New and Venerable Institutions: Wedstock

Therese M. Stewart argued on behalf of the City in Lockyer v. City of San Francisco and Lewis v. Alfaro.

Wedstock: On the morning of May 25, 2004, the California Supreme Court heard arguments on the question of whether Mayor Gavin Newsom overstepped his authority, breaking the law when he issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples in San Francisco. Attorneys for the City argued that under his oath of office, Newsom is individually responsible for upholding the Constitution of the state which calls for equal protection for all citizens under the law. The attorneys maintain that Prop 22, which defines marriage as an opposite-sex arrangement, is unconstitutional. (A separate challenge lies ahead on the constitutional argument.) During the 9 a.m. session, it appeared that the court was leaning against Newsom. Nevertheless, optimism was high when attorneys on both sides met reporters and demonstrators on the steps outside the McAllister Street courthouse following arguments before the seven-member court. The justices are not expected to rule on the validity of the marriages themselves, regardless of its opinion on the legality Newsom's actions.

Detail I
Detail II
Detail III
Detail IV

Detail V
Detail VI
Detail VII

Detail VIII

Detail IX

Detail X

Detail XI

Detail XII

08/12/04: California Supreme Court Rules Against Newsom, Wedstock Unions

Copyright 2004 Hank Donat home