US: Supporters of Prop 8 file petition claiming equal marriage ban should still legally be in force

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The supporters of California’s now defunct Proposition 8 ban on equal marriage, have begun legal proceedings to challenge the resumption of issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, accusing the courts of interpreting a Supreme Court ruling in the wrong way.

The first same-sex wedding took place between the plaintiffs who brought the case against Prop 8 at the end of June, following the Supreme Court declining to take up the case, and as the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals since gave the green light for same-sex weddings to resume.

The US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals previously lifted its stay on an injunction, which had ordered state officials to stop enforcing Prop 8, meaning marriage licenses could immediately be issued to same-sex couples.

ProtectMarriage, the group that sponsored Proposition 8, and its ban on equal marriage back in 2008, has launched a doubled-edged legal attack on state officials’ interpretation of what the Supreme Court ruling means.

The Supreme Court specifically ruled that the ProtectMarriage had “no standing” to pursue an appeal of the 9th Circuit’s decision to strike down the ban after Governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris declined to defend it.

In the petition filed on Friday by the organisation, it argued that Prop 8 technically should remain law because the Supreme Court did not directly rule on the constitutionality of same-sex marriages, in the case.

“The Ninth Circuit’s decision in Perry has been vacated,” The petition read, “hence there is no appellate decision holding that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.”

The ban should still remain in force, the petition concluded, reports the Associated Press.

The petition filed in the state Supreme Court also argued that the original lawsuit named only the county clerks of Los Angeles and Alameda counties, and that the ruling should not reach the other 56 county clerks.

“The Legislature has not imbued the State Registrar with supervisory authority or control over county clerks issuing marriage licenses,” the petition continued.