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City and County of San Francisco v. State

California Court of Appeal
27 Cal. Rptr. 3d 722 (2005)


Facts

The City and County of San Francisco (City) (plaintiff) began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on February 12, 2004. Litigation was filed against the City to prohibit these actions based on California statutes that restricted marriage licenses to heterosexual couples. Following this, the City filed its own litigation seeking to declare these statutes unconstitutional. One of the statutes at issue was California Family Code §308.5, which was adopted following voter approval of Proposition 22. This statute said that only a marriage between a man and a woman was valid and recognized in California. The Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund (Fund) was established approximately one year after Proposition 22 was approved. The Fund’s purpose was to ensure enforcement of the initiative. The Fund’s board members included individuals who had contributed time and money to the campaign effort in support of Proposition 22. California state senator William Knight was an official proponent of Proposition 22 and also a Fund board member. However, Senator Knight passed away. Although the Fund had filed its own litigation challenging the City’s actions, the Fund also moved for permission to intervene in the City’s litigation about the constitutionality of the statute. The trial court denied the motion, and the Fund appealed to the California Court of Appeal.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (McGuiness, J.)

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