SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Governor Jerry Brown is ordering counties to start issuing marriage licenses immediately. That comes just minutes after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals “dissolved” the stay in the Prop 8 case.
“At the direction of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., the California Department of Public Health has notified clerks and registrar/recorders in all 58 California counties that same-sex marriage is now legal in California and that marriage licenses must be issued to same-sex couples immediately,” the governor’s office said in a written statement.
The court’s ruling comes just two days after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the backers of the voter-backed initiative defining marriage is between a man and a woman didn’t have standing to appeal the case. A District Court in San Francisco ruled Prop 8 violates the U.S. Constitution.
The Attorney General’s office says it’s up to individual counties to determine when they’ll be ready to conduct the same-sex marriages. With the ruling coming late on a Friday afternoon, some counties have already said they will wait until Monday to issue the marriage licenses.
“I am thrilled that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted its stay to allow same-sex couples to legally marry in California,” said Attorney General Kamala D. Harris in a written statement. “Gay and lesbian couples have waited so long for this day and for their fundamental right to marry. Finally, their loving relationships are as legitimate and legal as any other.”
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The letter from the Department of Health also covers the status of same-sex couples who were previously married.
“People who are currently in a State Registered Domestic Partnership (SRDP) may be issued a marriage license if the parties to the SRDP and the parties to the marriage are the same (Family Code Section 298.5) and the parties are not already legally married to one another in another jurisdiction,” the order reads.
“Same-sex couples legally married in another jurisdiction will be considered already legally married under California marriage licensing and certification laws and they should not be issued a new marriage license. Family Code sections 301, 302, and 500 allow only unmarried persons to marry in California.”
Supporters of Prop 8 say they’re outraged.
“We just received word that the Ninth Circuit, without waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision to become final and depriving us of our right to ask for reconsideration, has rushed forward to order same-sex marriage licenses,” Andy Pugno, General Counsel for the ProtectMarriage.com Coalition said in a written statement.
“This outrageous act tops off a chronic pattern of lawlessness, throughout this case, by judges and politicians hell-bent on thwarting the vote of the people to redefine marriage by any means, even outright corruption.
“Homosexual marriage is not happening because the people changed their mind. It isn’t happening because the appellate courts declared a new constitutional right. It’s happening because enemies of the people have abused their power to manipulate the system and render the people voiceless.
“The resumption of same-sex marriage this day has been obtained by illegitimate means. If our opponents rejoice in achieving their goal in a dishonorable fashion, they should be ashamed.
“It remains to be seen whether the fight can go on, but either way, it is a disgraceful day for California.”
Stay tuned to KRON 4 and KRON4.com for comprehensive coverage of the return of same-sex marriages to California.
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