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Gay-marriage foes to ask appeals court to review Prop. 8 ruling

February 21, 2012 | 11:50 am


Opponents of same-sex marriage said Tuesday they planned to ask a federal appeals court to reconsider this month’s 2-1 ruling that struck down Proposition 8, California’s 2008 ballot measure that banned gay marriage.

ProtectMarriage, the sponsors of Proposition 8, will ask a larger panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to review the marriage dispute ruling instead of going straight to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to a spokeswoman.

The 9th Circuit would have to vote on whether to grant the extra layer of review. If a majority favors it, a larger panel will reconsider the constitutionality of the marriage ban and issue a ruling. Such a reconsideration could delay U.S. Supreme Court review by months or more than a year.

ProtectMarriage has long insisted it wanted to get to the high court as soon as possible. But the ruling that struck down the marriage ban was narrowly crafted to avoid large constitutional questions, and some legal scholars said the high court might decline to hear an appeal. In that case, the 9th Circuit panel's decision would apply only to California.

Attorneys for the backers of the marriage ban have said they want a high-court ruling that ensures that all states can block gays from marrying.


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Photo: Oppontents of Proposition 8 celebrate Feb. 7 in San Francisco after a three-member panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the measure. Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images