The California Supreme Court on
Thursday ruled that Proposition 8 supporters do have legal standing
to defend the amendment in court.
Protect Marriage, the coalition of
mostly religious groups which put Proposition 8 on the 2008 ballot
after the state's high court had legalized gay marriage, last year
appealed a federal judge's ruling declaring the law unconstitutional.
The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
turned to the Supreme Court to answer whether the group had the legal
right to defend the amendment in court. State officials had refused
to appeal the lawsuit.
Gay marriage supporters called the
decision a victory.
“Now that the California Supreme
Court has finally issued its advisory opinion that the Prop. 8
proponents have standing to appeal, we can expect a speedy ruling
from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals,” Chad Griffin,board
president of the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), the
group formed specifically to challenge the constitutionality of
Proposition 8, said in an email to supporters.
“We are on the cusp of achieving what
we have been fighting for,” he added.
The ruling increases the likelihood
that the case will reach the Supreme Court.