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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Prop. 8 Backers to Ask Appeals Court to Rehear Same-Sex Marriage Case

Posted By on Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 1:30 PM

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As some predicted, Proposition 8 backers are saying they will ask a larger group of judges from the liberal-leaning Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review a three-judge panel's decision to strike down California's ban on same-sex marriage, rather than appealing the ruling directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Lawyers representing proponents of Prop. 8, the state's ban on gay marriage, had until Tuesday to petition the Ninth Circuit to rehear the 2-1 ruling which concluded Prop. 8 was unconstitutional. As we reported yesterday, some now believe the Supreme Court might decline to hear the case -- a possible victory for gay-rights advocates, since the right-leaning court could deliver a broad defeat for advocates of same-sex marriage.

One might think this would encourage gay marriage foes to take their case to the supremes, but here's how Andy Pugno, legal counsel for the Protect Marriage Coalition, explained their decision:

Generally speaking, we think the Ninth Circuit as a whole deserves the chance to basically fix this because the decision is such an outlier, it's really not representative of what the Ninth Circuit's thinking on this issue has been.

The appeal means that same-sex marriages in California will be halted at least until the Ninth Circuit decides whether to accept or reject the rehearing petition. "There is liberal and then there is insanity, and there is just no way the entire Ninth Circuit would sign off on a decision like this," Pugno said.

If a larger panel of justices from the Ninth Circuit rehears the case, the resulting ruling will almost certainly be appealed by the losing side to the Supreme Court.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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