By Bay City News Service
San Mateo County is among the latest to join the legal fight to try to stop state Proposition 8, a ban on same-sex marriage in California that voters approved Nov. 4.
"This is a civil rights matter," said Adrienne Tissier, president of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. "This board has a responsibility to act to prevent discrimination from being written into our state constitution."
The Board of Supervisors for San Mateo, Alameda, Marin and Santa Cruz counties have approved joining a lawsuit filed in the California Supreme Court by the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles and Santa Clara and Los Angeles counties.
The lawsuit is one of six cases filed directly in the state high court in San Francisco to challenge Proposition 8. All six lawsuits contend the measure is a constitutional revision, not an amendment, because it strips a minority group of a fundamental right.
The other five lawsuits were filed by two sets of same-sex couples, five civil rights organizations, two women's rights groups and the California Council of Churches.
Court spokeswoman Lynn Holton said she expects the court to act on the lawsuits soon.
The panel has the options of either rejecting the cases without a hearing or granting review, hearing arguments and issuing a written ruling at a later date.
Several lawsuits have also asked the court to grant a temporary stay blocking implementation of the measure until the court issues a final ruling.
Proposition 8, which states that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California," overturns a decision in which the court said by a 4-3 vote in May that the constitution's equal protection guarantee provides a right to same-sex marriage.
The initiative was enacted as a constitutional amendment by an approximately 52 percent majority of voters.
A constitutional revision would require approval of two-thirds each house of the Legislature as well as a majority of state voters.
California Attorney General Jerry Brown, who is charged with enforcing state laws, urged the court Monday to grant review and to rule promptly, but asked the panel not to issue a stay.
Two groups, the original sponsors of Proposition 8 and the Campaign for California Families, have asked for court permission to become parties in the case to defend the measure.