SACRAMENTO, Calif. - In what is most likely the final chapter in the legal fight over California's 2008 ban on gay marriage, the state Supreme Court has denied a petition by Proposition 8 backers to place a narrow limit on which marriages are legal.
Chief Justice Tani Cantil Sakauye rejected on Wednesday afternoon the final pro-Prop 8 lawsuit. Plaintiffs argued that a federal judge's rejection of the gay marriage ban only applied to the couples that filed that 2009 lawsuit -- and not to any same sex couple wishing to be married.
That lawsuit was filed on July 12, a little more than two weeks after the historic decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to reject the defense of Prop 8 by its political supporters.
The state's highest court offered no explanation for its rejection of this last lawsuit, and few legal watchers had given the case much of a chance of success.
A separate case, filed by the clerk of San Diego County and asking for the power to not issue same sex marriage licenses, was also formally resolved Wednesday afternoon. The high court accepted clerk Ernest Dronenburg's request, filed earlier this month, to drop the case.
The long legal fight over Proposition 8 dates back to the lawsuit filed by two gay couples in the wake of its passage by voters in November 2008. A federal judge ruled the state measure a violation of the U.S. constitution in August 2010. The appeals over that ruling by Prop 8's backers spanned almost three years, ending in the U.S. Supreme Court decision to deny their legal standing on June 26.
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