San Francisco, Jun 2, 2008 (CNA).- Attorneys general from ten states on Friday asked the California Supreme Court to delay until November its ruling implementing legal same-sex marriages.
The attorneys general, all Republicans, said if the ruling is implemented on schedule on June 17, the states would be subjected to lawsuits from homosexual couples married in California who seek to have their unions recognized in their home states, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
"An inevitable result of such 'marriage tourism' will be a steep increase in litigation" over whether the couple's home state must recognize their marriage, said Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, who authored the brief. Shurtleff said delaying the implementation of the ruling would save other states from “premature, unnecessary, unnecessarily difficult, and therefore unduly burdensome litigation in our courts.”
The attorneys general of Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Carolina and South Dakota joined the brief.
Each of the ten states has legally banned the recognition of same-sex marriages contracted elsewhere. Unlike Massachusetts, where homosexual marriages have also been legalized, California allows residents of other states to marry even if the marriage would not be legal in their home state.
California voters could overturn the state Supreme Court’s decision in the November 3 election with a constitutional amendment that would declare only opposite-sex marriages to be valid. Sponsors of the amendment have submitted petitions bearing 1.1 million signatures, about 400,000 more signatures than required to qualify for the state ballot.
If the amendment passes, courts will then have to decide whether California same-sex marriages contracted before November 3 were valid.
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