A petition has been submitted to the California Supreme Court asking the justices there to delay the effective date of their same-sex marriage opinion until voters have their say on the issue.
The request came today from the Alliance Defense Fund, which has argued the case in the state’s courts as the case progressed.
ADF attorneys say the court should avoid “obvious legal problems” that could develop when California voters vote in November on a state constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman.
“The people of California have a constitutional right to vote on marriage, and we trust the high court will respect the democratic process,” said Glen Lavy, a senior counsel for ADF. He argued the case before the court on March 4.
“The possibility of significant and unnecessary legal and social problems can be avoided by waiting to see what the California people desire when it comes to the meaning of marriage,” he said.
The high court ruled 4–3 on May 15 that the voter-approved Proposition 22, the California Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, is unconstitutional. Alliance Defense Fund attorneys who defended Proposition 22 note that the outcome illustrates precisely why a state law alone is not sufficient to protect marriage.
“Amending the state constitution is ultimately the only avenue to ensure that no one interferes with the will of the California people on the meaning of marriage,” Lavy said. “We hope that the court will allow the California people to have their say on the amendment without enduring the potential problems associated with implementing the court’s decision before then.”
Last week’s ruling striking the will of the people about marriage in California has prompted a reaction from pro-family organizations who already have submitted nearly twice the number of signatures needed to place the constitutional amendment before voters.
Of 28 states where such an amendment has been considered, it has been approved 27 times.