Foes Seek Gay Marriage Stay

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Gay celebrations may have to be put on hold. Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund yesterday petitioned California’s Supreme Court to stay last week’s marriage ruling. That request, as well as other movements, are complicating the queer nuptial calendar.

The Supreme Court seldom agrees to reconsider its rulings. But in a 21-page legal brief, the defense fund argues that freezing the ruling would avoid chaos around the state as couples move to capitalize on their newfound legal right to marry by rushing to clerk’s offices to get marriage licenses between now and November.

Gay marriage foes appear to be close to qualifying a ballot initiative that would trump the state Supreme Court’s ruling and again forbid same-sex couples from marrying in California. In Thursday’s court papers, the defense fund warns that allowing gay marriages to proceed in the coming months “risks legal havoc and uncertainty of immeasurable magnitude” if voters approve the constitutional change.

The justices seldom grant requests to rehear a decision, but internal court procedures still automatically trigger an additional 30- to 60-day delay in finalizing a ruling while the justices resolve the petition.

Top court officials say the request will be addressed no later than August, meaning couples will have three months to wed before the November election if the justices refuse to stay their ruling.

It’s going to be a long, hot summer in California…