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The decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals clears the way for a US Supreme Court hearing.
A federal appeals court refused Tuesday to reconsider its ruling striking down California's gay marriage ban, setting up a possible US Supreme Court hearing.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco issued a brief order saying the same-sex marriage case failed to get the majority vote needed to convene a so-called “en banc” panel, which usually consists of 11 judges, Politico reported.
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Supporters of the ban now have 90 days to ask the US Supreme Court to overturn the appeals court's ruling.
In February, a three-judge panel ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. In its split decision, the panel found that Proposition 8 "works a meaningful harm to gays and lesbians" by denying their right to civil marriage in violation of the 14th Amendment, according to CNN.
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Prop 8 supporters vowed to appeal to the nation's highest court.
"We will promptly file our appeal to the nation's highest court and look forward to a positive outcome on behalf of the millions of Californians who believe in traditional marriage," Andrew Pugno, an attorney for the ban supporters, said in a statement to Reuters.
Gay-rights advocates, meanwhile, hailed the court's action.
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"While the supporters of Proposition 8 will now seek review by the U.S. Supreme Court, there is no doubt that they are on the wrong side of history. Excluding same-sex couples from the right to marry runs counter to our highest ideals of equality and fairness," Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, told CNN.
Last month, a federal judge ruled that the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which forbids federal authorities from recognizing same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional, as did a federal judge in Boston, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
That issue could also now come before the US Supreme Court.