San Diego County Sues to Revive State’s Gay-Marriage Ban

San Diego County ClerkErnest Dronenburg sued to block a state directive ordering him to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, saying California’s Proposition 8 marriage ban is still valid.

Governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris, both Democrats, don’t have supervisory control over county clerks and a San Francisco federal judge’s 2010 ruling that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional doesn’t apply to Dronenburg, according to a petition filed with the California Supreme Court today.

“On the one hand, respondents have ordered him not to enforce state law and are threatening to punish him if he does not comply with that order,” Dronenburg’s lawyers said in a court filing. “On the other hand, petitioner has an independent statutory obligation to enforce California law defining marriage as a union of a man and a woman.”

Dronenburg asked for an immediate injunction blocking the directive and letting him refuse to issue gay couples marriage licenses until the lawsuit is decided.

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

The case is Dronenburg v. Brown, S212172, California Supreme Court (San Francisco).

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Gullo in San Francisco at kgullo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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