San Francisco, CA February 7, 2012: The United States Court of Appeals 9th Curcuit issued an opinion that California cannot ban gay marriage. The California Initiative Proposition 8 to amendment the state constitution to define marriage as between opposite-sex couples violates Amendment 14 of the U.S. Constitution. The panel majority held that the people of California by using their initiative power to target a minority group and withdraw a right that it possessed, without a legitimate reason for doing, so violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The panel majority held that Proposition 8’s only effect was to take away that important and legally significant designation of “marriage,” previously recognized by the California Supreme Court, while leaving in place all of its incidents. The panel majority concluded that Proposition 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationship and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples. The majority determined that it need not and did not consider whether same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry, or whether states that fail to afford the right to marry to gays and lesbians must do so. Proposition 8 advocates said they plan to appeal this opinion to the U.S. Supreme Court. [URL='http/www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/general/2012/02/07/case-summary_Perry.pdf']Read More of this Summary of the Court Opinion[/URL]. [URL='http/www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/general/2012/02/07/1016696com.pdf']Read the Full 128 Page Opinion[/URL].