SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

The Nation

March 2, 2011

Calif. AG latest to seek resumption of gay unions

SAN FRANSISCO — The state's top attorney has dealt another setback for seekers of gay marriage bans with her request to allow the unions to resume immediately in California, the latest in a string of about-faces siding with same-sex couples.

State Attorney General Kamala Harris' request Tuesday to an appeals court considering the constitutionality of California's gay marriage ban comes a week after the Obama administration said it would no longer defend a federal law that prohibits the U.S. from recognizing gay unions.

Together, the two actions represent a blow to opponents of gay marriage, as well as to Proposition 8, the voter-approved initiative that banned the unions in California in 2008.

In a letter to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Harris joined the lawyers for two same-sex couples and the city of San Francisco in seeking the resumption of gay marriages in California. The unions were put on hold while Proposition 8's sponsors appeal a trial judge's ruling striking down the ban.

Harris said those sponsors were unlikely to prevail in their appeal and that keeping the ban in effect was a fruitless violation of gay Californians' civil rights.

"The public interest weighs heavily against the government sanctioning such discrimination by permitting it to continue," she wrote.

Harris also said the case for allowing gay marriages was bolstered by the Obama administration's announcement last week that it would no longer defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

While not directly relevant to Proposition 8, the administration's new position "substantially diminished" the likelihood the measure's sponsors will be successful in their effort to get the lower court ruling overturned, she said.

Andy Pugno, legal counsel for the coalition of religious and conservative groups that put Proposition 8 on the November 2008 ballot and campaigned for its passage, disputed the attorney general's contention that the prospects for a successful appeal were any more dim now.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
The Nation

AP Video
Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Obama Advisor Skips House Hearing Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire
NDN Video
What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad