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Ten State Attorney Generals ask California Supreme Court to Stay Marriage Decision

Timothy Kincaid

May 30th, 2008

The Attorneys General for the states of Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah have petitioned the Supreme Court of California to stay their marriage equality decision (place it on hold) until November. They argue that citizens of other states will marry in California and come home to sue their own state for recognition.

“We reasonably believe an inevitable result of such ‘marriage tourism’ will be a steep increase in litigation of the recognition issue in our courts,” Utah Attorney General Mark L. Shurtleff wrote in the brief submitted on behalf of the 10 states.

However their argument fails on three fronts.

First, they assume that voters in November will reverse this decision. That result is not a foregone conclusion. And there is no reason to believe that these Attorneys General would be any more prepared for ‘marriage tourism’ in November than they are today; it’s hardly been a secret that the Supreme Court was considering this case. And if they aren’t prepared, then they have no right to punish gay couples for their own ineptitude.

Second, the federal DOMA provides states protection from just such a challenge. If there is any challenge, it would be to federal law, and federal law is not going to change between now and November.

Third, the California decision has not raised any new risk to their states’ entrenched discrimination. There is nothing to stop a legally married Massachusetts couple from moving to New Hampshire today and suing for recognition.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Governor of California, and Jerry Brown, the Attorney General of California, agree that this issue has been resolved and oppose a stay. Marriage equality is supported by the California Lieutenant Governor, the California Senate, the California House, and a majority of the California voters.

So to you outsiders I say: Go home. You are not Californians. Your constitution is not our constitution. Your laws are not our laws. Your values are not our values. Your biases are not our biases. Stop being meddlesome busy-bodies and leave the citizens of the State of California alone.

Comments

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Zeke
May 30th, 2008 | LINK

This just exposes their “let the individual states decide” argument, like all the others, to be bogus and insincere.

If they really believe, as they claim, that individual states should decide for themselves then why are ten states trying to interject themselves into the decision of another.

Liars and scoundrels, the lot of them.

Yet another reason that I’m ashamed to call myself a Floridian

Ephilei
May 30th, 2008 | LINK

I agree with all three points in the post. These states don’t make any sense to me. Can we blame this on the irrationality of homophobia?

TxWhtBoy
May 30th, 2008 | LINK

“So to you outsiders I say: Go home. You are not Californians. Your constitution is not our constitution. Your laws are not our laws. Your values are not our values. Your biases are not our biases. Stop being meddlesome busy-bodies and leave the citizens of the State of California alone.”

That should be on billboards and full page ads in every newspaper in the ten states asking for the stay. Shocking the Texas AG didn’t jump on that bandwagon but then again he’s not up for reelection.

I moved away from Cali too soon but the next time I’m out there I want to take you to dinner.

Stefano
May 31st, 2008 | LINK

Ephilei

Indeed!!!

cowboy
May 31st, 2008 | LINK

Oh how fleeting our politicians are…

Utah’s Att. Gen. M. Shurtleff was criticized for supporting/backing a legislative hate-crimes bill but this is his re-election year and now he needs to pander to those same critics who just happen to be rabidly homophobic Utahns who wield political clout.

And, I doubt he will be in any float at next week’s Utah’s pride parade.

It might prove interesting if lots of Californians came to Utah and bought more vacation homes in Park City, Deer Valley or Heber Valley. (Hint hint: it’s a buyers market!) I would love having more “librul” people live here.

I get the feeling, though, Utah might be the very last State to recognize same-sex marriages and it will only come after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality and a failed Federal Marriage Amendment campaign. It’s going to be long haul.

cd
June 1st, 2008 | LINK

Make that nine states, not ten.

New Hampshire AG Kelly Ayotte actually read the state’s law after signing on to the letter to the California court- and found out that the NH civil unions law actually settles the problem she pretended existed. So she has formally withdrawn NH from that silly letter.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/new_hampshire/articles/2008/05/31/nh_no_longer_asking_calif_court_to_delay_marriage_ruling/

I’m not quite sure about the full backstory. One is that Ayotte is an activist Republican; the other AGs who signed on are also all Republicans. She was lead defendent in that abortion notification law lawsuit that ended in overturn by the Supreme Court (PPNNE v Ayotte/Ayotte v PPNNE). That law was passed by an all Republican state government; it has since been repealed by the newly all Democratic NH state government.

I’d be fairly sure that some local LGBT activists raised hell in the state government after reading about the letter to California in the paper, and pointed out that Ayotte couldn’t actually justify her signing on for the reason given.

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