SAN FRANCISCO – The California Supreme Court halted gay marriages in San Francisco until a final decision is made in May or June while Massachusetts, where gay marriage used to be legal, ruled to approve constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages but allow civil unions of gay couples, Thursday, March 11.
If the constitutional amendment gets approved a third time on March 29, it would then need to be approved in the legislative session of 2005 and submitted to the voters for the final approval on a 2006 ballot.
The court’s rulings have pleased many of the supporters of gay marriage ban, gaining their hope for the future of the U.S.
Regarding Massachusetts’ ruling:
The state legislator, Rep. Phil Travis of Rehoboth, who wrote the original bill banning same-sex unions said he wasn't entirely happy with the new amendment, because it allowed civil unions but he said he was satisfied with the progress that was made.
"I think this is the compromise that was going to come out and marriage is protected and that's what I was hoping was going to happen all the way through," said Rep. Phil Travis of Rehoboth, Mass.
Massachusetts Senate President Robert Travaglini expressed optimism that after weeks of intense debate and failed compromises, lawmakers were headed toward consensus.
"I believe we've overcome significant hurdles to get to this point," Travaglini said. "I would hope that the road gets somewhat smoother and that we have encountered all of the bumps along the way, as of today."
In regards to the nation’s first gay marriages which are scheduled to take place May 17, Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney and other lawmakers said they would try to block them. Until the voters’ decision is made, he said he doesn’t want marriage licenses to be issued illegally.
"The Legislature has taken the first step," Romney said. "As the process continues, I'm hopeful the people will be able to take the last step."
Regarding California’s ruling:
Campaign for California Families Executive Director Randy Thomasson called the orders "the end of the counterfeit marriages in San Francisco" and said: "The people of California can celebrate the beauty of a bride and a groom as the standard for marriage and the appropriate role model for children."
"We're celebrating here, and thankful that the court has enforced the rule of law," said Benjamin Bull, chief counsel of the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, "It's necessarily implied in today's ruling that whatever [the city has] done in violation of state law is fatally defective. I don't see how you can see it any other way."
“This means the rule of law is restored in California today. It’s exactly what we sought from the court,” said Robert Tyler, an ADF attorney in California.
The Alliance Defense Fund filed the original action on February 25 with the California high court asking for an immediate stay and a writ of mandate. This is the first original action that the court has entertained in five years. The city is ordered to respond on or before March 18 and ADF may reply on March 25.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was pleased with the court’s decision and said, "I believe very strongly that the people should obey the laws that we have here in California. The judicial system is the appropriate venue for resolving questions pertaining to the constitutionality of our state laws.”
Following is the latest development on homosexual marriage issue according to Associated Press:
**In Wisconsin, the state Senate approved a constitutional amendment early Friday that was earlier passed by the Assembly. If lawmakers approve the legislation again during the January session, it will go before voters on the April 2005 ballot.
**In Kentucky, the state Senate passed a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriages and not recognize civil unions. A similar amendment has been introduced in the House.
**New Paltz, N.Y., Mayor Jason West, who performed 25 same-sex marriages last month, met face-to-face with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. West, now under a court order to temporarily stop the marriages, had hoped to win over Spitzer, who reiterated his position that state law prohibited gay weddings.