(Newsroom America) — A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld a lower court’s decision overturning California’s Proposition 8, which banned gay marriages.
The appeals court upheld a previous ruling by now-retired U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, who revealed he was gay after leaving the federal bench, ruled in August 2010 that the ban violated the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection and due process clauses.
His decision was appealed by the group Protect Marriage, which took part in sponsoring Prop. 8 in 2008.
Backers of the proposition argued that voters who supported it were entitled to believe that it was in the best interest of children to be raised by heterosexual parents.
Opponents rejected that view, however, and argued that gay marriages would not hurt heterosexual unions, but would help the thousands of California children who are being raised by gay and lesbian parent.
Tuesday’s ruling likely won’t be the last in the case. It can still be appealed to the full 11-member panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and to the U.S. Supreme Court.
© 2012 Newsroom America.