SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – At a hearing in San Francisco Tuesday morning, California Supreme Court justices seemed inclined to recommend allowing the sponsors of Proposition 8 to appeal a federal trial court ruling striking down the initiative.

The state high court was asked by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to give an advisory opinion on that aspect of the case. The federal appeals court is considering the appeal by the sponsors of the ban on same-sex marriage.

The question before the court is whether state law gives an initiative’s sponsors the right to appeal when the state’s governor and attorney general refuse to do so.

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye said, “An initiative measure is an indication of the voters’ will.”

She said “the purpose and integrity of the initiative process” are at stake in the question of who can appeal.

“This issue transcends Proposition 8,” the chief justice said.

Theodore Olson, representing two same-sex couples, argued that the state Constitution gives only the attorney general, not private citizens, the right to appeal in such cases.

But Justice Joyce Kennard said, “It appears to me that to agree with you would be to nullify the great power of the initiative that the people have reserved to themselves.”

The court took the case under submission after an hour of arguments and now has 90 days to issue a written ruling.

After the state court rules, the case will go back to the federal appeals court for a final decision.

Before oral arguments were presented to the California Supreme Court Tuesday morning, supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage demonstrated on the steps of the State Building in San Francisco.

Same-sex supporters had announced they would hold a “No Standing for Prop 8” sit-in before the 10 a.m. hearing at the State Building on 350 McAllister St. in San Francisco.

They were quickly joined on the State Building steps Tuesday morning by banner-waving supporters of the same-sex marriage ban.

Sit-in organizer Billy Bradford with Marriage Equality USA said in a statement, “Same-sex couples and their families will once again stand up for their love and dignity by attending the hearing and staging (the sit-in) beforehand.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (7)
  1. peter says:

    Voters Said NO.

    Start overturning the People and civil unrest trouble is likely.

    1. Mark Lee says:

      voters would have said no for civil rights in the 60’s…voters would have said no to women’s rights before that. There are times when the government has to step in to protect the rights of ALL its citizens. This is one of those times. Marriage equality does not threaten anyone, so I cannot even comprehend why this is happening.

      And really???? Civil unrest? Rioting in the streets? Torching buildings? All because people who are in love may be given the right to marry?

  2. Tony says:

    Voters don’t have final say in this case, especially in the absence of a super majority. That’s the way America is designed to work. Love it or leave it!

  3. Straight says:

    Friggin Disgusting! Did my “Yes on Prop 8” vote not count? People have spoken and should not have even waste my tax money on this. The government have better and more important things to take care of than this SINISTER culture!

  4. Mark Lee says:

    Granting people the right to be recognized as equal in American culture is “sinister”? Granting people the right to marry the person they love is “sinister”? Not that long ago mixed race marriages were considered “Friggin DIsgusting” too because it was said that the Bible condemned it. Sometimes “the people” are wrong.

  5. Marty says:

    Mark, I agree with you. The majority of people may have voted for Prop 8, albeit a slim one, but that doesn’t mean they were wrong. I’m not saying that the courts should overturn every law that the people vote for, but there are times when the people are in the wrong and the courts can correct it.

    Besides, religion and politics do not mix. They’re fine separate, but they’re a bad combination.

  6. Marty says:

    Check that. That doesn’t mean they were right. Stupid typo.

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