California's Supreme Court will issue its long-awaited ruling on a bid to overturn a ban on gay marriage next week, the court said in a statement Friday.
The court said it would publish its opinion, which followed oral arguments in March, at 10 am (1700 GMT) on Tuesday, the latest twist in a long-running saga over same-sex marriage in the most populous US state.
AdvertisementIn March, civil rights lawyers argued that a ban on same-sex marriage passed during last November's elections violated the state's constitution and that minority rights should not be vulnerable to a simple majority vote.
Tuesday's ruling will come roughly 12 months after the California Supreme Court voted to legalize gay marriage, a landmark decision that saw some 18,000 same-sex couples tie the knot.
However the status of those marriages was thrown into question six months later when Californians voted to amend the state constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
During oral arguments in March, advocates of same-sex marriage urged the court to strike down the results of the referendum, known as Proposition 8.
"Prop. 8 changes the basic nature of our government from one in which the majority protects the rights of minorities," said Shannon Minter, lead counsel for those seeking to overturn the measure.
"It takes away the right to be treated with equal dignity and respect ... A simple majority cannot be allowed to take any rights away from a historically protected minority."
But some members of the seven-judge panel strongly indicated they were leaning toward rejecting the requests to invalidate the referendum results, with one justice saying the court could not "willy-nilly disregard the will of the people."