California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger directly ordered the attorney general to "take immediate steps" to get a court ruling to halt the illegal sanction of "marriage" licenses to homosexual couples in San Francisco, Friday, Feb. 20, muffling what temporary joy pro-gay groups shared from the court ruling earlier that day.
"Our civilized society and legal system is based upon a respect for and adherence to the rule of law," Schwarzenegger wrote in a letter to California Attorney General Bill Lockyer. "The City and County of San Francisco's unfortunate choice to disregard state law and grant marriage certificates to gay couples directly undermines this fundamental guarantee."
The Governor's ordinance was heavily prompted by the controversial case Campaign for California Families vs. San Francisco Mayor Newsman, in which the judge denied the pro-family group a temporary injunction to halt the issuance of marriage licenses in the county.
Although the ruling, which was recessed until March 29, did not prove victorious for either side, pro-gay advocates celebrated the possibility of receiving the licenses in the meantime.
The recess was partly due to the international ramifications of the final decision in the court. Of the 3,000-plus gay-couples who received "marriage" licenses in the past week, approximately 20 percent came from out of the county. Many were from out of state; several came from out of country.
"The harm that has already been visited on not even just the State of California or our nation but the world is reported that couples have shown up from Africa to obtain these bogus certificates," said Steve Crampton, chief counsel for the American Family Association Center for Law and Policy.
In Chicago the mayor Richard Daley said he would have "no problem" with the county clerk's office following in the steps of San Francisco and issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Wednesday.
In Sandoval County, New Mexico, officials went ahead and began granting licenses to homosexual couples.
However, later in the day, the state's attorney general said the licenses were not valid under the current law.
"Until the laws are changed through the legislative process or declared unconstitutional by the judicial process, the statutes limit marriage in New Mexico to a man and a woman," New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid wrote in an advisory letter.
"Thus in my judgment, no county clerk should issue a marriage license to same sex couples because those licenses would be invalid under current law," Madrid continued.
"This has nothing to do with politics or morals," Sandoval County clerk Victoria Dunlap said. "If there are no legal grounds that say this should be prohibited, I can't withhold it. This office won't say no until shown it's not permissible."
Meanwhile, pro-family leaders posed a more fundamental argument.
Gary Bauer, conservative spokesman and pro-family activist, argued that homosexual marriage is only the beginning and means to an end.
"[homosexual marriage] is the the total destruction of marriage, family, and ultimately, society as we know it today," Bauer said.
Furthermore, Bauer criticized the arguments made by the pro-gay activists, who claim homosexual unions are protected under the "equal rights clause" of the California constitution.
"The same arguments made today to support homosexual 'marriage' -- equality and fairness -- will be used to support polygamous marriages and multi-parent relationships tomorrow," Bauer said. "And, frankly, those arguments will be just as valid if we cannot draw the line now at one man and one woman."
Professor J. Budziszewski of the University of Texas offered a further reason for the protection of marriage as between man and a woman: natural law.
Budziszewski, who teaches philosophy and government, said marriage and union was not created by government, and therefore cannot be redefined by the government.
The moral or natural law, he argued, is more real than the law of gravity, but while a rock cannot refuse to fall, humans may refuse to obey the strong pull of natural law. However, once man turns away from this law, he pays the price of guilty knowledge that demands repentance and justification.
Legalizing homosexual marriage, therefore, may be an attempt to soothe homosexuals' guilty consciences with a counterfeit, but in actuality, it will spread confusion and weaken society's foundations, Budziszewski argued.
In lieu of such controversy, Schwarzenegger's ordinance came directly in line with what pro-family groups eagerly awaited: a swift solution to a malicious malady.
The Republican governor "feels that we've come to a point where we're starting down a dangerous path and it leads to anarchy at some point," said Schwarzenegger¡¯s communications director. "It's time for this to end."
Currently in California, polls show the state residents oppose same-sex "marriage" by a margin of 50-44 percent. Those living in the San Francisco support same-sex "marriage" by a 58-37 percent margin.