Ban on Gay Marriage Ruled Illegal, Case Headed to U.S. Supreme Court
NY Times – A federal appeals court panel ruled on Tuesday that a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage in California violated the Constitution, all but ensuring that the case will proceed to the United States Supreme Court.
The three-judge panel issued its ruling Tuesday morning in San Francisco, upholding a decision by Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who had been the chief judge of the Federal District Court of the Northern District of California but has since retired. Like Judge Walker, the panel found that Proposition 8 – passed by California voters in November 2008 by a margin of 52 percent to 48 percent — violated the equal protection rights of two same-sex couples that brought he suit. The proposition placed a specific prohibition in the State Constitution against marriage between two people of the same sex.