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Gay-marriage backers eagerly await appeals court's Prop. 8 ruling

February 6, 2012 |  2:48 pm

Gay marriage proponents decry ruling on Proposition 8 trial video

Backers of gay marriage are eagerly anticipating an appeals court ruling Tuesday on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that banned same-sex nuptials in California.

The decision by a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to be released by 10 a.m. During oral arguments, the three-judge panel appeared to be leaning toward striking down the marriage ban.

“We are very hopeful that the 9th Circuit will rule in favor of fairness and equality, once and for all putting an end to Prop. 8’s exclusion of loving, committed couples from marriage,” John Lewis, legal director of Marriage Equality USA, said in a statement.

FULL COVERAGE: Prop. 8

Groups in favor of gay marriage have already scheduled several news conferences and rallies in San Francisco and Los Angeles to be held after the court issues its ruling. Some officials plan to gather Tuesday morning at West Hollywood City Hall to await the decision.

Pro-Prop. 8 forces have not yet released any rally plans.

The decision will be a key moment in the fight over gay marriage but probably not the final word. It is very likely to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which could decide next year whether gays and lesbians nationwide have the right to marry.

Former Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled in 2010 that Proposition 8 violated the U.S. Constitution. ProtectMarriage, the sponsors of Proposition 8, appealed his ruling to the 9th Circuit.

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-- Maura Dolan in San Francisco and Hailey Branson-Potts in Los Angeles

Photo: Groups for and against Proposition 8 face off in Santa Ana in 2008. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

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