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Appeals court upholds California gay marriage ban

[JURIST] California’s First District State Court of Appeal [official website] upheld a state ban on gay marriage Thursday. In a 2-1 decision [opinion, PDF], the court held that the ban was not unconstitutional because it did not violate any "vested fundamental right" of gays and lesbians. The move overturns a March 2005 ruling [JURIST report] by San Francisco Superior Court [official website] Judge Richard Kramer which had held limits on gay marriage unlawful under the state’s constitution. He wrote, "The state's protracted denial of equal protection cannot be justified simply because such constitutional violation has become traditional."

On August 10, the California Supreme Court [official website] issued a statement [JURIST report] that it would not immediately take up the case, thereby leaving the matter to the appeals courts. Now that the appellate court has ruled in favor of the ban, advocacy groups have already said that they will take their case up to the California high court. The court rulings, however, could become largely irrelevant if California gay marriage opponents succeed in passing a constitutional amendment [JURIST report] prohibiting same-sex marriage, which they are trying to get on the ballot in the fall elections. AP has more.

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