San Francisco Mayor Permanently Ordered To Stop Issuing Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

Aug 12, 2004

San Francisco, CA – Today the California Supreme Court permanently barred San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and the City from issuing same-sex marriage licenses. The ruling also invalidates the licenses that have already been issued. Campaign for California Families (“CCF”) and its founder, Randy Thomasson, filed suit to stop the issuance of the licenses. Thomasson and CCF are represented by Mathew D. Staver, President and General Counsel of Liberty Counsel, and Rena Lindevaldsen, Senior Litigation Counsel.

On February 12, 2004, Mayor Newsom and his staff began issuing same-sex marriage licenses, even though California law bans same-sex marriage. On February 13, Liberty Counsel filed suit on behalf of Mr. Thomasson and CCF, to stop the mayor. The case ended up before the California Supreme Court. In today’s ruling, the Court stated: “We hold only that in the absence of a judicial determination that such statutory provisions are unconstitutional, local executive officials lacked authority to issue marriage licenses to, solemnize marriages of, or register certificates of marriage for same-sex couples, and marriages conducted between same-sex couples in violation of the applicable statutes are void and of no legal effect.”

Staver remarked, “We should thank Mayor Gavin Newsom for jolting the majority of Americans out of their apathy and energizing the pro-traditional marriage movement. Mayor Newsom revealed the radical nature of the same-sex marriage agenda. Newsom’s action escalated the time frame of the same-sex marriage agenda, causing it to move too fast, too soon. The majority of Americans support traditional marriage, and that’s why there are 13 states going to the polls to amend their constitutions. The pro-marriage movement is determined to pass the Federal Marriage Amendment, and is resolved to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Instead of helping his cause, Mayor Newsom has set back the same-sex marriage agenda and laid the foundation for the pro-marriage movement to once and for all win this battle to preserve traditional marriage.”

On August 3, seventy-one percent of Missouri voters approved a state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Between now and the November election, there will likely be twelve states voting on constitutional amendments. There are about 40 cases challenging marriage laws. Liberty Counsel is currently defending 30 of these challenges. In addition to filing suit against Mayor Newsom, Liberty Counsel also successfully filed suit against New Paltz, New York, Mayor Jason West, and the court blocked him from solemnizing same-sex marriages.