California Proposition 8: Ninth Circuit refuses to rehear suit on same-sex marriage
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today declined to reconsider a three-judge panel’s decision to strike down Proposition 8, a voter-approved ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage in California.
The court’s refusal to grant a rehearing en banc, or before all 29 judges serving in the Ninth Circuit, means that opponents of same-sex marriage will have to appeal the Perry v. Brown decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Proposition 8, narrowly passed by California voters in 2008, would amend the state constitution to define marriage as only between a man and a woman and thereby eliminating the right of same-sex couples to marry.
In February, the Ninth Circuit ruled that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional because it violated the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution.
“By using their initiative power to target a minority group and withdraw a right that it possessed, without a legitimate reason for doing so,” the Ninth Circuit ruled in Perry v. Brown. “It suffices to conclude that the People of California may not, consistent with the Federal Constitution, add to their state constitution a provision that has no more practical effect than to strip gays and lesbians of their rights to use the official designation that the State and society give to committed relationships, thereby adversely affecting the status and dignity of the members of a disfavored class.”
Opponents of same-sex marriage requested an en banc rehearing, arguing that the panel’s decision conflicts with legal precedents.
“This proceeding involves a question of exceptional importance: whether the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits a State from limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples. The panel majority’s holding that California must recognize same-sex relationships as marriages conflicts not only with the binding authority cited above, but also with the decisions of every other state and federal appellate court to address this question,” according to the petition filed by proponents of Proposition 8, including Dennis Hollingsworth, Gail J. Knight, Martin F. Gutierrez, Mark A. Jansson, and ProtectMarriage.com.
Proponents of Proposition 8 will have 90-days to file a writ of certiorari to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.
- Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals: Perry v. Brown order denying rehearing en banc – June 5, 2012 (PDF)
- Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals: Proposition 8 proponents’ petition for rehearing en banc – Feb. 21, 2012 (PDF)
- Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals: Proposition 8 opponents’ response to petition for rehearing en banc – March 2, 2012 (PDF)
- WhatTheFolly.com: California Proposition 8: Ninth Circuit rules ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional
- WhatTheFolly.com: California Proposition 8: Timeline of Perry v. Brown (formerly Perry v. Schwarzenegger)
Category: Advocacy, Analysis, Civil Liberties, Current Events, News, State, U.S. · Tags: California, constitutional amendment, Dennis Hollingsworth, discrimination, due process, equal protection, Gail J. Knight, gay and lesbian, gay and lesbian couples, gay and lesbians, Gov. Jerry Brown, Jerry Brown, Kristin Perry, Mark A. Jansson, Martin F. Gutierrez, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Perry v. Brown, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, Proposition 8, same sex marriage, social conservatives, traditional marriage, U.S., United States, US Supreme Court