In a ruling with far-reaching implications, a panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban of gay marriage, is a violation of the U.S. Constitution.
Two same-sex couples challenged Proposition 8 days before the California Supreme Court was slated to uphold it as a valid state constitutional amendment. The suit triggered a historic trial, examining the nature of sexual orientation and the history of marriage. U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled against Prop 8 in 2010, but the 9th Circuit issued a stay to the ruling pending appeals. This morning, the panel upheld Walker's original ruling, in effect shooting down Prop 8.
Today's ruling came through a 2-1 decision.
"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 in its opinion.
You can read the full opinion here.
Prop 8 supporters have already indicated that they are anxious to appeal the ruling, first to the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit or taking it directly to the Supreme Court, which has never ruled on the matter.