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The California Supreme Court Wednesday rejected without comment a challenge seeking to remove a November ballot initiative that would ban same-sex marriage in the state. The petition, filed by Equality California, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union, argued that the amendment would deprive same-sex couples of fundamental rights. If approved by voters, the California Marriage Protection Act would amend the state constitution to read, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." The ballot initiative comes in reaction to a May 15 California Supreme Court decision overturning a ban on same-sex marriage in the state.

The approval of the ballot initiative came after the Attorneys General of ten states submitted a brief to the Supreme Court of California, asking it to stay its decision until after the November elections. They asserted that allowing same-sex marriages would cause citizens in their own states to become "marriage tourists" in California, and their own state courts would then face unfair, extensive, and burdensome litigation on whether to recognize the marriages. A conservative advocacy group filed a similar petition requesting a stay until November. In May, the California Office of Vital Records issued a memorandum setting June 17 as the start day for issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.


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