California Supreme Court refuses to delay same-sex marriage initiative

Wednesday, June 4, 2008 | 6:13 p.m. CDT; updated 5:21 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Matt Blunt expressed disappointment Wednesday that California’s highest court declined to delay until after the November election its decision legalizing same-sex marriage in that state.

Conservative religious and legal groups had asked the California Supreme Court to stop its order from becoming effective until voters have the chance to weigh in on the issue.

Among those asking for a stay were Democrat Jay Nixon, Missouri’s attorney general, and Republican attorneys general in Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah.

Missouri voters in 2004 approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

A Nixon spokesman said Wednesday that the California decision will not effect Missouri’s ban.

Blunt had urged Nixon to ask the California high court to delay its mid-May ruling legalizing gay marriage until Californians have a chance to vote on an initiative amending the constitution to ban gay marriage. If passed, that would overrule the court’s decision.

“It is disappointing that the California Supreme Court would not delay their decision on same-sex marriage until after the voters of California decide again on this issue,” Blunt said.

Wednesday’s denial clears the way for gays and lesbians in the nation’s most populous state to get married starting June 17.

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