Prop 8 Sponsors Want to Nix 18,000 Gay Marriages

Yes on 8 campaign files brief Friday

Saturday, Dec 20, 2008  |  Updated 7:37 AM PDT
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Should gay marriages that took place before Prop. 8 stand?

AFP/Getty Images

Will all the weddings have been for nought?

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A new war of words over gay marriage erupted on Friday as the sponsors of Proposition 8 asked the California Supreme Court to nullify the marriages of the estimated 18,000 same-sex couples who exchanged vows before voters last month approved the ballot initiative that outlawed gay unions.

Meanwhile, California Attorney General Jerry Brown called upon the California Supreme Court to invalidate Proposition 8 because he said it deprives people of the right to marry.

"Proposition 8 must be invalidated because the amendment process cannot be used to extinguish fundamental constitutional rights without compelling justification," Attorney General Brown said.

The Yes on 8 campaign filed a brief Friday arguing that because the new law holds that only marriages between a man and a woman are recognized or valid in California, the state can no longer recognize the existing same-sex unions.

The campaign submitted the brief in response to three lawsuits seeking to invalidate Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that overruled the court's decision in May that legalized gay marriage.

Brown said that in order to invalidate what he said is such a fundamental right, the Court must determine that there is a compelling justification to do so.

However, he said the court found that no such compelling justification exists. Therefore, Brown said Proposition 8 must be invalidated.

Both Brown and gay rights groups are maintaining that the gay marriage ban may not be applied retroactively.

The Supreme Court could hear arguments in the cases as soon as March.

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