Renegade San Francisco Mayor Defies Law By Issuing "Marriage Licenses" And Officiating Same-Sex Marriage Ceremony

Feb 12, 2004

San Francisco – Today, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom demonstrated his complete defiance of the law of the State of California by issuing so-called "marriage licenses" to gay couples and by officiating a marriage ceremony of a lesbian couple at City Hall. The marriage licenses were issued and the ceremony was performed in direct response to the lawsuit filed by Liberty Counsel on behalf of Randy Thomasson and Campaign for California Families.

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. The ceremony today was followed by a statement that San Francisco governmental officials will begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples at noon today.

Mathew Staver, President and General Counsel of Liberty Counsel, stated, "San Francisco has no authority to issue marriage licenses to homosexuals seeking to marry. These so-called "marriage licenses" are not worth the paper they are written on. The court will void this publicity stunt. Mayor Newsom has no more right to do what he is doing than he does to secede the State of California from the Union."

Staver continued, "The Mayor’s decision to issue the licenses is in direct response to Liberty Counsel’s lawsuit seeking to stop the issuance of same-sex “marriage licenses." While the mayor may think he has strengthened his position, he has instead, strengthened the case against him and has increased the damages that we will seek personally from him because of his utter disregard and disdain for the law of California." Staver concluded, "Those who received the marriage licenses need to know that they are worthless. We are confident that they will be invalidated as soon as a judge is able to issue an order."