Ninth Circuit lifts California’s ban on same sex marriage

Ninth Circuit lifts California’s ban on same sex marriage

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[JURIST]
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] on Friday announced in a one-sentence order [opinion, PDF] that the ban on same-sex marriages “is dissolved effective immediately”. This order comes after the Supreme Court’s decision on Wednesday that upheld the invalidation of Proposition 8 [text, PDF; JURIST news archive]. After Friday’s court order, California Governor Jerry Brown [official website] declared that same-sex marriage “is now legal in California” [text; JURIST report] and that marriage licenses must be issued “immediately.”

Proposition 8 was struck down [JURIST report] in 2010 by US District Judge Vaughn Walker, then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former attorney general and current Governor Brown, who were originally defendants in the lawsuit. The defendants, however, declined to continue defending the measure on appeal [JURIST report]. This left groups like Protect Marriage [advocacy website] and others to continue to defend the law and appeal the ruling. In 2012, opponents of Proposition 8 urged [JURIST report] the US Supreme Court not to grant the petition for a writ of certiorari submitted by Proposition 8 supporters. Also in 2012, the Ninth Circuit denied a petition filed by supporters of Proposition 8 to rehear their case before the entire court. Wednesday’s 5-4 opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts was joined by Justices Antonin Scalia, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan. Justice Anthony Kennedy filed a dissenting opinion, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor.