San Diego County clerk asks state Supreme Court to stop gay marriages

County Board says clerk 'acted independently'

SAN DIEGO - The San Diego County Clerk filed a Proposition 8-related petition Friday asking the California Supreme Court to prohibit county clerks from issuing same-sex marriages licenses.

The U.S. Supreme Court last month paved the way for same-sex couples to marry in California, leaving intact a lower court ruling that struck down the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.

Greg Cox, chairman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, issued a statement saying the county clerk, Ernest J. Dronenburg Jr., "acted independently on this matter."

"No one else from the county was consulted or had any part of this court action, including the Board of Supervisors," Cox said. "The county's position is and always has been that we, the county, will follow applicable law with regards to same-sex marriage."

California Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a Twitter posting that the filing "offers no new arguments that could deny same-sex couples their constitutionally protected civil rights." She added that "the federal injunction is still in effect, and it requires all 58 counties to perform same-sex marriages. No exceptions."

In his petition, Dronenburg argued that county clerks aren't bound by orders from Gov. Jerry Brown, Harris and other state officials to marry gay couples.

The state Supreme Court on Monday refused a similar request to stop same-sex weddings from backers of Prop. 8.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, issued a statement that said the courts have spoken strongly on the issue of marriage equality.

"Mr. Dronenburg should reconsider this hurtful lawsuit and walk away from it," Gonzalez said. "The lawsuit filed by our county clerk is an affront to residents of San Diego County who have waited too long for their equal rights to marry the one they love."

She called the clerk a "rogue" official and called on the Board of Supervisors to clarify that his position is not the official opinion of the county.


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