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Anticipation builds on gay marriage ruling; marches planned

in UNITED STATES, 06/08/2010

Anticipation is building around California and beyond as a federal judge in San Francisco is posed to issue a ruling Wednesday afternoon on whether whether gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry.

By Angeles Times

by Maura Dolan in San Francisco

Various events are scheduled from both the L.A. area and Bay Area after the ruling is issued, sometime between 1 and 3 p.m.

Demonstrators are expected to gather outside of the court in San Francisco and in the city's Castro district. Additional marches are planned in West Hollywood and at Olvera Street in L.A.

U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who presided over a trial earlier this year on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, will rule on whether the 2008 ballot initiative violates the U.S. Constitution, a court spokeswoman said.
Walker, an appointee of President George H.W. Bush, heard myriad witnesses testify about the history of marriage, the nature of homosexuality and the degree of power gays and lesbians possess in the political system during the 2 1/2-week trial in January.

Most of the testimony favored marriage rights for homosexuals. Walker’s decision is expected to be appealed to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and then up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

A Los Angeles-based group funding the litigation hired former Solicitor General Ted Olson, a conservative, and noted litigator David Boies, who squared off against Olson in Bush vs. Gore, to represent two couples who are challenging Proposition 8.

The California Supreme Court ruled 4 to 3 that gays and lesbians were entitled to marry under the state Constitution in a historic ruling in May 2008. Voters passed Proposition 8 six months later, amending the state Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

Walker will decide whether California’s ban on same-sex marriage violates equal protection and due process rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

 

Photo: Proposition 8 supporter Don J.Grundman, right, debates Brady Pearson, left, who is against the anti gay marriage amendment, as they wait outside the State Supreme Court to hear it's 2009 decision to uphold the bill. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

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