A federal appeals court ruled against California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage Tuesday, arguing the ban unconstitutionally singles out gays and lesbians for discrimination.
In a split decision, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found the state’s Proposition 8 “works a meaningful harm to gays and lesbians” by denying their right to civil marriage in violation of the 14th Amendment.
“Very soon, Proposition 8 will be gone forever,” said Kristin Perry, one of two women who challenged the ban in federal courts along with a male same-sex couple. “Today marks the culmination of what has been a transformational year.”
Supporters of Proposition 8, which passed with 52% of the vote in 2008, said they were willing to take the issue all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. And a stay halting same-sex marriages remains in place as the appeals continue.
The Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative Christian legal foundation that backed Proposition 8, said it was not surprised that “this Hollywood-orchestrated attack on marriage — tried in San Francisco — turned out this way.” But it said it was confident the Supreme Court would uphold “the expressed will of the American people.”