The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has refused to hear or review an earlier ruling that California’s Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
In February, the same court affirmed a lower court’s decision in August 2010 that the ban violates the American constitution.
The result is, for now, a temporary victory for the LGBT community.
The supporters of Prop 8 are likely to next take the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court and The Ninth Circuit Court is expected to allow the ban to remain in place until that process is complete.
The Supreme Court could also decide not to hear the case. If this were to happen the lower court ruling would come into force and gay and lesbian couples would again be able to marry in California.
“Today’s announcement is another significant step on a path that we all know leads to equality,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.
“While the U.S. Supreme Court may ultimately decide the outcome of this case, we must all continue to walk that path – in this case and other courtrooms, in legislatures, at ballot boxes and at kitchen table – until all LGBT people are fully and equally part of the American community.”
The Prop 8 ban was put in place by 52% of California voters in a referendum in November 2008, after the state had earlier legalised same-sex marriage. It has since been the subject of ongoing legal battles.