LOS ANGELES, Feb. 13 (Xinhuanet) -- A US judge in California rejected Friday the demand by conservatives that the city of San Francisco halt issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
Superior Court judge James L. Warren argued that the Campaign for California Families and Alliance Defense Fund did not provide sufficient evidence to demand an injunction on San Francisco in issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Warren said court procedures required the plaintiffs to return after the weekend to properly make their request.
This ruling was welcome news to the gay and lesbian couples whohave been jamming the city hall to apply for licenses. As of Friday, a total of 489 same-sex couples have been married by law.
San Francisco became the first city in the United States to legalize the controversial same-sex marriage at a time when the national debate was heating up on the marriage right for the same-sex couples.
Newly-elected liberal Mayor Gavin Newsom lifted a ban on same-sex marriage Thursday, citing California's equal protection laws. This led to a wave of marriage applications by gays and lesbians in the past two days.
But legal experts noted that the California law, as approved bythe voters in 2000, defines marriage as a union of a man and a woman.
Encouraged by the San Francisco weddings and prospect of the nation's first legal same-sex marriages in Massachusetts on May 17,gay and lesbian couples went to courthouses around the nation for the past days to demand the right to marry.
The San Francisco marriage spree has been under attack from conservatives, who promised a hard fight to reimpose the ban on same-sex marriages.
"Apparently, Mayor Newsom felt he's above the law and like a dictator, could simply dictate what the law should be," said Richard Ackerman, an attorney for the Campaign for California Families. Enditem