Gay marriage ban will be on California ballot, court rules

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The California Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to remove a voter’s initiative seeking to ban same-sex marriage in the state from the November ballot.

A petition filed by a collection of gay and lesbian advocacy groups sought to remove the ballot initiative on the grounds it would deprive gay and lesbian couples of their fundamental rights to marriage equality.

The California Marriage Protection Act, if passed by voters in November, would amend the state constitution to define marriage as only “between a man and a woman.”

The measure was put forth in reaction to the California Supreme Court decision in May overturning a ban on same-sex marriages in the state.

The Court voted 4 to 3 to strike the ban on gay marriage in California, making the state only the second in the nation behind Massachusetts to allow same-sex couples to marry legally under state law.

Proponents of the amendment, also known as Proposition 8, hope voters in the state of California will overrule the court’s decision, which opened the door for gay and lesbian couples to begin legally marrying in June.

Opponents of gay marriage raised over one million signatures to place the ballot initiative on the November ballot.

A collection of gay rights advocacy groups, including Equality California and the National Centre for Lesbian Rights issued a challenge to remove the proposed California Marriage Protection Act from the November ballot.

The organisations argued that the amendment, if passed, would deprive gay and lesbian couples of their rights.

On Wednesday, the California Supreme Court rejected the challenge to the ballot initiative without comment in a unanimous decision.

Jennifer Kerns, a spokeswoman for Proposition 8, told CNN the decision was a “huge victory” for those seeking to overturn the California Supreme Court’s ruling allowing same-sex couples to marry.

“We believe it deals a strong blow to our opponents and sends a strong message that they won’t be able to keep the ballot initiative away from the people of California,” Kern stated.

Equality California, the National Centre for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union issued a joint statement to the press regarding the court’s rejection of their challenge to the voter’s initiative.

“We’re disappointed, but this ruling does not affect the campaign against Prop 8 in any way,” the statement read.

“We have bee focused on continuing with the election and moving forward, talking to voters ad working I the precincts—asking Californians to Vote No on 8.

“Californians do not want their Constitution to single out people to be treated differently. We are confident they will vote NO in November to make sure everyone is treated equally under the law.”

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