The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined on Tuesday to revisit a ruling that found California’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. The latest step cleared the way for the Supreme Court to consider the issue.
The California case likely is headed to the nation’s highest court along with another same-sex marriage case from Massachusetts that was decided by an appeals court last week (see Gavel Grab), according to a New York Times article.
In February, a panel of the San Francisco-based Ninth Circuit struck down a referendum passed in 2008, called Proposition 8. It banned same-sex marriages. “Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gay men and lesbians in California,” the panel said.
On Tuesday, a majority of the full Ninth Circuit voted not to re-examine the panel’s ruling.
“We’re not end of the line yet, but we are vastly closer,” said Theodore Olson, an attorney for two gay couples challenging the California ban, according to a Reuters report.
“We will promptly file our appeal to the nation’s highest court and look forward to a positive outcome on behalf of the millions of Californians who believe in traditional marriage,” said Andrew Pugno, an attorney for supporters of the ban.