Aug 12, 2004 / 22:00 pm
California’s Supreme court has invalidated nearly 4,000 marriage licenses issued to gay couples this year in San Francisco, unanimously ruling that city officials who granted the licenses to gay couples from around the country in February and March, had misinterpreted state laws.
Though the ruling only pertains to California, it has been seen as a setback for same-sex marriage advocates, who had hoped the marriages would stand as they fought the larger question of the constitutionality of opposite-sex exclusivity in the institution of marriage.
For those involved in protecting the traditional institution of marriage, it has been seen as a step forward. "It bodes well for any of us trying to protect the institution of marriage," said Sadie Fields, who chairs the Christian Coalition of Georgia.
The court, however, did not resolve whether the California Constitution permits same-sex marriages, and gay-rights advocates have filed a separate suit seeking a ruling on that question.