U.S. Circuit Court Judge Stephen R. Reinhardt has denied a motion to recuse himself from the three-judge panel set to hear an appeal on Proposition 8, California's gay marriage ban.

Proposition 8 supporters on Wednesday asked Reinhardt to remove himself from the proceedings because his wife, Ramona Ripston, is the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California, a group that supported the plaintiffs in the case. According to the motion for recusal, Ripston is a vocal critic of the gay marriage ban.

Reinhardt on Thursday denied the motion, insisting he would “rule impartially in this appeal.”

The 2008 voter-approved law is being defended by ProtectMarriage.com, a coalition of religious-based groups formed specifically to repeal gay marriage in California.

“We accept Judge Reinhardt's decision and plan no further action,” ProtectMarriage.com lawyer Andy Pugno told the Sacramento Bee. “But we felt we had no choice but to ask him to remove himself in light of his wife's extensive involvement in this very case.”

The panel's makeup of two judges appointed by Democrats and one appointed by a Republican suggests it will lean in favor of supporting a lower court's ruling that found the law to be unconstitutional.

Oral arguments, which will be broadcast on C-SPAN, begin at 10AM on Monday.