Homosexual Groups File Last Ditch Lawsuits to Stop California Marriage Initiative

By Matt Hadro | November 6, 2008 | 3:52 PM EST

‘No on 8’ protesters march on Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, Calif., Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008. They are upset that California voters put a stop to gay marriage. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)

(CNSNews.com) - Three lawsuits have been filed in an attempt to block California’s Proposition 8, which limits valid marriages to “one man and one woman.”
Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union and two homosexual activist groups – Lambda Legal Foundation and the National Center for Lesbian Rights – asked the California Supreme Court Wednesday to invalidate Proposition 8.
“The petition charges that Proposition 8 is invalid because the initiative process was improperly used in an attempt to undo the constitution’s core commitment to equality for everyone by eliminating a fundamental right from just one group – lesbian and gay Californians,” the groups said in a new release.
The cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles, joined by Santa Clara County, have also sued, and Los Angeles lawyer Gloria Allred filed a third suit on behalf of a married lesbian couple.
Proponents of the California measure, meanwhile, fired back against the legal action, calling it “frivolous” and “regrettable.”
“These same groups filed an identical case with the California Supreme Court months ago, which was summarily dismissed,” said Andrew Pugno, general counsel of ProtectMarriage.com - Yes on 8, in a release.
Pugno pledged to “vigorously defend the people's decision” to enact Proposition 8.
“It is as if their campaign just spent $40 million on a losing campaign opposing something they now say is a legal nullity,” he said. “Their position is absurd, an insult to California voters and an attack on the initiative process itself.”
California voters Tuesday approved Proposition 8 by a vote of 52.5 percent to 47.5 percent, according to the California secretary of state’s office, which certified the results on Wednesday.
More than a thousand people in West Hollywood and Los Angeles took to the streets Wednesday to protest the initiative’s passage, blocking traffic. Four arrests were made, according to The Associated Press. Hundreds also gathered on the steps of San Francisco's City Hall.
Beyond the legal challenge, legal scholars have been sent back to their law books to study the issue. There is the question of what will happen to 12,000 same-sex unions performed in California after the state Supreme Court ruled in May that the state constitution prohibited “discrimination” against homosexuals’ “right” to marry.
California Attorney General Jerry Brown said he expects that the California Supreme Court will uphold the validity of those homosexual “marriages” performed before the election.
Traditional marriage groups say that the measure’s passage should legally nullify those same-sex unions.
“The people of California have successfully overruled the judges and politicians and restored marriage licenses to a man and a woman,” Randy Thomasson, president of the Campaign for Families and Children said.
“Now the false marriages done this summer must be declared null and void. California law now says the only valid or recognized marriage 'is' between a man and a woman. The ballot arguments specify that the only marriages are between a man and a woman, ‘regardless of when or where performed.’ ”
He added: “It is time for all Californians to respect the new marriage law, which has restored an age-old institution, whether they voted for or against Prop. 8.”
Two other states – Florida and Arizona – approved similar measures Tuesday, limiting marriage to the relationship of one man and one woman. But Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, said the California vote is the first time a state has “rolled back” homosexual marriage – and homosexual activists will not give up easily.
“Whether we like it or not, this is a long-term battle,” LaBarbera added.
The California Supreme Court voted 4 to 3 on May 15 to create same-sex marriage, saying the state’s ban was unconstitutional. The ruling also elevated sexual orientation to the constitutional status of race and gender, the first to do so.