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Opponents of same-sex marriage ask Prop. 8 judge to invalidate 18,000 marriages of gay couples.

By Igor Volsky on June 16, 2010 at 11:50 am

"Opponents of same-sex marriage ask Prop. 8 judge to invalidate 18,000 marriages of gay couples."

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Prop. 8 Judge Vaughn Walker

Prop. 8 Judge Vaughn Walker

As Judge Vaughn Walker prepares to hear closing arguments today in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the landmark case against California’s Proposition 8, supporters of the measure are urging him to “go a step further and revoke state recognition of the marriages of 18,000 gay and lesbian couples who wed before” voters stripped same-sex couples of their right to marry in November 2008:

Such an order would honor “the expressed will of the people,” backers of the November 2008 ballot measure said Tuesday in their final written filing before Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker.

Andrew Pugno, an attorney for Prop. 8′s backers, said in an interview that the sponsors aren’t asking Walker to nullify the 18,000 marriages, but only to rule that government agencies, courts and businesses no longer have to recognize the couples as married.

Last year, the court decision which upheld the constitutionality of Prop. 8 also affirmed “the legality of 18,000 same-sex marriages performed before the election.” The Perry case filed by The American Foundation for Equal Rights on behalf of two couples who wish to be married but cannot because of Prop. 8, challenges that decision. Today’s closing arguments will likely last all day, with a ruling expected in the coming weeks. Walker sent both sides 11 pages of questions he wants addressed in the arguments. Read their responses here and here or follow live coverage from inside the courtroom here.

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