Lawsuit Seeks Emergency Court Order To Stop Mayor Of San Francisco From Issuing Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

Feb 12, 2004

San Francisco – Today, Randy Thomasson and the Campaign for California Families filed a lawsuit against San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Clerk Nancy Alfaro, after Newsom ordered Alfaro to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Randy Thomasson and the Campaign for California Families are represented by Liberty Counsel, an international religious freedom education and litigation organization headquartered in Orlando, Florida. The Mayor’s actions violate California law, including Proposition 22, passed by California voters in 2000, which states, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

On February 10, 2004, Mayor Gavin Newsom wrote a letter to County Clerk Nancy Alfaro, ordering her to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Newsom, who has only been Mayor for two months, stated that pursuant to his “sworn duty to uphold the California Constitution” he ordered Alfaro to change the marriage license forms so that marriage licenses will be issued to same-sex couples. Alfaro stated she will work “diligently” to make the required changes to issue such licenses within one week. Mayor Newsom’s spokesman stated that the Mayor was planning on presiding over the first marriage ceremony of two brides or two grooms.

Newsom is married to Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, a legal analyst for CNN, MSNBC, Court TV and ABC. She was the attorney who prosecuted the “murder” case involving a “dog mauling” of a homosexual. Mayor Newsom is also the son of Judge William Newsom. Mayor Newsom was also a member of the Board of County Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco in 1998, when it issued Resolution No. 873-98 which condemned pro-family groups for their “hateful rhetoric against gays, lesbians and transgendered people” because of their message that homosexuality is wrong and is a choice that can be changed. The Resolution said pro-family speech was responsible for the death of Matthew Shepard and leads to hate crimes.

Mathew Staver, President and General Counsel of Liberty Counsel, stated, “Mayor Newsom has lost his mind. The Mayor obviously believes he is above the law. In 2000, the people of California overwhelmingly passed Proposition 22, which limits marriage to one man and one woman. Government officials, including even the Mayor of San Francisco, must obey the law. We are a nation ruled by law, not by power hungry, renegade, radical activists.” Staver continued, “Newsom’s letter is the latest attempt to advance his radical gay agenda. What Mayor Newsom did is reprehensible and illegal. Such blatant disregard for the will of the people of California cannot go unpunished. We are confident that the Court will rein in this out-of-control Mayor.”

The lawsuit is seeking an emergency court order blocking the Mayor and San Francisco from issuing same-sex marriage licenses.