California Judge Stays Ruling on Gay Marriage Ban

On Wednesday, the San Francisco judge who ruled against California’s ban on same-sex marriage stayed his decision until the appeal process is complete.

San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer issued a ruling on March 14, 2005, declaring California’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional.

The city of San Francisco had sued the state after the California Supreme Court nullified 4,000 “marriage” licenses issued to same-sex partners in a “marriage” spree initiated by Mayor Gavin Newsom.

The city argued that Proposition 22 - a voter-passed law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman only - was unconstitutional. Also called the Protection of Marriage Initiative, the proposition states that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

Campaign for California Families (CCF) and the Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund joined California Attorney General Bill Lockyer to defend the state’s marriage laws.

Kramer ultimately ruled in favor of the city, saying that “no rational purpose exists for limiting marriage in this state to opposite partners.” His decision stirred up heated debate between traditional marriage proponents and gay-rights activists.

CCF responded with a lobbying campaign, calling on the public to contact their legislators and voice their opposition to Kramer’s ruling.

“Marriage is only for a man and a woman, and the people have demanded in the voting booth that it stay that way,” said CCF President Randy Thomasson, referring to the passage of Proposition 22 in 2000 with support from 61.4% of voters.

Kramer met with all parties on Wednesday to review his written decision. He plans to finalize his ruling next week.

During this meeting, Kramer reconfirmed his stay on the decision, which means that California’s current marriage laws will be enforced until appeals to the case are ruled upon. The appeals process could take years to settle.

Mathew D. Staver, President and General Counsel of Liberty Counsel, commented, “California’s marriage laws still preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman. We intend to ensure that the marriage laws remain unchanged.”

Staver, an attorney for CCF in the case, presented reasons for preserving traditional marriage, “not the least of which is procreation, the preservation of the family, and providing a stable environment in the best interest of children."

“Marriage is too important an institution to be undermined by the stroke of a pen.”