Judge: Gay Marriage Appeal Can Go Forward - NBC Bay Area

Judge: Gay Marriage Appeal Can Go Forward

State Supreme Court to rule whether ProtectMarriage.com has standing.



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    Same-sex couple Billy Bradford (C) and Dennis Viete (R) react after they were denied a marriage license from San Francisco County Clerk director Karen Hong on February 14, 2011 in San Francisco. A ruling is expected today on Prop 8 and its sponsor.

    AP Newsflash: California Supreme Court says backers can defend gay marriage measure in legal challenge.

    Read the ruling (pdf) here.

    The Court ruled unanimously Thursday that Prop 8 backers can appeal a judge's ruling that the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

    The decision is considered a win for supporters of Prop 8.

     From the ruling:

    As we discuss more fully below, in the past official proponents of initiative measures in California have uniformly been permitted to participate as parties — either as interveners or as real parties in interest — in numerous lawsuits in California courts challenging the validity of the initiative measure the proponents sponsored. Such participation has routinely been permitted (1) without any inquiry into or showing that the proponents‘ own property, liberty, or other personal legally protected interests would be specially affected by invalidation of the measure, and (2) whether or not the government officials who ordinarily defend a challenged enactment were also defending the measure in the proceeding. This court, however, has not previously had occasion fully to explain the basis upon which an official initiative proponent‘s ability to participate as a party in such litigation rests.

    As we shall explain, because the initiative process is specifically intended to enable the people to amend the state Constitution or to enact statutes when current government officials have declined to adopt (and often have publicly opposed) the measure in question, the voters who have successfully adopted an initiative measure may reasonably harbor a legitimate concern that the public officials who ordinarily defend a challenged state law in court may not, in the case of an initiative measure, always undertake such a defense with vigor or with the objectives and interests of those voters paramount in mind.


    The California Supreme Court is expected to release a written ruling today on whether conservatives who sponsored Prop 8 have legal standing.

    If the court rules there is no standing, same-sex marriage becomes legal in California once again. If they rule the conservative group ProtecMarriage.com does have standing, then the appeal can move forward, delaying a final ruling.

    If the court rules against the sponsors, a

    The ruling is expecated at 10 a.m., according to reports.

    Legal standing ultimately stands with the federal U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. They will determine is ProtectMarriage was legally allowed to appeal the order having been overturned.