SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The sponsors of California's same-sex marriage ban said Tuesday they will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review a landmark appellate court ruling that struck down the law as unconstitutional.
Alliance Defense Fund lawyer Brian Raum said Proposition 8 backers "absolutely" would take the case to the high court now that it has run its course at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Raum said he expected to get a ruling from the Supreme Court sometime in the fall on whether it would take the case. He did not know if the Proposition 8 defense team would take the entire 90 days they have to petition the Supreme Court.
The move followed the federal appeals court's refusal to reconsider a decision by two of its member judges declaring the voter-approved ban to be a violation of the civil rights of gays and lesbians in California.
Gay marriage supporters welcomed that news.
"Our case has entered the final chapter. ... The end is now in sight." said Chad Griffin, president of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which is funding the effort to overturn Proposition 8.
Backers of the ban petitioned the full 9th Circuit in February instead of appealing directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Same sex unions were briefly legal in California before voters passed Proposition 8 in November 2008. Due to the ongoing legal wrangling, it's unlikely the practice will resume in the state anytime soon.
The 9th Circuit said Tuesday a majority of its 26 actively serving judges had voted not to revisit a three-judge panel's 2-1 decision declaring the voter-approved ban to be a violation of the civil rights of gays and lesbians in California.
The 9th Circuit does not often agree to rehear cases, a procedure known as en banc review. Federal court rules reserve the practice for appeals that involve "a question of exceptional importance" or if the original decision appears to conflict with Supreme Court or 9th Circuit precedents.
After voters approved Proposition 8, two unmarried couples sued to overturn the ban in May 2009, and their lawsuit gave rise the next year to the first federal trial to examine if states can prohibit gays from getting married without violating the constitutional guarantee of equality. U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ultimately sided with the couples.
The ban's sponsors appealed, and the split 9th Circuit panel affirmed Walker's finding that Proposition 8 violated those civil rights. But, instead of finding any gay marriage ban would be unconstitutional, the panel limited its decision to California, saying Proposition 8 improperly took away an existing right.
Several other high-profile same-sex cases also are making their way toward the high court. A three-judge panel of the Boston-based 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared last week that the federal law that prohibits recognition of same-sex couples unconstitutionally denies Social Security and other federal spousal benefits to married gay couples.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
This is a story update. The original story is below.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A federal appeals court in San Francisco has refused to reconsider a landmark ruling that struck down California's ban on same-sex marriages.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Tuesday a majority of its actively serving judges had voted not to revisit the 2-1 decision by a three-judge panel of the court declaring the voter-approved ban unconstitutional.
Backers of the ban, known as Proposition 8, opted in February to petition the full 9th Circuit to review the decision instead of appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Same sex unions briefly were legal in California before voters passed Proposition 8 in November 2008.
One of the world's most private art collections will now be on display in San Diego. It's called Modern Masters and this is also the first time the pieces from Latin America will be on view in the U.S.
We make it a point on Morning Extra to highlight San Diegans who are doing amazing things in our community.
Danielle Schaffer is a New York City girl now living in San Diego with four kids under the age of 10.
An Oceanside motorcycle cop is back at work, about seven months after he was run down and seriously injured while conducting a traffic stop near Buddy Todd Park.
After four weeks with no new cases associated with the local hepatitis A outbreak reported, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved a motion Tuesday ending the local public health emergency.
A powerful undersea earthquake sent Alaskans fumbling for suitcases and racing to evacuation centers in the middle of the night after a cellphone alert early Tuesday warned that a tsunami could smash into the state's southern coast and western Canada.
A 19-year-old man accused of groping and sexually assaulting four female students as they walked to their off-campus housing near San Diego State University is scheduled to be at the downtown courthouse Tuesday for a preliminary hearing that will determine if he'll have to stand trial.
Residents in Rancho Penasquitos neighborhood are upset after they said a party at a house being rented out through Airbnb got way out of hand.
Abusive and deadly – that is what activists on Monday called the current chokehold procedure practiced by San Diego Police officers.