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social issues in recent years. "I think it's the civil rights battle of this generation," said Ben Bishin, a political science professor at UC Riverside. Proponents of the 2008 ballot initiative are cautiously optimistic. If the Supreme Court takes the case, it will be decided by a nine member panel with a conservative lean. Benjamin Lopez, a legislative analyst for the Traditional Values Coalition, contends Proposition 8 will go all the way up to the Supreme Court and as a supporter of the measure, he believes it's a good thing. "Given the current makeup of the court, on contentious issues, it's conservative," Lopez said. "Five to four is the typical ruling, and we hope that's the case again." "I pray every day that our five are alive and healthy; that they don't get sick, hurt or be removed from the bench." But some believe the conservative majority on the court is a fragile one. A swing vote means that the future of gay marriage could very well be decided by just one justice Anthony Kennedy. "It's true the court is pretty conservative but Kennedy is less conservative on individual rights issues," Bishin said. "He would much likely allow extending rights to disadvantaged groups." Kennedy, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, tends to vote conservative on contentious issues but his record on gay issues is mixed. Although he was among the majority to uphold the Boy Scouts' right to ban gays from membership, he sided with the liberal fraction of the court in Lawrence v. Texas. That 2003 case struck down state laws that made gay sex a crime. Justice Antonin Scalia was vocally frustrated New Era Hats Ny

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DISPUTE Feb. March 11, 2004: San Francisco stops issuing marriage licenses at the order of the California Supreme Court. March 2004: Twelve same sex couples and two gay rights groups file a lawsuit in San Francisco Superior Court contending that the state's marriage laws violate the California Constitution's guarantee of equal treatment. Aug. 12, 2004: The state Supreme Court voids San Francisco's same sex marriages, finding that Newsom violated state law. December 2004: Six cases for and against same sex marriage are heard simultaneously in San Francisco Superior Court. March 14, 2005: A San Francisco Superior Court judge declares California's ban on same sex marriage unconstitutional. July 10, 2006: All six cases are heard in the California Court of Appeal before a three judge panel. Oct. 5, 2006: California Court of Appeal panel upholds marriage laws that exclude gay and lesbian couples as constitutional. Nov. 13, 2006: San Francisco appeals to the state Supreme Court. May 15, 2008: The California Supreme Court overturns the voter approved same sex marriage ban. June 16, 2008: The state Supreme Court's ruling on same sex marriage in California becomes effective. Nov. 4, 2008: Prop 8, a ballot measure amending the state constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, is passed with just more than 52 percent of the vote. Nov. 5, 2008: The San Francisco city attorney files a challenge to Prop. 8, along with two other groups. Nov. 19, 2008: The state Supreme Court agrees to hear the case about the legality of Prop. 8. May 22, 2009: Two same sex couples file a lawsuit in federal court, challenging Prop. 8. May 26, 2009: The state Supreme Court upholds Prop. 8, but rules that the marriages of same sex couples already married are valid. Jan. 11, 2010: Federal non jury trial begins in the San Francisco courtroom of Judge Vaughn R. Nike Cap Collection Walker. June 16, 2010: Closing arguments are heard in the federal lawsuit. Aug. 4, 2010: Judge Walker rules Prop. 8 is unconstitutional. Aug. 16, 2010: The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit indefinitely extended the District Court's stay, stopping new same sex marriages in the state of California pending appeal. SOURCE: The Associated Press

and angered by the 2003 ruling and called the majority opinion a "massive disruption of the current social order." Bishin said if the matter winds up in the Supreme Court, Scalia could surprise us. Bishin contends there's a possibility that Scalia could get hung up on the issue of whether Proposition 8 proponents have any standing. It's still unclear whether opponents to same sex marriage have any standing to appeal Walker's Aug. 4 decision because they may not be able to show any harm or injury due to the ruling. "There's an argument made that Scalia, while he wouldn't be a fan of gay marriage, does question the issue of standing," Bishin said. Last month, the state Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown are not required to uphold the ballot initiative and appeal Walker's ruling. It was a blow to backers of Proposition 8 and raises the issue of whether anyone has standing to appeal. If the 9th Circuit Court believes Proposition 8 supporters do not have standing to appeal, the case may never make it to the Supreme Court. If that is the case, gays and lesbians could legally wed without knowing how Scalia, Kennedy or any of the nine justices would rule on the issue. GAY MARRIAGE Nike Hat Maroon

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Supreme Court, opponents and supporters of the state ban on gay marriage are weighing their chances. This month, attorneys for the two couples who sued successfully to overrule Proposition 8 are due to file their arguments in response to a 134 page opening brief from supporters of the ban. District Judge Vaughn Walker for striking down the ballot measure and being "one sided." A 9th Circuit panel of three judges is expected to hear oral arguments in the case starting Dec. 6. Many eyes are already on the nation's highest court, a possible destination for what has become one of the most debated Adidas Hat Cap

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