The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Tuesday declined
to revisit an appeal to a ruling that found Proposition 8, the California constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, unconstitutional.
The decision clears the way for the case to head to the Supreme Court. Opponents of the ruling have 90 days to appeal.
In a dissent, Judge O'Scannlain, joined by Judges Bybee and Bea, said the decision would silence the "respectful conversation" they said President Barack Obama encouraged in his statement in support of same-sex marriage last month.
"A few weeks ago, subsequent to oral argument in this case, the President of the United States ignited a media firestorm by announcing that he supports same sex marriage as a policy matter," O'Scannlian wrote. "Drawing less attention, however, were his comments that the Constitution left this matter to the States and that 'one of the things that [he]'d like to see is-that [the] conversation continue in a respectful way.'"