The ruling came in a lawsuit brought against the city by the state attorney general and a conservative Christian group. Citing a state law, approved by voters as Proposition 22, that defines marriage as between a man and a woman, they had argued that Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco exceeded his legal authority in February by directing the county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The court fully embraced the plaintiffs' argument. Though the seven justices were unanimous in finding that Mr. Newsom had exceeded his authority, they were divided, 5 to 2, in ruling that the 4, or so licenses already issued are void. Newsom had argued that he could order the licenses issued because he believed the state ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional.
Same-sex marriage in California
Court annuls San Francisco gay marriages
California's state Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Thursday in lawsuits challenging Proposition 8, the controversial amendment to the state's constitution that bans same-sex marriage. Californians passed Proposition 8 last November. But San Francisco's Mayor Gavin Newsom says he is hoping to make a legal end run around the law with this new court fight. Proposition 8 marked the second time that California voters have approved a ban on gay marriage.
Volunteers officiate at San Francisco’s gay marriages this weekend
Big crowds were expected from across the state as long lines had already stretched down the lobby shortly after 9 a. City officials decided to hold weekend hours and let couples tie the knot as San Francisco is also celebrating its annual Pride weekend expected to draw as many as 1 million people. Petra Torri, 32, and Antoinette Torri, 31, said they left their Sonoma home at 5 a. Saturday so they could be the first couple in line when the doors to City Hall opened.
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