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AGs from 10 states seek stay of California same-sex marriage ruling

[JURIST] Ten US state attorneys general have petitioned [brief, PDF] the Supreme Court of California [official website] to postpone implementation of its May 15 decision [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] legalizing same-sex marriages until after state elections in November. California is slated to allow all same-sex couples, regardless of state citizenship, to wed in California, but each of the 10 petitioning states bans recognition of same-sex marriages. The attorneys general - from Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah - wrote Thursday that if California starts issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples [JURIST report] on June 17 as announced, many same-sex couples in their states would become "marriage tourists" in California and the states' courts would then face unfair, extensive and burdensome litigation on whether to recognize the marriages. The AGs also joined conservative Christian legal advocacy group Alliance Defense Fund's recent petition [text, PDF; JURIST report] in saying that deciding the issue before California citizens vote in November on a likely proposed amendment to the California state constitution banning same-sex marriage could lead to legal havoc. Attorneys for the city and county of San Francisco have responded [press release; opposition brief to ADF petition, PDF] that a stay would mingle judicial and political processes and would deny rights based on a merely proposed state constitutional amendment. The New York Times has more. The San Francisco Chronicle has local coverage.

Recognition of California same-sex marriages is not universally opposed in other US jurisdictions. Earlier this month, one day before the California ruling, New York Governor David Paterson ordered [memo, PDF; JURIST report] that state agencies recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages as legal marriages in New York.

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