Calif. AG Asks Supreme Court to Stop Same-sex Marriages

( [email protected] ) Feb 28, 2004 11:03 AM EST

SAN FRANCISCO –California’s attorney general asked the Supreme Court Friday, February 27, to bar San Francisco from issuing same-sex marriage licenses and to invalidate the nearly 3,500 marriages already performed two weeks ago.

"It's a matter of statewide concern and voters want to know, Californians want to know and couples that participated in ceremonies need to know the status of their relationship," Attorney General Bill Lockyer said.

The court did not respond to Lockyer's petition immediately. It is assumed that the justices will wait until the ruling is made among the lower courts.

Homosexual marriage emerged as a national concern when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in November that prohibiting same-sex marriage violated the state’s constitution. Then in San Francisco, the city mayor issued marriage licenses to gay couples about two weeks ago. The issue has reached the point where President Bush is calling for a new amendment which would ban gay marriages at the constitutional level.

It is anticipated that more gay couples will take action to file a lawsuit against the state. Already, a county clerk in New Mexico issued 26 licenses earlier this month before the state attorney general declared them invalid. More than 30 gay couples in Iowa City, Iowa, were denied marriage licenses Friday by an openly lesbian county official who said she must uphold the law.

In statehouses across the nation, lawmakers are observing the constitutions to see whether or not they should pass a new amenment to bar same-sex marriages. Massachusetts is one of many states where lawmakers are considering a constitutional amendment to bar the marriages.