From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/05/prop-8-supreme-court-california-gay-marriage
Federal appeals court declines to hear arguments on California's same-sex marriage ban as supporters dealt another blow
A Californian appeals court has cleared the way for the supreme court to hear a landmark case on same-sex marriage.
The ninth circuit US court of appeals on Tuesday declined to rehear arguments over Proposition 8, California's ban on gay marriage, which the court invalidated in February.
The move sets the stage for what looks sure to be a contentious supreme court hearing that could come as early as this year.
Three judges dissented from the opinion and cited president Barack Obama's recent comments that he would like to see the debate over gay marriage continue "in a respectful way." The dissenters wrote: "Our court has silenced any such respectful conversation."
The decision comes less than a week after a federal appeals court in Boston ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (Doma), a federal law declaring marriage to be solely between a man and a woman, was unconstitutional because it denies same-sex couples the same benefits afforded to heterosexual couples. That case too appears to be headed for the supreme court.
Gay marriage supporters cheered the decision. Evan Wolfson, founder and president of lobby group Freedom to Marry, said: "It's now been three-and-a-half years since the freedom to marry was stripped from from loving and committed same-sex couples. It is long past time for this 'gay exception' to marriage in California to come to an end."
Opponents said they were confident that the supreme court would uphold their view of traditional marriage. Brian Raum, senior council for Alliance Defense Fund, part of the Prop 8 legal defense team, said same sex marriage remained "unconstitutional".