California AG Asks to Hold on New Marriage Cases

( [email protected] ) Mar 31, 2004 09:35 AM EST

SAN FRANCISCO - California's attorney general asked California’s Judicial Council, which oversees the state’s legal affairs, on Tuesday to hold off further gay marriage cases until the state Supreme Court resolves a related case in late May or June. He asked to allow the cases to be reviewed as a group but to let the latest gay marriage cases be put under an immediate court stay.

California's Supreme Court ordered San Francisco earlier this month to halt same-sex marriages after it allowed more than 4,000 gay couples to wed. It said it would consider whether or not San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom had the authority to perform such marriages.

Lockyer said he wants to prevent different courts from coming up with differing opinions on the contentious issue.

"In the five actions alone, there is a multitude of parties represented by numerous counsel," he wrote in the application. "Moreover, if each case is tried separately, there is a high potential for inconsistent results, not only in the final outcome of each case, but also with respect to the numerous evidentiary rulings that are sure to follow."

"The potential result is that there will be a series of cases on appeal," he wrote.

Many experts say the legal fights over gay marriage across the United States may ultimately have to be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court . The only thing that matters is time since it could take several years for the issue to reach the highest court.