Schwarzenegger won't work to overturn gay-marriage ruling

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he would uphold the California Supreme Court's ruling that legalized gay marriage, despite dismay among many Republican politicians and vows to attempt to overturn it through a constitutional amendment.

"I will not support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn this state Supreme Court ruling," Schwarzenegger said.

State officials will begin preparing instructions for county clerks on how and when to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses, but there is little doubt that a major battle over the issue will continue at least into the fall.

Within minutes of the opinion being made public, gay marriage opponents said they would ask the court to stay the opinion and continued a protracted campaign to influence public opinion.

"The court has stepped out of the role of interpreting the law and made new social policy for California," said Folsom attorney Andrew Pugno of, which has collected 1.1 million signatures in its effort to forbid same-sex marriages.

"It has thrown out the window the votes of millions of Californians who, just a few years ago, voted to keep marriage for a man and a woman."

California voters approved by a wide margin a measure in 2000 – Proposition 22 – defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

Thursday's court decision invalidates that, but the secretary of state's office is verifying signatures on the petitions for a new measure that would amend the state constitution to prevent gay marriage.

Many same-sex marriage opponents complained that the court decision ignored the will of the voters eight years ago.

Assembly Republican leader Mike Villines of Fresno denounced the court majority for allowing "their own personal partisan views to get in the way of their duty to uphold the rule of law," and many others said they expected voters to approve the ban on such marriages in November.

But state Assemblyman Dave Jones, D-Sacramento, said he did not believe the measure would pass.

"I don't think they'll succeed," said Jones, chairman of the Assembly Judiciary Committee. "I think we have seen a change in people's attitudes and beliefs on this subject, and we have many new and younger voters who do not hold the old discriminatory values."

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