San Diego County Clerk Asks CA Court to Stop Same-Sex Marriage

San Diego County Assessor Ernie Dronenburg filed a petition with the California Supreme Court

By Sarah Grieco and Paul Krueger
|  Tuesday, Jul 23, 2013  |  Updated 2:03 PM PDT
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County Clerk Defends Filing Stay Request

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Same-Sex Marriage Challenged by County Clerk

San Diego County Clerk Ernie Dronenburg filed a petition Friday with the State Supreme Court asking to stop same sex marriage. As NBC 7's Danya Bacchus reports, Dronenburg says he needs guidance because he is in legal limbo. Federal courts have ruled one way but the state another and until things are clear he wanted same-sex marriages to stop.

County Clerk Defends Filing Stay Request

San Diego County Clerk Ernie Dronenburg defends his actions in filing the request for a stay on same-sex marriages by explaining that he needs clarification on three legal questions.
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The San Diego County Clerk independently filed a petition with the California Supreme Court on Friday asking to prohibit county clerks from issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

San Diego County Assessor Ernie Dronenburg, who is in charge of issuing marriage licenses, filed the petition Friday through a private attorney. Dronenberg was elected two years ago.

“What we asked is for clarification of the law,” said Sandra Banaga from the clerk’s office.

Banaga also said 19 other counties have also filed a petition and are asking for a temporary stay, meaning no same-sex marriage licenses would be issued should the California Supreme Court decide to take up the petition.

When asked why the counties were filing this petition, she said the reason was simply for clarification.

"We’re making sure to follow the constitution so there isn’t any confusion," she said.

She also said the office hopes that a sense of urgency is brought to the California Supreme Court regarding this petition.

The San Diego County Clerk office also issued a statement Friday saying they will continue "Walk-In Wednesdays" which is when people do not need to make an appointment to get a marriage license.

County Chairman Greg Cox issued a statement about the petition, saying:

"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."

California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris also issued a statement saying:

"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," it said.

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