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The paper rained down on the California Supreme Court Thursday in two cases involving San Francisco’s same-sex marriages. Attorney General Bill Lockyer and the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, both fighting the city’s decision to start marrying same-sex couples in February, filed a second round of briefs Thursday. And the high court got stacks of amicus curiae briefs on both sides of the issue, which were due by Thursday in Lockyer v. San Francisco, S122923, and Lewis v. Alfaro, S122865. The Supreme Court is holding arguments in May or June in the two cases to decide whether San Francisco officials may issue same-sex marriage licenses in defiance of state family laws that say marriage is between a man and a woman, when no appellate court has yet found those laws unconstitutional. The requests to file amicus briefs — some of which have already been accepted or denied — brought new as well as old faces to the debate and raised at least one new constitutional argument. Santa Clara County, rallying behind San Francisco with an amicus request, appears to be the first local government to join San Francisco in the fray. Three other requests came from groups that had tried unsuccessfully to intervene as parties: One is Liberty Counsel, a Florida-based legal group that joined the opposition to same-sex marriage early in the litigation. A group of state legislators led by state Sen. William “Pete” Knight, R-Palmdale, and Assemblyman Ray Haynes, R-Temecula, also filed an amicus in opposition. And a coalition of lawyers for same-sex couples, including three law firms, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund and the American Civil Liberties Union, filed its request late Thursday afternoon. The briefs accepted by the Supreme Court include those from a solo attorney who claims a professional interest in the outcome; a female couple who got married in San Francisco last month; and “Divine Queen Mariette Do-Nguyen,” president of a San Diego religious nonprofit corporation called Rebuild My Church Divine Mission, which opposes the same-sex marriages. She also filed an amicus brief last year supporting Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore’s display of a monument of the Ten Commandments in a court building. Alma Marie Triche-Winston and Charel Winston of El Dorado Hills, who held a marriage ceremony in San Francisco on Feb. 15, are backing the city — but with a constitutional argument San Francisco hasn’t raised yet: contracts. They argue in a 42-page brief that by limiting who may enter into a civil contract of marriage, state laws violate state and federal constitutional rights to enter freely into contracts. Though also supporting the city’s position, Santa Monica lawyer Roger Jon Diamond’s argument focuses on the authority question. He doesn’t want local officials or agencies to wait for an appellate court’s OK to respect the rights of his clients, which include strip clubs and adult book stores. “I want to make sure that those people have the authority to disregard a statute if it’s unconstitutional,” he said. To the court, Diamond wrote, “Administrative agencies typically refuse to honor the First Amendment when enforcing a statute or ordinance even when the statute or ordinance is clearly unconstitutional.” His briefs take no position on Mayor Gavin Newsom’s assertion that the state laws on marriage are unconstitutional. California appellate courts are expected to address that challenge down the road, given at least three constitutional challenges to those laws have been filed in California trial courts — two in San Francisco and one in Los Angeles. The Alliance Defense Fund has moved to intervene in all three of those cases. Benjamin Bull, one of the fund’s lawyers, alleges that Lockyer is a proponent of same-sex marriage. Although Lockyer hasn’t stated that publicly, he has emphasized his support for domestic partnerships. “He may not be the greatest person to litigate the defense of the state law,” if only for appearance’s sake, Bull said. Lockyer spokeswoman Hallye Jordan maintains the attorney general is vigorous in his defense of state laws, while Deputy City Attorney Sherri Sokeland Kaiser called the fund’s request to intervene presumptuous. “You can’t just stand up and say I can be a better attorney general than the attorney general can,” Kaiser said. The plaintiffs bringing the constitutional challenge in San Francisco Superior Court want a judge to address their joint motion to consolidate their cases before taking up the Alliance Defense Fund’s request to intervene. A hearing on the motion to consolidate is scheduled before Superior Court Judge James Warren on April 1. The Alliance Defense Fund wants the court to hear its request to intervene at the same time. Robert Tyler, of the Alliance Defense Fund, also said last week his group would like to see the two San Francisco trial court cases combined with the Los Angeles case, in which it’s also trying to intervene. Kaiser said the city isn’t sure how it would feel about that. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Yaffe has stayed until June that challenge, which Gloria Allred of Los Angeles’ Allred, Maroko & Goldberg filed on behalf of two same-sex couples last month.

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