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Prop 8 Sponsors Can Defend Anti-Gay Marriage Measure, Court Rules

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(Photo: Matt Baume)
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As predicted, the California Supreme Court ruled today that the sponsors of Proposition 8, the California same-sex marriage ban, are now allowed to defend their anti-gay measure in court, "a ruling likely to spur federal courts to decide the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans."

The LA Times reports:

The state high court’s decision, a defeat for gay rights groups, sets the stage for a federal ruling -- which could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court -- that would affect marriage bans outside California. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is considering an appeal of a trial judge’s ruling that overturned Proposition 8, had asked the California court to clarify whether state law gives initiative sponsors standing, or legal authority, to defend their measures.

When ruling the case, the judges cited the state constitution. AP reports:
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In its analysis, the state court did not address that specific case, but says the lawmaking power granted to citizens under the state constitution doesn't end once propositions have been approved or rejected by voters. The appeals court panel now must decide whether to accept the court's guidance and if so, how to apply it to the ongoing legal skirmish involving Proposition 8.

Justice Vaughn Walker's ruling in 2010 said that Prop 8 was unconstitutional, among other things, and that the queer community should to have the right to marry in the state of California. A slim majority of Californians unfortunately chose to vote for Prop 8. Anti-civil-rights activists then appealed the decision, even though neither the governor nor the attorney general supported the appeal, which is when the California State Supreme Court got involved.

The case will now head to the Ninth Circuit, which should prove interesting. Thursday's ruling could set the stage for a major victory to come. Matt Baume with the Federation for Equal Rights explains:

To find out which persons and organizations nearest you donated to the Prop 8 efforts, please visit eightmaps.