Following this ruling by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Proposition 8 proponents plan to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, putting the battle for same-sex marriage on a national stage. The Supreme Court could decide to hear the case as part of its docket next year.
The ruling comes after a federal appeals court in Boston ruled Thursday that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), that says states don't have to recognize gay marriages in other states and defines marriage as between a man and a woman for federal purposes, violates the Constitution and should be struck down. The Supreme Court could also decide to hear this case next year.
In February, a three-judge panel in California voted 2 to 1 against the voter-approved same-sex marriage ban, upholding an earlier decision by Judge Vaughn Walker. The panel said that by denying marriage rights, Proposition 8 violated the equal protection clause and due process clause of the U.S. Constitution.
"Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples," the court wrote in February. Proposition 8 supporters appealed, asking for a larger panel of the court to review the case.
Same-sex couples in California will not be allowed to marry right away while Proposition 8 supporters are given a chance to appeal to the Supreme Court, according to the San Jose Mercury News.