Both sides are claiming victory in Thursday's California Supreme Court ruling that found Proposition 8 backers have legal standing to defend the amendment in court.

In an unanimous decision, the state's highest court said state officials do not have the right to veto a voter-approved initiative.

“Neither the governor, the attorney general, nor any other executive or legislative official has the authority to veto or invalidate an initiative measure that has been approved by the voters,” Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakueye wrote for the court.

Protect Marriage, the coalition of mostly religious groups which put Proposition 8 on the 2008 ballot after the state's highest court had legalized gay marriage, last year appealed retired federal Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling declaring the law unconstitutional after state elected officials had refused to do so.

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals turned to the state Supreme Court to answer whether the group had the legal right to defend the amendment in court.

Gay marriage backers had argued that the court should not recognize Protect Marriage.

But in a video released shortly after the court ruled, Paul Katami and Jeff Zarillo, two of the plaintiffs in the case, asserted that the ruling was a victory because it put the case back on track and it increased the likelihood that the case would reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

“With today's ruling we can actually move forward,” Katami said. “We believe that in the end the truth wins out – Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling is based on the truth – and that someday we, as all other Americans, will be treated equally under the law.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, also claimed victory in the ruling.

“It has been nothing short of shameful to see Governor Jerry Brown, his predecessor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Kamala Harris abdicate their constitutional responsibility to defend Proposition 8 in court,” NOM President Brian Brown said in a blog post that included the tag line, “Prop 8 Victory: Moving closer to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

“Although today's ruling from the California Supreme Court confirms that the proponents of Prop 8 have the legal right to defend their initiative when the state officials refuse to fulfill their sworn duty, it is gratifying to know that the over 7 million Californians who supported the initiative will have a vigorous defense of their decision in our federal courts,” he added.