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Los Angeles Times

 

June 21, 2008

 

By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

 

 

Gay rights groups ask California Supreme Court to block initiative banning same-sex marriage

 

 

Supporters of gay rights have asked the California Supreme Court to block a November ballot initiative that would ban same-sex marriages.

In a legal brief filed late Friday with the high court, the gay rights groups argue that the initiative is a "revision" of the state Constitution, which would require involvement of the Legislature, rather than simply an amendment, which can be approved by a majority vote in an election.

In a statement, the Alliance Defense Fund, a leading opponent of same-sex marriage, accused the gay rights groups of trying to "silence the people's voice."

Legal experts said the supporters of same-sex marriage face a difficult task in getting the justices to block a vote on the initiative. Typically, courts allow initiatives to proceed to a vote and then consider constitutional arguments on them if they pass. The court indicated it would rule on the petition this summer.

Since 5:01 p.m. on Monday -- when the ban on same-sex marriage in California lifted -- more than 6,300 couples have been issued marriage licenses in the state, well over twice the average for a full week. The count includes licenses issued to both gay and heterosexual couples. To view an interactive map showing how many licenses each county issued day-by-day visit latimes.com/marriagemap.

maura.dolan@latimes.com