California governor directs clerks to issue marriage licenses to gay couples as soon as court lifts stay

WiG

California Gov. Jerry Brown has issued a directive to clerks in the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples as soon as a federal appeals court lifts an injunction.

The governor’s directive followed the ruling June 26 from the U.S. Supreme Court, which said that proponents of California’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, known as Prop 8, lacked standing to defend the ban.

The decision cleared the way for gay marriages to again take place in California, but only after the stay is lifted.

Brown, in a statement, said, “After years of struggle, the U.S. Supreme Court today has made same-sex marriage a reality in California. In light of the decision, I have directed the California Department of Public Health to advise the state’s counties that they must begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in California as soon as the Ninth Circuit confirms the stay is lifted.”

The governor’s office said that Brown sought an opinion from California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris on whether the state, through the California Department of Public Health, can advise county clerks and registrar/recorders that they are bound by the federal district court’s ruling that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.


Kamala said the California Department of Public Health “can and should” instruct county officials that they “must resume issuing marriage licenses to and recording the marriages of same-sex” couples.