“I spoke those words in earnest,” the county’s clerk-recorder said. “I expect to uphold that oath.”
California’s marriage laws are in limbo now because of the courts, said Storey, who is the commissioner of marriages in Imperial County. It’s why he wants to see the gay marriage issue before the U.S. Supreme Court, and why he will defend Proposition 8 until it gets there.
Storey filed to intervene in the lawsuit about the gay marriage ban Friday, more than a month after a federal appeals court said the county’s deputy clerk didn’t have standing in the case.
Join the discussion and add your comments to this story! Scroll down or click here and tell us what you think.
The county deputy clerk had filed to intervene along with the county Board of Supervisors, but the motion was denied by a federal appellate court Jan. 4.
Storey was sworn in the day before the appellate decision came.
The motion is separate from religious beliefs, Storey said. It is just about how he will handle laws he swore to uphold.
“I’m going to have to deal with this issue, so I need some clarification on what to do with it,” he said.
Storey’s motion is independent of the county’s previous motion to intervene in the case, said Robert Tyler, general counsel for Advocates for Faith and Freedom, the group that represented Imperial County and is representing Storey.
While Tyler said he had thought a deputy county clerk would have significant interest in the outcome of Proposition 8, the appellate court’s decision highlighted the fact that the county clerk should have an interest, he said.
The county had filed to intervene in the case defending the gay marriage ban in December 2009. A federal court judge denied the request, saying the county didn’t have standing, and that decision was appealed.
The appellate court also decided last month that the county didn’t have standing.
“He is taking up the banner, I guess if you will, on something we couldn’t legally do,” said county Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Terrazas. “I kind of thought we were already out of it, and it was kind of a surprise that (Storey) stepped up to it.”
The clerk-recorder, though, is an elected position and as such doesn’t fall under the Board of Supervisors, Terrazas said. The only control the board has is the approval of the clerk-recorder’s office budget.
Storey’s decision to enter the case was a surprise for Terrazas, but it doesn’t change the county’s involvement.
“As far as I’m concerned we’re out of it,” Terrazas said of the board.
Staff Writer Elizabeth Varin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 760-337-3441.