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California's Anti-Gay Marriage Prop 8 Ruled Unconstitutional

Appeal to Supreme Court Likely

Common Dreams staff

Prop 8: Overturned, February 7, 2012

Gay marriage activists were celebrating a major victory on Tuesday after a federal appeals court ruled California's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. The federal appeals court struck down California's ban, clearing the way for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on gay marriage as early as next year.

The 2-1 decision by a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that limited marriage to one man and one woman, violated the U.S. Constitution.

Opponents of same-sex marriage have promised to appeal to the US Supreme Court. The Guardian reports:

Voters in California passed Proposition 8 in 2008, but it was ruled unconstitutional by federal judge Vaughn Walker in 2010. But the ban has remained in place since then, because the ninth circuit court put a stay on the Walker ruling pending appeals.

However, even if the panel upholds the ruling by Walker, a former chief US district judge, and overturns the ban, same-sex marriages are unlikely to go ahead any time soon.

Backers of Proposition 8 have said they plan to appeal to a larger 9th circuit panel and then to the US Supreme Court if they lose.

As a result, same sex couples in California, who enjoyed a brief, four-month legal right to marry in 2008, are likely to have to wait longer to find out if it will be restored.

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For complete analysis of today's court decision follow the Courage Campaign's coverage at

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