A traditional-family lobby group involved in previous attempts to stop San Francisco’s unprecedented issuance of same-sex marriage licenses has filed legal action calling for the removal of Attorney General Bill Lockyer, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and City and County Clerk Nancy Alfaro.
The Sacramento-based Pro-Family Law Center charges the officials have breached their oaths of office.
Under Newsom’s order, San Francisco issued the first officially sanctioned marriage licenses to same-sex couples in American history Feb. 12. More than 3,000 ceremonies have been conducted since then.
“Confidence in the rule of law is a most fundamental but fragile prerequisite of a democratic society,” asserted Scott Lively of Lively and Ackerman, which is representing the Pro-Family Law Center in the action.
“By his reckless political experiment in civil rebellion, Mayor Newsom threatens the peace of the entire nation,” Lively said. ” He is a contemptuous scofflaw trying to cloak himself in the mantle of a civil rights crusader. Lockyer and Alfaro are nothing less than accessories before the fact.”
The legal action charges Lockyer was given advanced notice of Newsom’s intentions to break state law but did not intervene.
Alfaro, the complaint says, assisted Newsom by illegally altering the official state marriage license forms and pledge.
The Pro-Family Law Center contends Newsom’s and Alfaro’s actions, and Lockyer’s complicity, “constitute contempt for the rule of law and for the constitutions they vowed to defend.”
The group notes each official took an oath of office vowing to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of California.”
The legal action, a “Quo Warranto Petition,” essentially is a citizen’s demand upon the government to prosecute the illegal activity of another citizen.
The group noted the irony that the petition must be filed with Lockyer’s office. Because the attorney general is both a material witness in two lawsuits against Newsom, and charged with complicity in the violation of the law, it has asked Lockyer to appoint an independent counsel or refer the case to U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft’s office.
As WorldNetDaily reported, two key figures in the successful effort to recall Gov. Gray Davis last year have issued a similar threat to Lockyer over his “inaction” on San Francisco’s defiance of state marriage law.
Howard Kaloogian, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, and Ted Costa, executive director of the anti-tax group People’s Advocate, say they will launch a recall campaign if Lockyer does not crack down on San Francisco’s same-sex marriages.
Lockyer has said he will ask the California Supreme Court to decide the legality of same-sex marriage by tomorrow.
Last Friday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered Lockyer “to take immediate steps” to have a court declare the city’s actions illegal. The attorney general’s initial response was to dismiss the order as political hyperbole.
Kaloogian compared Lockyer’s “weeks of inaction” to the immediate response last week of New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid to stop a clerk in Bernalillo, N.M., from issuing licenses to same-sex couples.
“We’re putting Lockyer on notice that we will recall him if he doesn’t do his job,” Kaloogian told the Los Angeles Times.
Last week, two judges refused the requests by traditional-family defenders to stop the same-sex marriage licenses. The two cases were consolidated Friday, and a March 29 hearing has been scheduled.
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