Proposition 8 Hearing

Sunday, Dec 5, 2010  |  Updated 11:52 AM PDT
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Proposition 8 Hearing

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The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals hears arguments in the Proposition 8 trial next Monday.

The court has allowed cameras in the proceedings, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, for the first time.

Click back at this link for a gavel to gavel livestream Monday, Dec. 6.

It is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. California time.

Three randomly chosen federal appeals court judges will be asked their opinion on U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling that struck down the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. Proposition 8 was enacted as an amendment to the California Constitution and states that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid  or recognized in California."

Two same-sex couples sued to challenge the proposition. This summer, Walker agreed with them and said Proposition 8 violated the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of due process and equal treatment.

The lawyer for sponsors of Proposition 8, Charles Cooper, is expected to argue in person as he did in briefs filed earlier. "At the heart of this case are two competing definitions of  marriage," Cooper wrote.  Cooper also wrote that the same-sex couples are seeking to introduce gay unions into the right to marry "in a manner utterly  inconsistent with history and precedent."

The couples' lawyers are expected to continue their argument that says banning same-sex marriage doesn't help heterosexual marriage and does hurt the thousands of children in the state who are being raised by gay and lesbian parents.  In their brief, attorneys Theodore Olson and David Boies wrote, "There is no legitimate interest that is even remotely furthered by Proposition 8's arbitrary exclusion of gay men and lesbians from the institution of marriage."

The three judges will not rule Monday.  They will issue their decision in writing at a later undetermined time.  

And whatever they rule, the issue will likely be appealed once again to an 11-judge panel of same court. After that court rules, the case could be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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