," said Jon Davidson, Legal Director at Lambda Legal. "Once couples start to marry and Californians see that no one is hurt and many families are helped it will become harder to pass an antigay amendment. Love trumps hate."
According to a letter sent to County Clerks' offices today by the California Office of Vital Records, the state will begin granting marriage licenses to lesbian and gay couples on Tuesday, June 17.
As right-wing groups attempt to block the state Supreme Court's decision, a new Field Poll released today indicates that public opinion in California has moved a long way toward support of marriage for lesbian and gay couples. According to the poll, 51 percent of Californians agree that lesbian and gay couples should be allowed to marry, while the percentage opposing marriage for same-sex couples has shrunk to 42 percent. Fifty-four percent oppose changing the state constitution to exclude lesbian and gay couples from marriage, while only 40 percent would favor such a change. Ballot measures that start off with a majority in opposition historically go down in defeat.
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