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California: AG says Prop 8 will not void current same-sex marriages

The San Francisco Chronicle reports: If voters approve a November ballot measure banning same-sex marriages in California, thousands of gay and lesbian weddings conducted since the state Supreme Court legalized the unions on May 15 will probably remain valid, Attorney General Jerry Brown said Monday.

The potential effect of Proposition 8 on existing same-sex marriages is already being debated among legal scholars and opposing sides in the Nov. 4 ballot measure campaign. Brown's position is significant because his office will represent the state in lawsuits over Prop. 8's validity and meaning if it passes.

The measure would amend the state Constitution to declare that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." It would overturn the court's ruling that the previous ban on same-sex marriage - established by statutes rather than a constitutional amendment - discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation and violated the right to marry one's chosen partner.

The measure does not state explicitly that it would nullify same-sex marriages performed before Nov. 4. But in their ballot arguments, supporters of Prop. 8 declare it would invalidate all such marriages "regardless of when or where performed" - an interpretation that would apply to existing as well as future marriages. -- Prop. 8 not retroactive, Jerry Brown says

Hat-tip to How Appealing for the link.

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