A federal appeals court on Tuesday declined to take up the California's same-sex marriage ban, leaving its supporters with the U.S. Supreme Court as their only recourse.
A three-judge panel from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which made Tuesday's ruling, had in February upheld a a lower court ruling, which had declared California’s controversial Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.
Also read: Prop. 8 is Unconstitutional, Court Rules
Backers of the proposition had requested that a larger panel of judges to rehear the case.
With the full appeals court declining to rehear the panel's decision, supporters of the ban could appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which they have said they will do.
The conservative-leaning Supreme Court could rule on the matter or decline to hear it as well. President Obama last month pushed the issue further into the spotlight, declaring that he believed same-sex couples should have the right to marry.
The February three-judge appeals court panel ruling upheld a 2010 decision by a U.S. district judge in San Francisco. However, in the appeals court decision, Circuit Judges Stephen Reinhardt and Michael Daly Hawkins said that they were speaking only about Proposition 8, and that states would have to decide the marriage issue themselves.