FRESNO (AP) — The uncertainty surrounding the timing of the U.S. Supreme Court's forthcoming decision in a legal challenge to California's same-sex marriage ban has caused problems for gay marriage supporters in Fresno who hope to hold a rally outside City Hall when the opinion is handed down.
Local members of Marriage Equality USA told The Fresno Bee (http://bit.ly/13VYFKR) on Tuesday they have been meeting with city officials since March to secure a permit for the event, one of several dozen being planned throughout California and in other U.S. cities to celebrate or condemn the outcome of the closely watched case that could lead to the resumption of gay marriages in the Golden State.
Assistant City Manager Renena Smith notified the group earlier this month, however, that the application could not be processed because it did not specify a date for the event. She invited organizer Jason Scott to reapply if he could give at least three weeks' notice and provide a firm date.
"It was really surprising how little cooperation we were receiving," Scott told The Bee. "We've used the plaza several times in the past. The last time we used it, we didn't have a set date, and there wasn't a problem using it."
The Supreme Court ruling, expected before the end of the month, will determine whether or not the state can continue to enforce the voter-approved ban, known as Proposition 8. The justices meet every Monday and have also scheduled an additional conference day for Thursday, but do not give advance notice of what decisions the court will issue on which days.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California send Fresno City Attorney Douglas Sloan a letter claiming that the city's advance-notice requirement for a permit violates the First Amendment rights of rally organizers.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.
6/12/2013 4:30 PM
BC-CA--Supreme Court-Gay Marriage-California,1st Ld-Writethru
Timing of Prop. 8 ruling complicates Fresno rally
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