A court has rejected a Christian-based
legal group's effort to force California Governor Arnold
Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown to appeal a federal
district court ruling that found the state's gay marriage ban,
Proposition 8, unconstitutional, the AP reported.
Without explanation, the Third District
Court of Appeals in Sacramento on Wednesday denied the Pacific
Justice Institute's request to force the officials to defend the law.
Last month, Chief U.S. District Judge
Vaughn Walker ruled the measure, narrowly approved by voters in 2008,
violated the U.S. Constitution. Proposition 8 put an end to the gay
weddings taking place in California after the state's Supreme Court
legalized the institution.
Social conservatives are increasingly
worried that they'll lose their case on a technicality.
Proposition 8's sponsor, Protect
Marriage, a coalition of social conservative groups that includes the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons), the
California Catholic Conference and various evangelical churches,
intervened to defend the law after the suit's named defendants,
Schwarzenegger and Brown, refused.
But doubts have been raised about
whether the group has legal standing to appeal the ruling as ordinary
The Republican governor is also being
pressured by Republican lawmakers to defend the law. Twenty-seven
members of the Assembly's Republican caucus have written to
Schwarzenegger urging him to act.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in
San Francisco has put the decision on hold and scheduled oral
arguments for the second week in December.
The state has until September 11 to
file an appeal.