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Appellate Court Rules to Affirm Lower Court’s Ruling (that Prop 8 is UnConstitutional)

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For those who haven’t already heard,

A federal appeals court on Tuesday declared California’s same-sex marriage ban to be unconstitutional, putting the bitterly contested, voter-approved law on track for a likely appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that a lower court judge correctly interpreted the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court precedents when he declared in 2010 that Proposition 8 – a response to an earlier state court decision that legalized gay marriage – was a violation of the civil rights of gays and lesbians.

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There is a “however” in the ruling.  Gay marriage may not resume until the deadline for sponsors of the original bill banning gay marriage to file an appeal to the full 9th Circuit panel of judges.

The ruling is also a vindication for Judge Vaughn Walker, whom Prop 8 sponsors (and right-wing pols) claimed was “biased.” The claim of bias is particularly amusing and ridiculous given that to follow that logic, one would have to say that neither gay nor straight judges could stand in judgment because of the implicit bias “inherent” in their own orientation. There would be no one left to rule, which would, come to think of it, mean that we’d just have to stay the heck out of other people’s lives.