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California Supreme Court Stays Same-Sex "Marriage" Licenses

ADF official comment
Published On: 10/18/2017

SAN FRANCISCO – The California Supreme Court unanimously issued a stay on Thursday that San Francisco officials must immediately cease issuing same-sex "marriage" licenses.  The case is Lewis v. Alfaro.

In a 7-0 vote, the court ordered San Francisco County Clerk Nancy Alfaro "to enforce and apply the provisions of Family Code sections 300, 301, 308.5, and 355 without regard to (her) personal view of the constitutionality of such provisions, and to refrain from issuing marriage licenses or certificates not authorized by such provisions."

The Alliance Defense Fund filed the original action on February 25 with the California high court asking for an immediate stay and a writ of mandate.  This is the first original action that the court has entertained in five years. The city is ordered to respond on or before March 18 and ADF may reply on March 25.

"This means the rule of law is restored in California today.  It’s exactly what we sought from the court," said Robert Tyler, an ADF attorney in California.

ADF is involved in supporting two other cases in California upholding the overwhelming decision of California voters to define marriage as between a man and a woman with passage of Proposition 22:  Knight v. Davis and Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund v. City and County of San Francisco.

Other ADF legal actions defending marriage:

In cases with bearing on marriage, ADF and its allied organizations and lawyers have fought more battles and won more cases defending the traditional definition of marriage than any other organization, including government entities.  ADF and its allies have won challenges in various attempts to undermine marriage.  In Lilly v. Minneapolis, 527 N.W.2d 107 (Minn. Ct. App. 1995), in a case about health insurance coverage as a matter of statewide concern, the court ruled that Minneapolis has no authority to provide domestic partner benefits.  In Connors v. Boston, 714 N.E.2d 335 (Mass. 1999), the court ruled that Massachusetts cities cannot provide domestic partner benefits,  In Devlin v. Philadelphia, 809 A.2d 980 (Pa. Commw. 2002), the court said Pennsylvania's defense of marriage act prohibits Philadelphia from providing domestic partner benefits.  ADF and its allies are also defending marriage from attacks in Arizona, New Jersey, Maine, Nebraska, and Massachusetts.

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.
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