A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday found California's gay marriage ban unconstitutional in a case that is likely to lead to a showdown on the issue in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Proponents of the ban said they would appeal the ruling, and the Protect Marriage coalition that sponsored the ban called the judgment "out of step with every other federal appellate and Supreme Court decision." The appeal is likely to keep gay marriage on hold pending future proceedings. [...]
Opponents and supporters of same-sex marriage both have said they are ready to appeal the decision all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Opponents of gay marriage have not decided whether to ask a larger 9th Circuit panel to hear the matter, or appeal directly to the Supreme Court, Andrew Pugno, general counsel for Protect Marriage and a lawyer on the team defending Prop 8, said by email.
The 9th Circuit Court apparently decided that the Equal Protection Amendment requires that marriage be redefined to include pairs it never actually included before; there's no word, though, on how the Court will sleep at night knowing they have still excluded the marriage rights of groups larger than pairs and of incestuous couples, who have yet to have marriage redefined to include them (though I'm sure California politicians are ready and willing to start issuing group marriage licenses in defiance of current law).
Like I said above, though, this decision surprises no one. Rumor has it that some members of the 9th Circuit have, indeed, actually heard of the Constitution; but that gratifying notion is depleted of its value somewhat when we consider that of the justices who have heard of it, two of them are rumored to think (incorrectly) that it might have been a cheesy prop in a Nicholas Cage movie, and the third, alas, even more confused, allegedly thinks it was a cheesy prop in The DaVinci Code.
Whether they've heard of the Constitution or not, though, the members of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals seem to be unanimous in thinking that actually consulting it would be noxious to the liberty which Americans hold dear, at least if the general tenor of their decisions gives any clues as to their philosophy. So I'm more surprised that the 9th Circuit didn't take this golden opportunity to declare marriage itself to be unconstitutional as well as patriarchal and just plain not groovy than I am that they would side with those who seek to define it out of existence.