California Supreme Court refuses to delay gay marriage
ruling, on a 4-3 vote, means same-sex couples could tie the knot later this
SAN FRANCISCO -- Gay couples in California
rushed to set wedding dates Wednesday after the California Supreme Court's
unusually quick rejection of challenges to its historic decision permitting
same-sex couples to wed.
By rejecting petitions asking for
reconsideration of the May 15 ruling, the court, in a 4-3 vote, removed the
final obstacle to same-sex marriages starting June 17.
The court also refused to delay enforcement of the decision until after
the November election, when voters will decide whether to reinstate a ban on
Hours after the court made the timing clear, a
jubilant Jason Lyon scheduled his wedding in Los Angeles to his partner of eight
years, Tim Hartley.
"I'm thrilled -- over the moon," said Lyon, 39, who
scurried to invite friends to the couple's Silver Lake home for a caravan to the
county clerk's office and a celebratory lunch on the first day gay marriage is
County clerks have been warned to prepare for an onslaught of
weddings. As of June 17, the words "bride" and "groom" on marriage licenses will
be replaced with "Partner A" and "Partner B."
study by the Williams Institute at UCLA's School of Law predicts that thousands
of gay couples will rush to the altar before the November election.
study projects that the numbers will swell if voters reject the
anti-gay-marriage initiative, forecasting that 51,320 gay California couples and
67,513 from out of state will marry in the state during the next three
Extrapolating from the study, based on census data and
Massachusetts' experience after it permitted same-sex matrimony, the director of
the institute -- which focuses on sexual orientation law and public policy --
said more than 20,000 weddings were anticipated by November.
gay Californians finalized their plans for the altar Wednesday, others were
unsure whether to pop the question.
Matt Dorsey, who works for the city
of San Francisco, explained the likely hesitation of some gay men to tie the
"We may be gay, but we're guys. We're a little commitment-phobic,"
The court's decision to reject the appeals was unusually speedy.
Petitions for rehearing, even those that are all but certain to be turned down,
usually delay enforcement of rulings for 30 to 60 days.
Voting in favor
of rehearing the case were Justices Marvin R. Baxter, Ming W. Chin and Carol A.
Corrigan, who dissented in May's ruling. Chief Justice Ronald M. George and
Justices Joyce L. Kennard, Kathryn Mickle Werdegar and Carlos R. Moreno voted to
reject the appeals.
Opponents of same-sex marriage were quick to denounce
the court's decision and warn gays that their marriages might not stand if
voters amend the state constitution in November to limit marriage to
"This is another 4-3 vote for legal chaos," said
Glen Lavy, senior counsel of the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian-affiliated
group that had asked the court to put its marriage ruling on hold.
court has not only ignored the will of the people and imposed a redefinition of
marriage on Californians, it has inflicted years of legal chaos quite possibly
on the entire country," Lavy said.
Attorneys general from 10 states also
had asked the court to delay finalizing the ruling until after the November
election, saying they anticipate a lot of litigation from couples who wed in
California and want their home states to recognize the marriages.
November initiative to ban same-sex marriage passes, the status of gay couples
who already married will be heavily litigated and decided ultimately by the
California Supreme Court, said UCLA law professor Brad Sears.
rule that says laws should be interpreted retroactively only if they explicitly
state they are retroactive "weighs in favor of this court continuing to
recognize the marriages," Sears said.
But some opponents of same-sex marriage said
that if the initiative passes, they will again ask the court to invalidate the
entire ruling, which also gave gays heightened constitutional protections
The court turned down the appeals in closed
session, as it does in all petitions for rehearing.
nine-sentence order dispatched the case without stating the justices'
reasons for acting, also standard procedure.
While county clerks in large
cities were bracing for wedding madness, those in rural counties said they
expected that few same-sex couples would apply for marriage licenses.
personally have had only one call," said Rose Gallo-Vasquez, assistant county
clerk in rural Colusa County, north of Sacramento. "I don't think we're going to
have a lot of them."
The clerk's office in San Francisco was scheduling
appointments for couples, but the Los Angeles County registrar-recorder's office
said it would simply try to accommodate those people who show up.
Angeles County office was considering extending hours June 17 in Norwalk and
West Hollywood and marrying couples on Saturday, June 21.
"We can't gauge
the size of the crowds," said spokesman Paul Drugan.
Saints Church, a liberal Episcopal parish whose clergy have endorsed gay
marriage, has so far scheduled 14 same-sex weddings for the
"We're very excited," said the Rev. Susan Russell.
Springs Councilman Rick Hutcheson said the city was "planning and preparing."
Hutcheson is among several City Council members who have been deputized
to perform marriage ceremonies, and local hotels have been trying to create
wedding packages that include airfare and accommodations.
to be ready to roll on the 17th," he said.
It should be noted that reporter Jessica Garrison,
who contributed to this article, met with me personally in a restaurant for
the purpose of an interview for a 4/24/06 Los Angeles Times
article regarding JAIL4Judges. This article did indeed appear in the Los Angeles
Times on that date and is reproduced in full at http://www.tulanelink.com/jail/latimes_06a.htm
Commenting on the newspaper article
above, many naive people are of the opinion that the coming
November election will lay everything to rest on this gay issue with the passage
of the new Constitutional Amendment. As a matter of fact, it won't. The troubles
will only be beginning. No law, including this one in November, can be
applied retroactively. Such is a federal constitutional mandate, Article I,
Sec. 10, "No state shall ... pass any bill of attainder, [or] expost facto
law..." In other words, no law can be enacted that makes a person
guilty of its mandates after the fact, nor can any law be enforced to
situations that stood prior to its enactment.
This means that all the tens -and/or
hundreds- of thousands of "gay marriages" that occur prior to the passage
of a future Constitutional Amendment can't be the subject of those who
are already "married." Because of this, we are going to see an explosion
of unimaginable litigation not only in California, but also in every other state
throughout this nation regarding the status of "legally married gay people." It
is reasonable to assume with certainty that the legal confusion will go on
into the unforeseen future of this country without end except for the death of
these "married couples."
The fact is that only the passage of J.A.I.L. can
provide a remedy to this nation's future dilemma. The reason is that
J.A.I.L. would deal squarely with the California Supreme Court Justices
directly. For instance, was the Prop 22 Amendment passed by 61% of the
California People legitimate law? The justices' only defense would
be to convince the Special Grand Jury that Prop 22 was
unconstitutional, or that they either did not violate that law, or if they did
violate that law, they did not do so willfully. As to the question of
whether Prop 22 violated the Constitution, the Special Grand Jury would be
forced to determine whether the Supreme Court's action was one of judicial
activism (the passing of a law from the bench), or was a legitimate exercise of
the constitutional discretion of the Supreme Court. If the former, the acts
of the Supreme Court overthrowing Prop 22 was totally void. If the latter, that
natural laws provide for gay marriages, it would indeed trump all laws to
the contrary. Such would thus imply that the People could enact a
Constitutional Amendment that would change the laws of nature established
by God Himself.
In the interim, it can be logically anticipated
that outspoken ministers and Churches are going to be inundated
with gays applying for Church membership and for gay marriage
ceremonies with allegations of discrimination and hate crimes, followed by
many lawsuits for violating the law.
The fact is, never shall this country invalidate the
need for the passage of J.A.I.L., and any attempt at doing so will
assure the continuing destruction of America.