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U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Prop. 8 Gay Marriage Case

The U.S. Supreme Court released a statement Friday stating that it has chosen to hear the Proposition 8 case in court and settle once and for all the constitutionality of California’s marriage ban.

Friday’s decision, part of the ongoing litigation now known as Hollingsworth v. Perry, is the latest in a line of decisions about whether the voter initiative Proposition 8 is constitutional.

Proposition 8 stripped same-sex couples of their right to marry during the 2008 election and has faced court challenges ever since. After both a U.S. District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court ruled that Prop. 8’s marriage ban is unconstitutional, the proponents of Prop. 8 submitted the request for a writ of certiorari in which the case is heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Now that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the Prop. 8 case, the next step in the case will be to hear oral arguments, which likely will be held in spring of next year with a decision likely to be ruled by June 2013. Only about 1 percent of cases appealed to the Supreme Court are accepted for review, so the Supreme Court’s decision is a very rare occurrence that is reflective of the magnitude of the historic Proposition 8 case.

After four years of battling for the freedom to marry and with over 59 percent of Californians now strongly in favor of marriage equality, Proposition 8 is now in its final step and the future of marriage in California is now to be determined by the Supreme Court.

With the majority of Americans now supporting marriage quality and after this year’s sweeping marriage equality victories in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington, the Pacific Pride Foundation is hopeful that the Supreme Court will uphold Prop 8’s previous rulings as unconstitutional.

“While we may not be celebrating marriage equality in the state today, we are excited to know that our nation’s highest court will ultimately decide whether or not citizens have the right to marry,” said David Selberg, executive director of Pacific Pride Foundation, “and we are confident that like the previous courts, it will find that preventing loving couples from committing themselves in marriage is unconstitutional.”

— Lauren Gunther is the equality project coordinator for the Pacific Pride Foundation.

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