The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has given notice that it will announce its highly-anticipated rulings Tuesday (7 February) on California's Proposition 8 which banned marriage between same-sex couples when it was passed by voters in 2008.
The ruling, due at 10 a.m. PST, is expected to address three issues starting with whether former U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker, who overturned the law in 2010, should have recused himself from hearing the case because he is gay.
Walker retired from the bench retired earlier this year. After that, he publicly acknowledged being gay and in a 10-year relationship. He said he never considered his sexuality relevant to the case.
The second part of the ruling is expected to deal with whether proponents of Proposition 8 have the right to appeal Walker's decision when the state defendants - led by California Gov. Jerry Brown - have chosen not to.
And finally, if the court finds that Walker did not need to recuse himself and that the proponents do have the right to appeal, it will rule whether Walker was correct in his ruling that Proposition 8 violates Californians' due process and equal protection rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.
'We are very hopeful that the Ninth Circuit will rule in favor of fairness and equality, once and for all putting an end to Prop. 8’s exclusion of loving, committed couples from marriage,' said John Lewis, Marriage Equality USA’s Legal Director.
Whatever decision is reached by the judges, it is then expected to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Rallies are being planned for Tuesday evening in San Francisco, Fresno, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, and Santa Barbara.