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San Diego County Clerk petitions California Supreme Court to halt same-gender marriages

SAN DIEGO – In a stunning development late Friday afternoon, the San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk has filed a petition with the California Supreme Court challenging the State of California’s order to resume same-gender marriages.

County Clerk Ernest J. Dronenburg petitioned the court via attorney Charles Salvatore LiMandri, a well-known homophobe from Rancho Santa Fe and prominent supporter of the discriminatory Proposition 8 that took away same-gender marriage rights from Californians from 2008 until last month.

Teresa Lynn Kubu Mendoza is also one of the attorneys filing the petition, called Dronenburg v. Brown. LiMandri and Mendoza are attorneys with the homophobic group, Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, based in Rancho Santa Fe.

The petition named Gov. Jerry Brown, state Attorney General Kamala Harris and AG assistants Ron Chapman and Tony Agurto as respondents in the petition.

The legal document reads:

... respondents Edmund G. Brown, Jr., et al., are requested to file informal opposition concerning the application for an "immediate temporary stay." The opposition is to be served on counsel for petitioner and filed in this court by 9:00 A.M. on Monday, July 22, 2013. Petitioner will then have until 9:00 A.M. on Tuesday, July 23, in which to serve and file a reply to that informal opposition. These two expedited filings may be submitted by email/pdf (at clerk@jud.ca.gov), with hard copies to follow by mail. In addition, preliminary opposition concerning the remainder of the petition is to be served on counsel for petitioner and filed in this court on or before Monday, July 29. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.487, subd. (a)(1).) Petitioner will then have until Thursday, August 8, in which to serve and file a reply to the preliminary opposition.

Technically, the Prop 8 case has not been locked and sealed forever. The California Supreme Court hasn't signed off on the U.S. Supreme Court decision, but historically the high court trumps over state supreme courts.

Meanwhile, County Board of Supervisors Chairman Greg Cox said the County Clerk did not consult the Board of Supervisors and is acting on his own. Cox said the county would continuing issuing marriage licenses for same-gender couples.

"The County Clerk has acted independently on this matter. No one else from the County was consulted or had any part of this court action, including
the Board of Supervisors. The County's position is and always has been that we, the County, will follow applicable law with regards to same sex
marriage," Cox said in a statement.

Kamala D. Harris, the AG, seemed to shrug in her response to the petition.

"The filing offers no new arguments that could deny same-sex couples their constitutionally protected civil rights. The federal injunction is still
in effect, and it requires all 58 counties to perform same-sex marriages. No exceptions," Harris said in a statement.

Equality California was quick to respond, and with anger.

"This is an outrageous and desperate attempt that is without merit. Our Attorney General Kamala Harris' swift response asserting that all 58
counties are required to perform same-sex marriages without exception, further illustrates the importance of electing pro-equality leaders to
office. We thank our Attorney General for her continued leadership!" said John O'Connor, EQCA's executive director.

Same-gender marriages resumed in California on Friday, June 28, two days after the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the anti-gay supporters of Prop 8 had no legal standing to challenging the District Court ruling that the California law was unconstitutional. San Diego County belatedly began issuing marriage licenses on Monday, July, 1, and the first same-gender marriage was conducted that morning outside the County Administration Building in downtown San Diego.

On July 15, the California Supreme Court rejected a "Hail Mary" attempt by Prop 8 supporters to halt same-gender marriages.

To read the petition, click HERE.