February 7, 2012
A federal appeals court today declared California's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, likely paving the way for a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the near future, the Los Angeles Times reports. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco voted 2-1 to uphold a ruling by a lower court judge that the ban -- known as Proposition 8 -- was unconstitutional. "Proposition 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California," the court said. Proposition 8, which passed with 52 percent of the vote in 2008, outlawed same-sex marriages just six months after they became legal in California. Proposition 8 sponsors said they would appeal to the Supreme Court if they did not receive a favorable ruling from the 9th Circuit.