Same-sex marriage in California will undoubtedly make life more complicated for many other states. That's their problem, not California's, where the state Supreme Court should let the marriages go ahead this month as planned. Gays and lesbians have waited plenty long for their rights to be recognized, and those rights should not be held hostage to the convenience of attorneys general across the nation.
Unlike in Massachusetts, the only state where same-sex weddings are officially performed now, couples need not live in California to be married here. The California Supreme Court's decision clearing the way for such marriages is expected to draw thousands of couples from other states, who will clamor on their return home to have their married status accepted. The attorneys general of 10 states have joined with this state's gay-marriage opponents, asking the court in a letter to delay the weddings until after the November election because voters might approve a constitutional amendment to ban the marriages and thus make the whole matter moot.
"News media in each of our states report on not a few resident same-sex couples who ... are seriously contemplating going to California to marry," the letter says. "We reasonably believe an inevitable result of such 'marriage tourism' will be a steep increase in litigation of the recognition issue in our courts."