Calif. County Clerk Files Motion to Defend Prop 8

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California's Proposition 8, the 2008 voter-approved ballot measure defining marriage as being between a man and a woman, has a new champion.

Newly elected Imperial County Clerk Chuck Storey filed a motion on Friday to defend the law.  He and other county officials argued that if Prop. 8 is overturned, they would be forced to perform gay marriages against their will.

"I am concerned that an unappealable ruling by a single district court striking down Proposition 8 would create significant confusion for me and other Imperial County deputy clerks and officials in the performance of our legal duties regarding marriage," the 57-year-old Republican wrote.

The move comes after 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Jan. 4 that the county could not defend Prop 8 because its main defendant was not an elected clerk.

"Were Imperial County's elected county clerk the applicant for intervention, that argument might have merit. A county clerk is not before us, however, so we need not and do not, decide now whether a county clerk would have been permitted to intervene under the circumstances present in this case," the three-judge panel wrote.

Both the governor and attorney general have refused to defend the law in a federal lawsuit.

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