SAN FRANCISCO On August 12, the California Supreme Court voided some 4,000 same-sex marriage licenses issued in February and ruled that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom overstepped his authority when he issued the licenses.
The court upheld California marriage laws, which recognizes marriage between one man and one woman only.
In the case filed by Christian law firm Alliance Defense Fund, the court only examined whether local officials could bypass state judicial and legislative branches and did not address constitutionality issues in denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
An attorney from the Alliance Defense Fund called Newsom allowance of same-sex marriages an "act of disobedience" and told the court his example could lead other local officials to marry polygamists.
Pro-family groups hailed Thursdays ruling as adding momentum in the pro-traditional marriage movement, which began heating up in May to counter Massachusetts Supreme Courts decision to legalize marriage licenses for same-sex couples.
When the seven justices heard the case in March, they said they would only decide on whether
Newsom overstepped his powers as mayor but would entertain a challenge on the constitutionality of California marriage laws if such as case reached the top court from lower courts. The lawsuits filed by same-sex advocates and Mayor Newsom in response have been consolidated into one case, which will at earliest reach the top court next year.
Other efforts launched by supporters of traditional marriage included initiatives to place a constitutional amendment protecting traditional marriage on state ballots. Missouri this month was the first of an expected 13 states this year to vote on and pass a measure to keep marriage as between a man and a woman.
Four states Alaska, Hawaii, Nebraska and Nevada already have similar amendments in their constitutions.