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Federal Judge's Decision on Prop 8 Could Have Variety Of Effects

A federal judge’s decision on California’s law banning same-sex marriage could have a variety of effects. That’s the word from one legal expert. Closing arguments in the federal trial over the constitutionality of Proposition 8 were held yesterday.

Larry Levine, a Professor of Law at University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law, says the judge’s decision could be wide-ranging or very focused.

“It could be extremely broad,” said Levine. “It could say the United States Constitution compels states to allow gays and lesbians to enter the institution of marriage, or, and more likely, I think, it could be founded on more narrow grounds that looks at a more California-centric approach.”


Levine says the judge likely won’t rule for weeks, and whatever decision he makes is likely to be appealed. The case could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Voters approved prop 8 in 2008. It says marriage in California can only be between a man and a woman. Same-sex couple are challenging it as unconstitutional.