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Imperial County Clerk Files To Defend Prop. 8

Imperial County’s new clerk, Chuck Storey, filed papers today to become one of the defendants in the federal lawsuit over the state’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages.

Proposition 8 was ruled unconstitutional by U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn R. Walker last year. The lawsuit is now before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“I took an oath of office to uphold the California Constitution, and Prop 8 is part of the Constitution,” Storey said in a statement reported in the Imperial Valley Press.


Until now the proposition’s sponsors have defended the measure because the state’s governors and attorneys general have declined to do so. But the sponsor’s standing to defend the law is under question.

Imperial County previously tried to join the lawsuit on behalf of a deputy county clerk. In that decision judges ruled the deputy did not have standing, but said they were not ruling on whether the elected clerk, who issues marriage licenses, would.

Advocates for Faith & Freedom, a non-profit legal organization focused on religious issues, has stepped in to represent Storey free of charge.

Corrected: September 22, 2023 at 2:38 PM PDT
The Associated Press contributed reporting to this story.