The Ninth Circuit on Tuesday declined to reexamine a ruling overturning California's Prop. 8 gay marriage ban as unconstitutional. The decision sets the stage for a Supreme Court showdown.
Two major appeals court cases dealing with same-sex marriage are poised for possible review at the nation’s highest court – perhaps with decisions as early as next year.
A federal appeals court in San Francisco announced on Tuesday that it would not examine a February decision striking down as unconstitutional California’s Proposition 8 ballot initiative, which effectively banned same-sex marriages in the state.
IN PICTURES: Same sex marriage
The action clears the way for lawyers to file an immediate appeal to the Supreme Court.
Lawyers in that case have not yet announced whether they will seek further review at the appeals court in Boston or appeal directly to the Supreme Court in Washington.
The legal action comes a few weeks after President Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage. It also comes as public opinion polls show the nation divided over the issue, but with gradual increasing acceptance of the practice.
Eight states plus the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriages. At least 28 states have constitutional amendments restricting marriage to a union between one man and one woman.
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