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Court to rule tomorrow if California’s gay marriage ban is constitutionally valid

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  1. Let’s predict the outcome!!

  2. It is really said that civil rights is being subjected to the whim of popular opinion.

        1. I’m sorry but… OLO

          er, LOL

    1. Well I guess that’s why they’re now using the constitution to combat that.

  3. PN: “Tomorrow’s ruling could have an impact across the country. 40 states have some form of ban of gay marriage. If the court rules tomorrow that bans break the constitution, all of the state specific bans could be overturned”.

    No. No. No. The 9th Circuit cannot overturn marriage bans outside of the 9th Circuit. Does Pink News have a clue how many states are within the 9th Circuit? I’ll give you a hint. It’s a lot less than 40.

    1. Jonathan Wright 6 Feb 2012, 7:36pm

      Yes this decision will only affect California in the immediate term, but if they’re applying the Constitution against the laws of the state – and the Constitution overrules the law – its not going to take much for this same test to be applied to all other states. However, this will probably need to be done either in separate legislative action in each state, or an as all-encompassing action at the Supreme Court which will probably override the DOMA at the same time.

      1. orangegoblin 6 Feb 2012, 9:36pm

        No, not just California, it effects all the states in the 9th circuit. But like Mike said, this is less than 40.

        1. The ruling can be issued so that it is specific to California or apply to the entire 9th circuit states. If the latter it is more likely that the case will proceed to the US Supreme Court since the Prop 8 proponents will want to appeal it again. The anti-gay side can also request a review within the 9th circuit court itself, known as an en banc review. Either way, expect a further delay. This isn’t over yet.

    2. The paragraph in the article may just be badly worded. *Theoretically*courts look to precedent when making decisions. The “ruling could have an impact across the country” and “all of the state specific bans could be overturned” because this would be the highest court to have set precedent and that precedent will be considered in future cases.

  4. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Feb 2012, 8:47pm

    The next step is an “en banc” hearing before a larger panel of the 9th circuit, and depending on what that result is would end up before the Supreme Court of the U.S. That could take anything from 1-5 years if all decisions are put on hold. The Supreme Court could also refuse to hear the case.

    1. That assumes that the 9th Circuit will grant the Prop 8 proponents standing, which may not be the case. If they have no standing, it will be much more difficult to have the case accepted by SCOTUS. This will also be decided by the 9th Circuit.

      There is also a split among proponents of Prop 8. Some of them feel it might be better to let California and other states in the 9th Circuit (Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington) have the right to grant same-sex marriage, rather than take the risk of losing the case at SCOTUS, and seeing marriage equality permitted in all 50 states. The legislature in Washington, for example, is very likely to grant marriage equality in the next few months.

      1. David Waite 6 Feb 2012, 11:46pm

        The Ninth has defacto already granted standing as well as decided Judge Walker did not need to recuse himself, because their announcement of tomorrow’s decision included only the information that it would rule on constitutionality. Had either of the two preliminary issues they have to decide been otherwise, they could not legally have even gotten to the constitutional question.

        1. The proponents of Prop 8 have been granted standing under CA state law. The 9th Circuit will still need to rule on the issue of standing, and while it’s unlikely that it would overrule the CA Supreme Court decision, standing under state law is not necessarily sufficient. For a good discussion of all the issues involved:

  5. GingerlyColors 7 Feb 2012, 7:42am

    Will the ruling affect all 50 states and not just California? The Lawrence vs. Texas case of 2003 not only stuck down the laws against homoesxuality in Texas but also in more than 20 other states which still criminalized it at the time.

    1. That was a Supreme Court decision on the validity of all sodomy laws in the country. This is a circuit court decision (most likely) ruling on one law in one state.

      BTW, roughly 13 states still have anti-gay sodomy laws on their books. If they try to enforce them, the defendants will have to take their cases to court. Lawrence will be precedence, but won’t keep them from being prosecuted or imprisoned. This hasn’t happened, but it could.

  6. TowLeRoad always has intelligent discussions of these issues. Also a good resource is Both have excellent discussions of the standing issue which has been inaccurately reported here on PN repeatedly.

    The 9th has many options, assuming they rule on the merits of the case. It doesn’t seem likely that they will uphold Prop 8, so they can make a ruling that applies only to the plaintiffs. They can state explicitly or implicitly that the ruling only applies to CA. They can rule that it applies only to similarly situated plaintiffs. They can rule all anti-equality laws invalid.

    However, no other circuit court is obliged to recognise their ruling as precedence. And, no laws outside the 9th will be directly affected by their ruling.

  7. Meanwhile, down in Spain the new PP government is once again making noises about trying to roll back marriage equality. We can only hope that the massive popular support for marriage equality in the country, combined with that from the Catalunya and Pais Vasco autonomous governments will be enough to convince them to drop their plans. However, with both the Queen of Spain and The Vatican having influence I suspect they’re going to push on :(

  8. Ninth Circuit Court decision- Prop 8 declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL. AFER attorneys will hold live press conference:

  9. jamestoronto 7 Feb 2012, 6:01pm

    Tuesday 1:15 pm EST – the ban on equal marriage has been struck down as unconstitutional!!! Another step forward.

    1. Great result but I see the bigots are now tryng to say that this result is not able to be extrapolated to other states …

      straws – clutching at?

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