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California Governor: Clerks Must Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses


But Ninth Circuit must still dissolve injunction.

In response to today's Supreme Court ruling that sent Proposition 8 back to California, where a court previously ruled it unconstitutional, thus legalizing marriage equality there, Gov. Jerry Brown declared that all counties must immediately begin allowing same-sex nuptials.

"After years of struggle, the U.S. Supreme Court today has made same-sex marriage a reality in California. In light of the decision, I have directed the California Department of Public Health to advise the state's counties that they must begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in California as soon as the Ninth Circuit confirms the stay is lifted," said Brown, a Democrat.

But the California Department of Public Health also sent a letter, this one to county clerks telling them that same-sex marriage is again legal. "...Same-sex couples will once again be allowed to marry in the state of California," it said, before adding this caveat: "But they will not be allowed to marry until the Ninth Circuit issues a further order dissolving a stay of injunction that has been in place throughout the appeal process... County clerks and recorders should not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples until this order is issued." No word on when the Ninth Circuit will dissolve that injunction. Soon, probably.

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Andrew Belonsky