Several pro-family groups gathered for the Sacramento news conference sponsored by Campaign for California Families, to express their disapproval to the San Francisco City Attorney’s claim that local governments should have the right to disobey the state law at their discretion, March 5, 2004.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera, in response to the California Attorney General Bill Lockyer’s order to take the volatile gay “marriage” case directly to the High court, said, "Barring local governments from taking independent actions to conform their conduct to the state and federal constitutions would undermine this system of government."
The indignant pro-family groups in turn rebuked the city attorney for encouraging San Francisco to rebel against the state.
"Today, San Francisco claimed that any local politician can disobey the law if he or she thinks that state law is wrong," Randy Thomasson, the executive director of Campaign for California Families, said as he opened the Sacramento news conference. "So in other words, when an official holds up his hand and swears to uphold the law and do his duty, San Francisco wants the official to put down his hand and do whatever he wants. This is very chaotic. What if every local official could do whatever he wants?"
"San Francisco has fallen off the planet," continued Thomasson. “Located in California yet openly rebelling against state law by redefining marriage, San Francisco should haul down the California and American flags that it seems to despise so much."
Thomasson noted that by issuing gay “marriage” licenses, SF is violating 10 laws in the State Family Code.
“The state Supreme Court should have no problem putting a restraining order upon the City of San Francisco to stop these unlawful licenses,” exhorted Thomasson. “San Francisco has been breaking the law and turning marriage upside down for more than three weeks now. People are tired of this. The system of law is tired of it too. It's high time for the law, which is very pregnant with punishment for the City of San Francisco, to start working."
Following Thomasson’s outcry, Scott Lively, president of the Pro-Family Law Center took center stage. Lively pointed out that the New York State Justice Vincent C. Bradley issued a temporary restraining order barring homosexual “marriage” licenses in the city of New Paltz, Friday, and urged California to follow.
Publicly reading the order of Justice Bradley, Lively said, "I would challenge the illogical arguments of the attorneys for San Francisco. We ask that the California Supreme Court uphold the law and follow the good logic that has been displayed in the State of New York."
David Llewellyn a constitutional attorney and law professor, who also spoke at the CCF’s news conference added, “When you say that personal autonomy overrides laws, you have no element where you can stop it."
"A hundred years ago, the Mormons were claiming that their personal autonomy and right to religious freedom overrode the polygamy laws. The arguments that the same-sex marriage advocates and the City of San Francisco are following right now shows there is no way they can accept limits based upon age, for example. Minors should have personally autonomy. Or if you are already married, why shouldn't I be allowed to marry a third person as an expression of our personal autonomy? Or why should I not marry my
daughter or my brother or a close relative? There is no way that you can make any limitations! And yet, they fail to articulate any barrier to their real or personal autonomy where they said it stops. Their argument is not really a legal argument at all. It's merely a desire to obtain something for which they are not legally and do not logically qualify."
Another speaker, Brenda Bennett of the Sacramento Alliance for Civil Rights, said homosexual "marriage" has nothing to do with civil rights.
"We as minorities are really concerned about this issue being compared to civil rights as it relates to us," said Bennett, who is black. "It is not a right for you to choose your sexual lifestyle and compare that what we had to go through to get rights in this country. It's an offense to us. The mayor of San Francisco, the Attorney General, are supposed to be leaders. They are supposed to lead by example. So what are they telling us? What are they telling our young people? If you don't like a law, you just break it, you just violate it? The law needs to address what they're doing and hold them accountable, because they're not doing what they were elected to do, which is to uphold the law, to carry out the law, regardless of how they feel about it."
Thomasson concluded the conference by stating, “If the state Supreme Court blocks the mayor of San Francisco from issuing any more marriage licenses, good. Good for California. Good for the voters of California. Good for marriage."
"If the court delays any enforcement action, it is the duty and responsibility of Attorney General Bill Lockyer to do what he hasn't done for three weeks now - go into San Francisco and take control of the situation using his powers and authority of his office," said Thomasson. " He's the top cop, there's crimes occurring, and the top cop needs to stop them now. We have not seen prosecutions from the Attorney General's office, yet New York State is prosecuting those who violate the law on marriage. Bill Lockyer needs to catch up and do his job. He's three weeks late already."
Thomasson, plantiff of Thomasson vs. Newsom, is scheduled to represent the CCF in court, March 29.