Constitutional Law

10 States Seek Calif. Gay Marriage Delay; Suit to Be Filed in N.Y.

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Updated: Opposing forces are gearing up to fight a major battle over the right of same-sex couples to marry, centered on the recent decision by the California Supreme Court that the state constitution protects their right to do so.

Following a directive by New York’s Democratic governor, David Paterson, that New York will recognize as legal any such marriage that is legal in the state in which it is held, a Christian legal group has announced that it will sue over the policy, reports the Associated Press.

“The group, the Alliance Defense Fund based in Arizona, is working with New York legislators on the case that in part will accuse Paterson of violating the separation of powers in his directive this week,” the news agency writes.

Joseph Bruno, the New York senate’s Republican majority leader, has been considering a possible challenge to the governor’s directive, the New York Times previously reported.

Meanwhile, the attorneys general of 10 other states petitioned the California Supreme Court yesterday, seeking to delay the implementation of the gay marriage ruling until after this fall’s elections. That is so they can see whether voters approve state constitutional amendments to require that marriages be between a man and a woman before deciding how to respond to the California situation, reports the Associated Press in another article.

California’s attorney general is urging the court not to grant the delay.

State officials plan to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses on June 17, and have already unveiled a new form that substitutes “Party A” and “Party B” for traditional bride and groom designations, as discussed in another New York Times article.

The 10 states seeking delay are: Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah.

Additional coverage: “California Supreme Court Strikes Down Gay Marriage Ban”

The Swamp (Chicago Tribune): “Gay marriage ‘earthquake’ in ‘08?” “Difficult Fight Likely for Opponents of N.Y. Gay Marriage Recognition”

Updated at 6:10 p.m., central time, to include coverage of Alliance Defense Fund suit.

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