Saturday, February 21, 2004

Look, Civil Rights!

"San Francisco should be done flouting the law," Stutzman said. Otherwise, "it leads to anarchy."

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger seems to think that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and the judges who have refused to stop gay marriages in the city are violating state law. He ordered the state attorney general to immediately take action to stop them from taking place, writing in a letter, "I hereby direct you to take immediate steps to obtain a definitive judicial resolution of this controversy."

The attorney general's spokesperson said Schwarzenegger "cannot direct the attorney general. He can direct the Highway Patrol. He can direct 'Terminator 4.' But he can't tell the attorney general what to do. However, we are his lawyer, and we are moving as expeditiously — with deliberation — as possible."

The matter is going back to court in March, as late as the 29th, and as early as mid-month. Mayor Newsom himself performed a marriage for a state official on Friday.

Over in New Mexico a county clerk in Sandoval County issued marriage licenses to two-dozen same-sex couples, but the state attorney general later said they were invalid under state law. In Chicago, Mayor Daley announced that he would support the Cook County clerk's decision to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and the county clerk said that he would happily do so if a coalition of support could be built. As of Saturday morning no licenses have been issued, but if Daley is willing, and the clerk is willing, I don't imagine it's too far away.

Wedding bouquets have been delivered to couples waiting in line in San Francisco all week, sent from anonymous well-wishers all over the country. More information on this movement, which started in Minnesota, can be found here.

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