Prop 8 ruling expected this morning

Tue. February 7, 2012 10:10 AM by News Staff

San Francisco, CA - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is expected to release a long-awaited ruling this morning on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, California's same-sex marriage ban.

The court's public information office expects a ruling in the Perry v. Brown case challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8 by 10 a.m. Pacific Time.

Proposition 8 was passed in November 2008 by voters after the State Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was legal. It added a new provision to the California Constitution which provides that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

Then, in the summer of 2010, a San Francisco-based judge, who is also gay, ruled that Proposition 8 was discriminatory. But that same judge, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, also immediately put a stay on his decision, so that local governments could avoid a back-and-forth, legal and not legal seesaw with gay marriage licenses and rights.

This morning's federal appeals court decision will rule on Walker's decision.

Normally in these cases, a state law like Proposition 8 is defended by the Governor and the State Attorney General, and the initial case was called Perry vs. [Arnold] Schwarzenegger. However, both Schwarzenegger and then-Attorney General Jerry Brown refused to defend the law, so an anti-gay Christian group took up the cause.