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San Francisco Federal Appeals Court To Hear Marriage Ban Case In December

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Gay marriage ring exchange

Same-sex couple Shani Lyons (L) and Melanie Franklin (R) exchange rings during their wedding ceremony October 15, 2008 at City Hall in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A federal appeals court has set Dec. 6 as the day it will hear arguments to determine the constitutionality of California’s gay marriage ban.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals made the announcement Thursday. The San Francisco-based court will reveal the identity of the three-judge panel assigned to the case the week before arguments.

Gay marriage foes are appealing U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker’s striking down of California’s Proposition 8, which limited marriage in the state to opposite sex couples. Walker ruled the voter-approved ban violated the civil rights of gay couples wishing to wed.

The ban remains in force until the appeals court decides the matter.

Unlike state court judges who must rule within 90 days after oral arguments, federal courts operate free of such deadlines.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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