Tuesday, August 17, 2010

California gay marriage on hold as case appealed

U.S. appeals court ruled on Monday that same-sex couples could not marry in California while the court considers the constitutionality of the state's ban on gay marriage.

But the panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals set an aggressive schedule for the case, with briefings in the fall and a hearing the week of December 6.

California's ban on same-sex marriage, known as Proposition 8, passed in November 2008, setting off emotional reactions among both opponents and supporters of the ban.

Liberals questioned how trend-setting California could fall in line with roughly 40 other states that ban same-sex unions, while social conservatives boasted that their cause had national backing.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker ruled earlier this month that the ban was unconstitutional.

Last week he said gay marriages could resume while higher courts considered the matter. But the brief ruling by the three-judge appellate panel reverses that, prohibiting gay marriage during the appeal.

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