(WASHINGTON) — The hot button issue of same-sex marriage is headed to the Supreme Court.
After the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last spring struck down California’s Proposition 8, which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, its proponents vowed to take the matter to the high court.
It happened Tuesday as Prop 8’s sponsor, Protect Marriage, formally asked the Supreme Court to reject the two-to-one decision. Attorney Andy Pugno said it shouldn’t have been left to the appeals court to overturn the November 2008 vote approved by California voters.
Pugno told reporters, “We hope the court will take this case and take a good sober look at whether or not the Constitution requires same-sex marriage or whether this is something that the people in each state get to decide for themselves.”
As it happens, the high court might get to determine the legality of same-sex marriages on state and federal levels by ruling on both Prop 8 and the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which the Obama administration has decided to no longer defend.
Gays and lesbians were allowed to marry in California briefly in 2008 and their unions are still considered legal.
However, the current ban is still in effect until the Supreme Court rules on the final appeal, probably before this time next year.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Andrea Blanford, CNN
Emanuella Grinberg, CNN
Kevin Liptak, CNN
Ralph Ellis, Ben Wedeman and Michael Pearson, CNN