San Francisco Must Cease And Desist Issuing Same-Sex "Marriage Licenses" Or Return To Court in March

Feb 23, 2004

San Francisco, CA - Last Friday, February 20, Judge Ronald Quidachay declined to issue an emergency stay against Mayor Gavin Newsom and the City of San Francisco from issuing same-sex "marriage licenses," but he did grant the Order to Show Cause, which was the alternative relief requested by Randy Thomasson and Campaign for California Families ("CCF"). Mr. Thomasson and CCF are represented by Mathew D. Staver, President and General Counsel of Liberty Counsel, a national public interest civil liberties law firm.

The Order to Show Cause requires that Mayor Newsom and the City of San Francisco immediately cease and desist from issuing licenses to same-sex couples. However, if they do not immediately cease and desist, the burden is on them to return to court in March to show why the City is not violating the law. In order to obtain the Order to Show Cause, the Judge had to find (1) that a clearly established law exists which Mayor Newsom and the City are not obeying, and (2) that Mr. Thomasson and the members of CCF have a "beneficial" interest in the enforcement of the laws. Both of these factors are clearly evident in this case, and thus the Order to Show Cause with the requirement that the City immediately cease and desist was issued. However, the City has stated that instead of ceasing its illegal activities, it will return to court in March to argue that California law, which limits marriage to one man and one woman, is unconstitutional.

In other legal action on Friday, the Judge denied the City's attempt to stop Liberty Counsel's lawsuit on behalf of Mr. Thomasson and CCF. The Judge then consolidated the second case, brought on behalf of the Proposition 22 Defense Fund, into the case being handled by Liberty Counsel. The Judge consolidated the cases for all purposes, meaning that Liberty Counsel's case on behalf of Mr. Thomasson and CCF will be the main case for further litigation purposes. The City's attempt to remove the Thomasson/CCF case from Judge Quidachay to Judge Warren was dealt a setback when Liberty Counsel exercised its preemptory right to remove Judge Warren from considering the matter.

Staver commented, "Justice will prevail. Order will return to San Francisco. The rule of law will be reestablished. Those who are concerned about law and order, and who question whether the radical same-sex marriage movement is tolerant, should take a good look at what's happening in San Francisco. The radical, law-breaking antics of governmental officials are a harbinger of things to come. If Mayor Newsom and his colleagues had their way, any pro-family person who opposes same-sex marriage or who believes homosexuality is wrong or is a personal choice will be vilified and their speech criminalized. America and the world are beginning to see the radical nature of the same-sex marriage movement. A line is being drawn in the sand. Marriage between one man and one woman will be preserved. The lawlessness of Mayor Newsom will hurt his cause and advance the pro-family movement."