Photo Gallery: California Supreme Court Voids S.F. Same-sex 'Marriages'

( [email protected] ) Aug 12, 2004 09:05 PM EDT

On August 12, the California Supreme Court nullified nearly 4,000 same-sex "marriage" licenses performed between Feb. 12 and March 11 in San Francisco.

The court ruled that the San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom overstepped his power in allowing the issuance the marriages licenses to same-sex couples since California Law only recognizes marriage between one man and one woman.

Arizona-based Christian law firm Alliance Defense Fund and Attorney General Bill Lockyer filed two lawsuits in March challenging the validity of the same-sex "marriage" licenses issued by City Clerk Nancy Alfaro.

The top court then barred San Francisco from continuing its same-sex "marriage" spree and promised a decision on whether city officials could bypass state judicial and legislative branches 90 days after holding a hearing.

Newsom has argued that he defied the state's marriage laws to uphold what he sees as same-sex couples' "fundamental right" to marry.

The constitutionality of allowing same-sex couples to marry will be addressed in a separate case, which will not reach the high court until next year.

Supporters of traditional marriage see the decision as a turn of the tide in the same-sex “marriage” debate.

Earlier this year, both San Francisco and a New York province began issuing licenses to same-sex couples. Then Massachusetts legalized same-sex “marriage” in May, off-setting a wave of lawsuits filed in various states, challenging the states’ marriage laws, which only recognize traditional marriage.

A federal marriage amendment, backed by the Bush administration, didn’t make it to vote in the Senate, disappointing many pro-family groups, who vowed to keep fighting. However, the Marriage Protection Act, which prevents federal judges from forcing states to recognize same-sex “marriages” sanctioned in other states, was passed later in the House.

Most recently, Missouri earlier this month passed a state constitutional amendment, already passed in four states, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman only. Other states are also expected to vote on similar amendments this year.

"Instead of helping his cause, Mayor Newsom has set back the same-sex marriage agenda and laid the foundation for the pro-marriage movement to once and for all win this battle to preserve traditional marriage," said Mathew Staver, who represents Campaign for California Families in a lawsuit challenging the San Francisco marriages.