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Long-awaited ruling due on CA gay marriage ban

Appeals court to issue long-awaited ruling on constitutionality of California gay marriage ban By The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ' Supporters and opponents of California's ban on same-sex marriages are anxiously awaiting a federal appeals court decision on whether the voter-approved measure violates the constitutional rights of gay men and lesbians.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says the three-judge panel that considered the question plans to issue its long-awaited opinion on Tuesday.

The ruling will come 18 months after a federal trial judge struck down the ban, known as Proposition 8.

Even if the panel upholds the lower court ruling, it could be a while before same-sex couples can resume marrying in the state.

Proposition 8 backers plan to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court if they lose in the intermediate court, which could suspend its decision to allow time for that.

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