County clerk ready for gay marriages

By From page A14 | June 28, 2013

The negation of Proposition 8, which is contingent on a decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, will allow same-sex marriages in California, has not fazed the El Dorado County Recorder-Clerk.

“I swore an oath,” Bill Schultz said. “I intend to do my job. When there was a window period that allowed gay and lesbian marriages, we performed quite a few marriages, no problem.”

The appointment system will stay in place, and Schultz anticipates “no change in business.” They are fully prepared, with licenses that take new language into account.

“It’s a brand new world, and we look forward to it,” he said.

The Supreme Court found that those opposing same-sex marriage had no legal standing to sue to uphold for Prop. 8.

“Because we find that petitioners do not have standing, we have no authority to decide this case on the merits, and neither did the Ninth Circuit,” the Supreme Court opinion read. “We have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to. We decline to do so for the first time here.”

California Attorney General Kamala Harris filed an amicus brief prior to the decision, which expands on why the Supreme Court later came to their decision.

“Unlike state officials, proponents have no authority to enforce Proposition 8, and suffered no injury-in-fact from the district court’s judgment enjoining its enforcement,” the amicus brief states. As a result, the Proposition 8 sponsors can only assert the kind of undifferentiated interest in the validity of state law that this Court has held to be insufficient for [legal] standing.”

She added the Proposition should have been unlawful in the first place.

“To be clear, Proposition 8’s sole purpose was to prevent same-sex couples from marrying,” she wrote. “There is absolutely no legitimate or rational state interest in doing so. Proposition 8 is therefore unconstitutional.”

Gov. Jerry Brown weighed in on the decision after it was announced.

“After years of struggle, the U.S. Supreme Court today has made same-sex marriage a reality in California,” Brown said in a press release Wednesday. “In light of the decision, I have directed the California Department of Public Health to advise the state’s counties that they must begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in California as soon as the Ninth Circuit confirms the stay is lifted.”

The letter issued by the Department of Public Health cautioned County Clerks and Recorders in all 58 counties to not issue licenses until the Ninth Circuit confirmed the stay of the injunction on Prop 8.

“The Supreme Court’s historic ruling in Hollingsworth v. Perry means that same-sex couples have the fundamental right to be legally married in all of California’s 58 counties,” Harris said in a press release. “The Court agreed with our argument that opponents of same-sex marriage lacked the legal standing required to bring the issue to the court. Same-sex marriages can legally resume in California as soon as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifts its stay on the District Court Ruling. I ask that the Ninth Circuit lift this stay immediately, because gay and lesbian couples in California have waited long enough for their full civil rights.”





Cole Mayer

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