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California: AG Brown and ballot-initiative sponsors fight over name

The San Francisco Chronicle reports: Attorney General Jerry Brown is trying to stack the deck against a November ballot measure barring same-sex marriage by declaring in his formal ballot description that it "eliminates the right of same-sex couples to marry," sponsors of the initiative charged in a lawsuit Tuesday.

Backers of Proposition 8 argued that they are not trying to eliminate anyone's rights but are simply seeking to restore the definition of marriage that existed in California before May 15, when the state Supreme Court struck down the law defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Brown, whose office prepares the title and summary of each measure on the state ballot, chose wording for both that is "inherently argumentative and highly likely to create prejudice" against Prop. 8, attorney Andrew Pugno said in the suit, filed in Sacramento County Superior Court.

The suit asks a judge to order a different title, such as "Limit on Marriage," the wording in the initiative petitions that 1.2 million registered voters signed to place the measure on the Nov. 4 ballot. Pugno said the judge could also delete Brown's heading and use the measure's brief text as its title: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." -- Prop. 8 backers sue to change ballot wording

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