Gay rights groups on Tuesday cheered a
federal appeals court's decision to deny a request by Prop 8
supporters to rehear Perry v. Brown en banc.
The decision is the latest loss for
backers of the 2008 voter-approved amendment which put an end to the
legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples taking place in California
after the state Supreme Court ruled that the state's law limiting
marriage to heterosexual couples is unconstitutional.
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the request by sponsors of the
ban for a second look at the case with an expanded number of judges.
“Today's order is yet another federal
court victory for loving, committed gay and lesbian couples in
California and around the nation,” Chad Griffin, a co-founder of
AFER, the group formed to challenge the constitutionality of the law,
said in a statement.
“The final chapter of the Proposition
8 case has now begun,” he added.
“Once again, a federal court has
affirmed that the cherished guarantees of our Constitution are there
to protect all Americans – including lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender people,” said the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest gay rights advocate. “With today's announcement,
we are one step closer to ensuring that gay and lesbian Californians
– and, one day, our entire community nationwide – are able to
join the institution of marriage and have their love and commitment
Evan Wolfson, founder and president of
Freedom to Marry, added: “Today's decision by the Ninth Circuit to
deny a rehearing of Perry vs. Brown brings committed same-sex
couples in California one step closer to being able to marry. It's
now been three-and-a-half years since the freedom to marry was
stripped from loving and committed same-sex couples. It is long past
time for this 'gay exception' to marriage in California to come to an