Appeals court strikes down Calif ban on gay marriage

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — Same-sex marriage moved one step closer to the Supreme Court on Tuesday when a federal appeals court ruled California’s ban unconstitutional, saying it serves no purpose other than to “lessen the status and human dignity” of gays.The OlympianThe bill to make Washington the seventh state to legally recognize same-sex marriages goes to a vote in the state House of Representatives starting at 1 p.m. Wednesday. Senate Bill 6239 already passed the Senate last week on a 28-21 vote. Gov. Chris Gregoire requested the measure and is expected to sign it soon.The historic House vote in Olympia comes as gay-marriages advocates won another round in court Tuesday in a California case.Opponents of gay marriage are gearing up to challenge SB 6239 with a referendum on the Nov. 6 ballot. Advocates with the evangelical Faith and Freedom Network, led by Gary Randall, and others plan a referendum once Gregoire signs it, and they face a June 6 deadline for signatures.A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave gay marriage opponents time to appeal the 2-1 decision before ordering the state to allow same-sex weddings to resume.“I’m ecstatic. I recognize that we have a ways to go yet. We may have one or two more legal steps,” said Jane Leyland, who was gathered with a small crowd outside the federal courthouse in downtown San Francisco, cheering as they learned of the ruling.last_img

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