Appeals court decision on Prop 8 expected today 

click to enlarge Same-sex couple Billy Bradford (C) and Dennis Viete (R) react after they were denied a marriage license from San Francisco County Clerk director Karen Hong on February 14, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Close to a dozen same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses were arrested after they staged a sit-in demonstration inside the office of San Francisco's county clerk. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) - GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO
  • Getty Images file photo
  • Same-sex couple Billy Bradford (C) and Dennis Viete (R) react after they were denied a marriage license from San Francisco County Clerk director Karen Hong on February 14, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Close to a dozen same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses were arrested after they staged a sit-in demonstration inside the office of San Francisco's county clerk. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A federal appeals court is expected to issue a decision today on the constitutionality of Proposition 8.

California’s ban on same-sex marriage was approved by voters in 2008, but a federal lawsuit challenging the measure was filed by two same-sex couples the next year.

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled in August 2010 that the proposition violated the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process. The sponsors of Proposition 8 appealed the decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The appeals court is also expected to rule today on a separate appeal by the Prop 8 sponsors of another federal judge’s decision last year rejecting a motion to set aside Walker’s decision.

Today’s decision by a three-judge panel of the appeals court could be further appealed to an expanded 11-judge panel of the court, and possibly later to the U.S. Supreme Court.

aburack@sfexaminer.com

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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