Calif. gay marriage ban faces next legal hurdle

September 6, 2011 - 3:50 AM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California's same-sex marriage ban is facing its next test in a San Francisco courtroom. The state's highest court has been asked to shed light on whether the measure's backers have legal authority to appeal the ruling that overturned Proposition 8.

The California Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday on that question, which could prove crucial to the future of the voter-approved ban, known as Proposition 8. The federal appeals court that is considering the initiative's constitutionality wants the state court to weigh in on the matter before it issues its decision.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has expressed doubts about the ability of Proposition 8's sponsors to challenge the lower court ruling absent the involvement of California's governor or attorney general, both of whom refused to appeal the decision.

If the Supreme Court says the ban's proponents did not have standing to appeal, it could clear the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California.