Gay and lesbian couples in California
could regain the right to marry as early as next month if the Supreme
Court decides not to hear a case on the state's gay marriage ban,
In 2008, voters narrowly approved the
amendment to the state's constitution in response to a California
Supreme Court ruling which legalized such unions.
Approximately 18,000 couples married
before Proposition 8 was approved.
The amendment was found to be
unconstitutional by a federal district court in 2010 and the ruling
was upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Prop 8 supporters earlier this year
asked the Supreme Court to review the decision.
According to the American Foundation
for Equal Rights (AFER), the group formed specifically to challenge
the ban, the high court's decision to take the case could come as
early as September 25.
If the court agrees to hear the case,
oral arguments would be presented in the spring, and a final decision
would likely be issued by June 2013, AFER said.
A decision not to hear the case is
expected as early as October 1. In that case, the Ninth Circuit
decision which ruled the ban unconstitutional would be made
permanent. AFER said that it expects marriages would resume within
several days after the Supreme Court denies review.