Guest / Limited Access /

California's Supreme Court on August 12 voided the marriages of nearly 4,000 homosexual couples who wed in San Francisco last spring. The justices said that Mayor Gavin Newsom did not have the authority to flout state marriage laws.

Ruling unanimously, the court said local officials may not ignore laws they disagree with. Justices sidestepped the larger question on the constitutionality of civil marriage rights for gay couples.

State law and a voter-approved ballot initiative both define marriage in California as between a man and a woman.

Newsom's challenge, along with a court ruling in Massachusetts that allowed gay marriages starting in May, prompted President Bush to publicly support a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

In a separate 5-2 vote, the court declared that the 4,000 marriage licenses issued between February 12, when Newsom issued the first certificate, and March 11, when the court ordered a halt, are "void and of no legal effect."

"Instead of helping his cause, Mayor Newsom has set back the same-sex marriage agenda and laid the foundation for the promarriage movement to once and for all win this battle to preserve traditional marriage," said Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel.

Other legislative efforts to restrict gay marriage are having mixed results in the courts. On August 3, a Washington King County Superior Court judge declared the state Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional, but stayed his decision so the issue could be decided by the state's Supreme Court. Three weeks later, a federal judge in Washington state ruled the federal DOMA to be constitutional. The ruling says there is no fundamental right to same-sex marriage.


Related Elsewhere:

Weblog also commented on the ruling.

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueThere’s No Crying on Social Media!
Subscriber Access Only
There’s No Crying on Social Media!
Young adults are desperate not to let peers see any signs of weakness or failure.
RecommendedMaking Married Sex Mutual
Making Married Sex Mutual
Pervasive ideologies distort our view of female sexuality. God’s Word shows us a better way.
TrendingAll 240 Family Christian Stores Are Closing
All 240 Family Christian Stores Are Closing
More than 3,000 employees in 36 states will be laid off in the liquidation of one of the world’s largest Christian retailers.
Editor's PickMy Missionary Great-Grandfather Led Me to Christ
My Missionary Great-Grandfather Led Me to Christ
But only after I went to Japan in search of his life story.
Christianity Today
Gay Marriage Roadblocks
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

August 2004

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.