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Imperial County appeals judge's overturning of gay marriage ban [Updated]

August 10, 2010 |  2:57 pm

The County of Imperial filed an appeal Tuesday with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals challenging U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling that deemed Proposition 8's ban of same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

The County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 earlier in the day to approve the appeal, according to the Imperial Valley Press. Close to 70% of Imperial County voters approved Prop. 8, which enshrined a definition of marriage as between one man and one woman in the state Constitution.

Walker last week deemed the ballot initiative in violation of the U.S. Constitution in a case that is likely to wend its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Attorneys for official backers of Prop. 8, ProtectMarriage, have appealed the ruling. Walker last week denied Imperial County's effort to intervene in the case, saying the county lacked sufficient interests in the matter to do so. The county, represented by the Christian legal group Advocates for Faith and Freedom, pledged to appeal that denial.

Separately on Tuesday, the county filed an appeal challenging Walker's core ruling on Prop. 8's constitutionality.

"The personal opinion of a single judge in San Francisco should not be substituted for the opinion of over 7 million voters," Advocates for Faith and Freedom General Counsel Robert Tyler said in a statement.

The appellate court will determine whether Imperial County has a right to move forward with its appeal.

[Updated, 4:20 p.m.: Also Tuesday, the American Bar Assn. declared in a resolution that gays and lesbians should have the right to marry in civil ceremonies and urged state legislatures to allow the unions, according to news reports. The resolution by the association's policy-making House of Delegates passed on a voice vote and only one person -- past president of the Ohio State Bar Assn. -- spoke against it.]

-- Lee Romney in San Francisco