More than one-third of California's lawmakers added their voices Monday to the chorus calling on the state's highest court to overturn the prohibition on same-sex marriage approved by voters last week.
Forty-four members of the California Legislature filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support one of the three lawsuits seeking to invalidate Proposition 8. The case, brought on behalf of gay couples who have not yet married, argues the ban should be tossed out because voters did not have the authority to make such a dramatic change in state law.
The brief argues that the gay marriage ban improperly usurped the state Supreme Court's duty to protect minority groups from discrimination. Proposition 8 overturned the court's May decision that legalized same-sex marriage.
Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata and Assembly Speaker Karen Bass are among the signers.
The Anti-Defamation League, the Bar Association of San Francisco and three other legal or civil rights groups also submitted letters supporting efforts to get the court to delay implementation of Proposition 8 so gay couples can continue getting married until the legal issues are resolved.
Also Monday, the Campaign for California Families asked the court for permission to become an official party to all three cases, which currently name only the state health department and Attorney General Jerry Brown as respondents.
The conservative group, which unsuccessfully sought to get a gay marriage ban on the ballot that also would have stripped same-sex couples of domestic partner benefits, said in its motion to intervene that state officials would not adequately defend the rights of voters.