After what appears to be the passage of Proposition 8 in California, gay marriage advocates have filed three different lawsuits challenging its legitimacy.
“The initiative process was improperly used in an attempt to undo the constitution’s core commitment to equality for everyone by eliminating a fundamental right from just one group — lesbian and gay Californians,” said a statement from Lambda Legal, which brought one of the lawsuits in California state court, along with the ACLU and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
The counties of San Francisco, Los Angeles and Santa Clara filed another. Gloria Allred, the civil-rights attorney, filed a third lawsuit on behalf of lesbian clients married in Los Angeles.
Two of the suits ask the courts to stop the implementation of Proposition 8 — an initiative that actually changes the California Constitutionto eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in the state — until the court cases can be resolved. “The court must hold that California may not issue licenses to non-gay couples because if it does it would be violating the equal protection clause, ” Allred said at a news conference today, according toThe Los Angeles Times.
Gay rights groups reportedly filed the cases in state rather than federal court in part to avoid an adverse ruling from the US Supreme Court, which would represent a major setback for the gay marriage movement nationwide.
Already, 18,000 gay and lesbian couples have married in California. The California attorney gGeneral has said that the state will continue to honor those marriages.