Judge Delays Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:21 PM EDT

(1st Add: Includes update on second lawsuit.)

(CNSNews.com) - A judge Tuesday delayed a ruling on a lawsuit brought by a pro-family group to stop San Francisco's mayor from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Judge Ronald Quidachay rescheduled the hearing for Friday at 10 am Pacific time to allow San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and County Clerk Nancy Alfaro more time to respond to the lawsuit, brought by Campaign for California Families (CCF), which seeks a temporary restraining order and injunction to stop same-sex "marriage licenses."

"We are confident that, when the Court hears the arguments in this case, the Court will invalidate the Mayor's publicity stunt. The marriage licenses will not be worth the paper they are written on," said Mathew Staver, president and general counsel of Liberty Counsel, which is representing CCF.

"Instead of spending their time issuing invalid 'marriage licenses' they had no authority to issue, the Mayor and those to whom he issued these 'licenses' should warm up the paper shredders. The people of California who believe in the rule of law will be able to celebrate with the confetti made from these worthless certificates," Staver said in a statement.

"Law and order will prevail," he said. "The rule of law must be restored. Neither the Mayor nor the County Clerk is above the law. Every governmental official, whether high or low, has no right to usurp power from the people simply because they feel like doing so."

Staver concluded, "The Mayor and the County Clerk should realize their place in American government and stop trying to rule San Francisco as if it were a dictatorship instead of a democracy."

Superior Court Judge James L. Warren refused to grant a stay requested by the Alliance Defense Fund, another pro-family group, saying the group did not meet the legal burden required for such an emergency order.

However, Warren agreed to order the city to either "cease and desist" issuing the disputed licenses or to come back to court on March 29 and explain why they haven't. Both sides claimed the ruling as a victory.

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