Friday, December 11, 2009

Third amended complaint filed in case challenging state constitutionality of California's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage

Third amended complaint, filed 11-12-09, in Burns v. State of California, No. CGC-08-481908 (San Francisco County Sup. Ct.)

Cal. Const. Art.I, Sec. 7.5, is the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, as adopted by Prop. 8. The Burns plaintiffs claim that in Strauss v. Horton, 49 Cal. 4th 364 (2009), the California Supreme Court did not rule on the substantive validity of Section 7.5 under the state constitution's protections of due process, equal protection, and privacy. Instead, plaintiffs allege, the Court limited itself to the narrower question of Prop. 8's "enjoinment" - a question of whether Prop. 8 represented a valid amendment to the state constitution or an invalid revision. Alleging harm from denial of marriage licenses, plaintiffs challenge Section 7.5's implementation as violations of state constitutional due process, equal protection, and privacy.

Will SF Superior Court Commissioner Arlene T. Borick find that this proposed distinction lacks merit? She has scheduled a January 25th hearing on her order to show cause why this latest version of the complaint should not be dismissed. The California Attorney General has not yet answered the complaint as amended.

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