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Same-sex marriages break for weekend

San Francisco to issue licenses again Monday by appointment

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says marriage certificates issued to same-sex couples are illegal.

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Same-sex marriages
Arnold Schwarzenegger
San Francisco (California)

SAN FRANCISCO, California (CNN) -- San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom shut off the same-sex marriage license pipeline this weekend, but will reopen the city clerk's office Monday for business as usual -- with marriage licenses issued by appointment only.

Since the city began allowing gays and lesbians to get marriage licenses nine days ago, it has issued more than 3,000.

A judge denied a request Friday by conservative groups to issue a temporary restraining order to stop the city from issuing same-sex marriage licenses, ruling that the groups had failed to prove that San Francisco's actions caused irreparable harm. It was the second time this week an injunction had been denied.

Thursday, the city filed its own lawsuit, charging that a state law that defines marriage as being between one man and one woman violates California's constitution.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera said the suit also names the petitioners that have filed lawsuits against the city.

The goal of the lawsuit, he said, is to ensure that the constitutionality question of gay and lesbian marriage is addressed by the courts. Newsom has said his obligation to follow nondiscriminatory practices trumps that statute.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger addressed the issue Friday night at the state's Republican convention in Burlingame, just outside San Francisco, warning the city to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in defiance of state law.

"During my campaign, I talked about the importance of rule of law," he said. "We rely upon our courts to enforce our rule of law, but we're seeing in San Francisco that the courts are dropping the ball.

"Today I have sent a letter to Attorney General Bill Lockyer asking him to move as quickly as possible on behalf of the state ... to resolve the issues underlying San Francisco's lawsuit against the state.

"While we wait for the courts to act, it's time for the City of San Francisco to start respecting state law. It is time for the city to stop traveling down this dangerous path of ignoring the rule of law."

San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Ronald Quidachay also ruled Friday that the two lawsuits against the city -- and the city's lawsuit against the state -- could be combined into one case.

The judge did not set a date for arguments to begin in the consolidated case and did not indicate which judge might hear it.

Quidachay's decision means that the city can continue issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Lockyer posted a statement on his Web site saying that it was "the duty of my office to defend that law against this challenge by the City and County of San Francisco, and allow the courts to determine whether the city has acted illegally."

But, he said, his own opinions lean toward allowing same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples.

"As a lifelong defender of civil rights, due process and equal protection for all, I do not personally support policies that give lesser legal rights and responsibilities to committed same-sex couples than those provided to heterosexual couples," he said.

"That is why I have and continue to strongly support extending the benefits and responsibilities of marriage to same-sex couples through domestic partnerships and civil union statutes."

CNN's Rusty Dornin and David Mattingly contributed to this story.

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