California Appeals Court Asked For Writ of Mandamus to Require San Francisco Mayor and Clerk to Obey the Law

Feb 17, 2004

San Francisco –Today, after Judge Ronald Quidachay rescheduled the hearing on same-sex marriages in San Francisco, Liberty Counsel immediately filed a separate action at the California Appeals Court, asking for a writ of mandamus. On writ of mandamus, which asks a court to require a government official to obey clearly-established law, the court is being asked to set an immediate hearing. It is inappropriate for a court to delay when city officials are violating state law on a daily basis, said Mathew D. Staver, President and General Counsel of Liberty Counsel, a national public interest law firm.

Last week, Liberty Counsel filed a lawsuit on behalf of Randy Thomasson and Campaign for California Families to stop the San Francisco Mayor and County Clerk from issuing same-sex “marriage licenses.” Thomasson and CCF strongly supported Proposition 22, which passed by a majority vote of 61.4% (4.3 million voters) in 2000. Proposition 22 states: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

Mathew Staver, President and General Counsel of Liberty Counsel stated, “This is not an issue that can be swept aside and ignored. We are asking the appeals court to rule on the writ of mandamus and restore the rule of law quickly. Clearly established law cannot be ignored with impunity. We are confident that the appeals court will understand the urgency of the situation.” “The Mayor and his staff have created a circus-like atmosphere. The court must act now, not later,” noted Staver. Staver concluded, “The law is crystal clear – marriage in California is only between one man and one woman. It’s time for the Mayor and County Clerk to stop flagrantly disregarding the law.”

In addition to the new action filed today at the California court of appeals, the original case is still set for hearing before Judge Quidachay for Friday, February 20, at 10:00 am PST. Thus, the case may proceed on two tracks at the same time in order to get one of the courts to act quickly.