By Howard Mintz
Article Launched: 11/05/2008 11:30:43 AM PST
Civil rights groups moved quickly today to challenge Proposition 8, asking the California Supreme Court to strike down the latest attempt to ban same-sex marriage across the state.
While refusing to concede that the ballot measure has passed, gay marriage supporters nevertheless filed a petition with the state’s high court in the event the current vote holds and Proposition 8 amends the California constitution to once again outlaw marriage for gay and lesbian couples.
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera also filed an identical legal challenge in the state Supreme Court, joined by Santa Clara County and the Los Angeles city attorney. San Francisco city officials, who pushed to overturn California’s gay marriage laws in the previous court fight, argue that Proposition 8 violates the equal protection rights of gay and lesbian couples.
Backers of the measure claimed victory Tuesday night with the initiative leading by a 52 to 48 percent margin.
The legal challenge maintains that Proposition 8 is invalid and takes away a “fundamental right” from “just one group — lesbian and gay Californians.” The petition argues that the state constitution cannot be amended if it violates other constitutional rights.
The state Supreme Court this spring struck down California’s previous laws banning gay marriage, finding that they violated the state constitution. That 4-3 ruling set in motion the political firestorm over Proposition 8, which was designed to trump the Supreme Court’s decision.
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