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San Diego County clerk seeks end to gay marriages

BY PAUL ELIAS, ASSOCIATED PRESS

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Diego County clerk has asked the state Supreme Court to stop gay marriages.

Ernest Dronenburg Jr. urged the state high court to immediately halt same-sex weddings while it considers his legal arguments that gay marriages remain illegal in California despite a U.S. Supreme Court's decision widely regarded as authorizing gay weddings.

Dronenburg asked for the halt Friday while the state Supreme Court considers his petition, arguing that the U.S. Supreme Court decision applies only to the two couples named in the original federal lawsuit, and to the clerks in Alameda and Los Angeles counties where the couples applied for marriage licenses.

Dronenburg also argues that county clerks aren't bound by orders from the governor, the state attorney general and other state officials to marry gay couples.

"County clerks carry out their duties, including the issuances of marriage licenses, without supervision or control of the governor or attorney general," Dronenburg wrote in his petition. "Indeed, no statute requires county clerks to report to the governor or attorney general."

The state Supreme Court on Monday refused a similar request to immediately stop gay weddings made by backers of California's Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the state when passed by voters in 2008.

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