SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 15: Same-sex couple Shani Lyons (L) and Melanie Franklin (R) exchange rings during their wedding ceremony October 15, 2008 at City Hall in San Francisco, California. Same-sex couples are rushing to get married before the November election in fear that anti-gay marriage initiative proposition 8 will pass and gay marriages will once again be illegal in California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Shani Lyons;Melanie Franklin
The 9th U.S. Court of Appeals said last month that it can not decide if the gay marriage ban is constitutional until the state high court weighs in on whether proposition sponsors have authority to defend the measure.
A three-judge panel asked the California Supreme Court to decide if ballot proposition backers can step in to defend voter-approved initiatives in court when state officials refuse to do so.
You may remember that former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former state Attorney General Jerry Brown both declined to defend the voter-approved initiative. If the state court rules that there is no such right to sponsors, then the appeal must be dismissed, according to the court.
The panel suggested it would have to dismiss the case if there's no state high court input.
The circuit court judges are being asked to rule on an appeal of U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's August ruling that Prop. 8 violated the constitutional rights of gay people to equal protection.