The Supreme Court may consider the legal question of gay marriage later this year because of an appeal of California's Proposition 8.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals stuck down Prop 8 in a 2-1 decision in February. They based their decision on a previous Supreme Court ruling that says a majority cannot take away the rights of the minority without legitimate reasons. Now opponents of Proposition 8 have filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to review the decision.
Whether or not the Supreme Court takes the case, their decision will impact the future of gay marriage, at least in California.
The Ninth Circuit's ruling invalidates Proposition 8 but it does not necessarily create a constitutional basis for gay marriage.
If the Supreme Court chooses to take the case then followers of the Prop 8 saga will have to wait for the high court's decision to know what happens next. If the Court chooses not to take the case then the Ninth Circuit's decision would stand.
If the ruling is left untouched it would remove Prop 8 from the California Constitution and likely pave the way for legal gay marriage in California once again.
The Ninth Circuit decision doesn't necessarily create a precedent for other gay marriage cases. But it's not the only case on gay marriage that has been appealed to the Supreme Court.
A challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act which originated in Massachusetts, was appealed to the high court just a week ago, reports the Chicago Tribune. The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals struck down parts of DOMA that restricted marriage to a union between a man and a woman.
At least four justices must vote to hear a case for it go before the Supreme Court. For now, the country will have to wait for news on what happens next for gay marriage.
- High court asked to accept appeal over California same-sex marriage ban (CNN)
- Protect Marriage Asks SCOTUS to Uphold California Prop 8 (FindLaw's U.S. Ninth Circuit)
- Majority of Americans Support Gay Marriage (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- Gay Marriage a Boon for Small Business (FindLaw's Free Enterprise)