A federal appeals court in California has denied a petition to have Prop 8 -the 2008 California ballot initiative that defines marriage as between a man and a woman – further reviewed by a larger panel of judges, which means the case likely is headed to the Supreme Court of the United States.
In February , the majority of a three judge panel sitting on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Prop 8 ruling that the initiative “serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California and to officially reclassify their relationship and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.” The court ruled on narrow grounds specific to California and Proposition 8. It did not find a fundamental right of same sex couples to marry.
Supporters of Prop 8 – opponents of gay marriage – had asked for “en banc” review of the case. This would have meant that the Chief Judge of the circuit along with 10 randomly selected judges would have mooted their colleagues’ decision and started anew. But in a filing today the court said that a majority of judges had voted to deny the petition.
We all know that Political Figure Scalia made his decision on this matter a few decades ago, and we all know that once Political Lapdog Thomas gets word of his lawless colleague’s position he will also be voting against equal rights. But that said, it’s hard to imagine the Supreme Court, even with 4 devoted bigots, will ultimately rule against fair treatment under the law. Sure, it took them until the 1950’s to make the right call on the mirror issue of racial segregation, gays in America have been swift with showing just how much of this country they are. Now that over half the nation is ready for equal rights for gays, I think the Supreme Court may be ready, too.
Plus there’s this:
Today’s ruling comes a week after a federal appeals court in Boston struck down a key provision of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). In that case, legally married same sex couples argue that the federal government is denying them benefits available to opposite sex couples.
The Supreme Court will most likely consider both the Prop 8 case and the DOMA cases next term.
The tide is a-turnin’.