The California Supreme Court stuck to the laws on the books and did the right thing. There was no basis (other than publicity) to have permitted the public spectacle.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – California’s Supreme Court annulled more than 4,000 gay marriages in San Francisco on Thursday after finding the city acted improperly in granting marriage licenses earlier this year in defiance of state law.
The mayor of the liberal city, Gavin Newsom, ignited a passionate nationwide debate in February by allowing 4,037 same-sex couples to wed over a four-week period before the California high court halted them.
“Local officials in San Francisco exceeded their authority by taking official action in violation of applicable statutory provisions,” Chief Justice Ronald George wrote. “The same-sex marriages authorized by the officials are void and of no legal effect.”
A state law backed by a voter referendum defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and polls show most Californians oppose gay marriage. The decision called the gay marriages a “legal nullity” and ordered a refund of fees paid. Advocates of same sex marriages will either have to get a law passed allowing them, or win the “right” in court before a same sex marriage can legally be performed in California.
AG Bill Lockyer said it best, “I am pleased that the court has reaffirmed the important legal principal that nonjudicial elected officials do not have the authority to unilaterally declare a state law unconstitutional.”
One would think that a mayor who allegedly believes in our democratic system would see the folly setting themselves up as mayor, judge, and legislature – then again it’s San Francisco…