Both sides cheer high court's gay marriage review

  • In this file photo from Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010, a rainbow flag flies below the American flag outside City Hall in San Francisco. The U.S. Supreme Court decided Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, to hear the appeal of a ruling that struck down Proposition 8, the state’s measure that banned same sex marriages. The highly anticipated decision by the court means same-sex marriages will not resume in California any time soon. The justices likely will not issue a ruling until spring of next year. A federal appeals court ruled in February that Proposition 8’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. But the court delayed implementing the order until same-sex marriage opponents proponents could ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the ruling. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

SAN FRANCISCO — The bitter rivals in California's gay marriage debate were in complete agreement Friday: The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to take up the state's gay marriage ban was a good thing.

Of course, each side is now hoping for a diametrically opposite ruling.

Still, both sides expressed relief that the long, legal battle may be nearing an end now that the high court has agreed to consider California's Proposition 8, which 52 percent of the electorate passed in 2008. Since then, two lower courts have struck down the ban as unconstitutional. The courts have put same-sex marriages on hold until the legal issues are resolved, which could occur next year depending on how the U.S. Supreme Court rules.

"Every one of the numerous legal steps we have taken for the past four years has been in anticipation of this moment," said Andy Pugno, general counsel for ProtectMarriage.com, which supported the ban in court. "Arguing this case before the Supreme Court finally gives us a chance at a fair hearing, something that hasn't been afforded to the people since we began this fight."

On the other side of the divide, same-sex couples and their supporters similarly applauded the U.S. Supreme Court's action, even though a denial to take the case would have lifted the ban.

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