Gay marriage opponents call on California court to deny marriage licenses

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - We met partners Chad Gardner and Roly Carvajal, of Palm Springs, two weeks ago, the eve of the Supreme Court's rulings overturning Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. Since then, some things have changed.

"We got married on Tuesday, July 2," said Gardner.

It didn't take long for gay marriage opponents to step in. This week ProtectMarriage, the group that sponsored the 2008 ballot measure banning gay marriage, challenged the state high court, urging it to order county clerks to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Their argument: state officials such as Gov. Jerry Brown lacked the authority to end enforcement of Prop 8 in the 56 of 58 counties not included in the recent federal lawsuit.

"It's not surprising, but it's disappointing," said Gardner.

After presenting its 50-page petition, Andrew Pugno, general counsel for Proposition 8's official proponents released this statement on ProtectMarriage.com:

"The man-woman definition of marriage, as passed by the voters, is still a valid part of our state constitution. Yet county clerks statewide are lawlessly defying that law by issuing gender-neutral marriage licenses.  We are asking California's Supreme Court to restore the rule of law and the public's confidence in the integrity of the initiative process."

Same-sex couples like Roly and Chad say it's no longer about fighting to be with their partner, they're fighting for their family.

"Now that we already did it, they can't take it away. Now I feel I need to battle for the right for us," said Carvajal.

Legal analysts described ProtectMarriage's action as an extreme long shot and so did the newlyweds.

"We're very happy and glad that our commitment to each other is sealed. People can keep trying, but I don't think they're going to overturn it. I just don't see it happening," said Gardner.

The California Supreme Court meets on Wednesdays to decide on such petitions. It could simply refuse to intervene or decide to request written arguments before making a decision.

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