As we reported on August 16, earlier this month critics of California’s famous (or inamous) Proposition 8 celebrated a dramatic victory when a San Francisco judge declared the 2008 voter-led ban on gay marriage as unconstitutional. The ruling seemed to pave the way for the state to resume certifying gay marriage, barring an 11th hour effort by Proposition 8 prosecutors to the appeal the move — and, shockingly to some, the move has paid off; at least for now.
That’s because yesterday, the 3-judge panel on the 9th Circuit appeals court reversed the August 4th ruling. Instead, the panel will review briefs throughout the fall and resume hearing the appeal on the week of December 6th.
While this by no means put the matter to rest for either side in the debate — since the ruling still has to happen, eventually — it’s nevertheless being hailed as a major legal victory by those supporting Proposition 8.
“California voters spoke clearly on Prop. 8, and we’re glad to see their votes will remain valid while the legal challenges work their way up through the courts,” said Andy Pugno, general counsel for ProtectMarriage, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “Invalidating the people’s vote based on just one judge’s opinion would not have been appropriate and would have shaken the people’s confidence in our elections and the right to vote itself.”
However, some legal experts suggest that celebrating victory — legally speaking — could be premature, and in fact could bode well in the long-term for supporters of gay marriage.
“The concern is that rushing things to the Supreme Court could lead to an adverse result [for supporters of gay marriage.],” said Loyola law professor Rick Hasen. “If this case takes another year to get to the U.S. Supreme Court, there could be more states that adopt same-sex marriage and more judicial opinions that reach that conclusion.”
Divorce Magazine will follow this issue and publishes updates as they become available throughout 2010 and into 2011.
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