Court to Rule on Prop 8 Today

Decision can still be appealed to larger panel, Supreme Court
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2012 4:58 AM CST
Court to Rule on Calif. Gay Marriage Ban Today
A lesbian couple hold a sign at a protest calling for the right for gays and lesbians to marry outside the County Clerks Office in Los Angeles last Valentine's Day.   (Getty Images)

Californians are awaiting a ruling today on whether the state's Proposition 8 banning gay marriage is constitutional. A three-judge panel of the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will decide if the law, passed by referendum in 2008, violates equal protection and due process. A lower court shot down the ban, but a stay was placed on the ruling at least until the current court's decision. The losing party can appeal to a larger panel of the court and, ultimately, the Supreme Court.

During oral arguments last year, the panel appeared to be leaning toward ruling against Proposition 8, but was concerned about certain procedural legal issues, reports the Los Angeles Times. Proposition 8 passed with 52% of the vote, just months after the state Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage by striking down two laws that had limited marriage to a man and a woman. The ballot measure dodged the ruling by inserting the one man-one woman provision into the state Constitution. (More Proposition 8 stories.)

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