Prop 8 backers to appeal to Supreme Court

By Alex Veeneman on June 5, 2012

A rally takes place in August 2010 which celebrated the overturn of Proposition 8, which banned same sex marriage in California.
(Photo courtesy of Flickr user donotlick)

A court in San Francisco has denied the ability for the case surrounding Proposition 8, a voter referendum banning same sex marriage in the state of California, to be heard again.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the decision to have the case re-argued, in a system known as en banc. In the decision, Judge Stephen Reinhardt said Prop 8 served no relevance in the state. “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,” Reinhardt wrote according to a report from PBS and NPR member station KQED.

The backers of Proposition 8 have 90 days to file a petition of appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court. The backers confirmed their intentions to file the petition, according to the KQED report. The report adds that if the Court declines to hear the appeal or agrees with the decision of the Appeals Court, same sex marriage in California will be legal. If the Court takes the case, the rule barring same sex marriage in California will continue to remain in effect.

The specific timeline is not known as to when the Court would hear it, but Theodore Olson, a lead attorney for the backers of Prop 8, told reporters in a conference call according to KQED that he speculated that the decision by the Court would be made in October on if the case would be heard. Olson added that arguments would begin that following Spring, with a decision on the matter to be made next June.

A spokeswoman for the Supreme Court said the timeline was dependent on when the petition of the backers is filed. Once that is filed, a respondent’s petition would be filed and then the case would come up for conference, at which point a decision of hearing the case would likely be made by the Court.

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