"The California Supreme Court decided Thursday that the sponsors of Proposition 8 and other ballot measures are entitled to defend them in court when the state refuses to do so, a ruling likely to spur federal courts to decide the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans.

The state high court’s decision, a defeat for gay rights groups,  sets the stage for a federal ruling — which could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court — that would affect marriage bans outside California.”

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