California Supreme Court Rejects Expedited Hearing Request on Marriage Laws

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:05 PM EDT

( - The California Supreme Court Wednesday rejected a request by the attorney general to speed up an appeal involving same-sex marriage.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer ruled the state's marriage laws unconstitutional earlier this year. Then several lawsuits challenging the state's marriage laws were consolidated in one court before Kramer.

In the consolidated cases, Campaign for California Families (CCF), represented by the Liberty Counsel, was granted the right to defend the state's marriage laws. In March, Kramer struck down Proposition 22, a statewide voter-approved initiative that declared marriage to be a union between a man and a woman.

Following Kramer's ruling in March, the attorney general asked for an expedited appeal to the state Supreme Court, which CCF opposed. Wednesday's ruling means the case will go forward through the normal appeals process, with the possibility of going to the California Supreme Court one day.

"We are pleased that the California Supreme Court agreed not to hear the marriage cases at this time," said Liberty Counsel President and general counsel Mathew Staver. "Despite the ruling against the marriage laws, the effect of that ruling has been stayed pending the appeal process.

"There was no need to rush to judgment on California's marriage laws. Now that the marriage cases will proceed along the normal litigation route, the people will have time to move forward to amend the state Constitution to preserve marriage as one man and one woman," added Staver.

Meanwhile, two voter initiatives are gaining ground to amend the state constitution to preserve traditional marriage. Liberty Counsel represents, sponsor of one of the amendments.

California's attorney general is responsible for determining the title and summary of the purpose and points of voter initiatives. Liberty Counsel accused the attorney general of submitting a "biased title" and "factually inaccurate summary." Liberty Counsel has filed a lawsuit over the ballot title and summary, on which a hearing is scheduled for Aug. 18 in Sacramento.

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