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California Supreme Court rejects San Diego County Clerk's petition to halt same-gender marriages

SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Supreme Court for the second time in two weeks has rejected a bid to halt same-gender marriages in the Golden State.

The state's high court late today rejected the petition for a stay by San Diego County Clerk Ernest Dronenburg, who incidentally today came under fire from local members of the LGBT and faith communities.

The court rejected a similar petition last week, but that didn't stop anti-gay activists from filing a second time.

The justices met behind closed doors today and did not address the media. They still must hear the two petitions, probably during the month of August, after all the legal documents are filed and read. The State of California has already responded to Dronenburg's petition, saying that it contains nothing new:

“Like the Hollingsworth petition, this second petition … is an attempt to circumvent the federal district court’s judgment in Perry. This time, petitioner Dronenburg focuses his attack on the notices he received from the State Registrar, and he mistakenly asserts that these notices, informing him of his legal obligations under that judgment, violate article III, section 3.5 of the California Constitution. This subtle shift in focus does not distinguish this petition in Hollingsworth v. O’Connell – and much of this petition repeats verbatim from the Hollingsworth petition,” the document states.

Also, County Clerks from 24 of the state's 58 counties have told the court that they oppose any attempt to reinstate Prop 8.

Meanwhile, County Clerk Dronenburg intruded on a news conference this morning outside the San Diego County Administration Building downtown where his critics from the LGBT and faith communities had just condemned him for using his public office to promote his religious agenda and personal beliefs. SDGLN Staff Writer Ben Cartwright brought you that breaking news story this morning.

Dronenburg said he wanted to assure the public that his legal representative did not cost taxpayers any money because he was working pro bono; however, he failed to acknowledge that the State of California will be using tax dollars to fight his petition.

His critics had noted that Dronenburg's attorney was a well-known anti-gay attorney, Charles LiMandri, and that hiring paints Dronenburg as anti-gay activist who is attempting to get around District Court Judge Vaughn Walker's historical ruling that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in late June that the anti-gay supporters of Prop 8 had no legal standing to defend the odious law. On June 26, same-gender weddings began in some counties, including San Francisco and Los Angeles. On July 1, San Diego County became one of the last counties to comply with the state order to resume same-gender marriages, and Dronenburg is the top administrator who oversees the issuance of marriage licenses.