The California Supreme Court will issue a written opinion Thursday on whether conservatives who sponsored Proposition 8 are entitled to defend in court the measure that made same-sex marriage illegal in the state.
The court's ruling, which will be announced at 10 a.m., will determine whether initiative sponsors are legally entitled to defend their measures in state court when the governor and the attorney general refuse to do so.
If the court rules against the initiative backers, then a federal appeals court is more likely to rule that ProtectMarriage.com, the sponsor of Proposition 8, also lacks standing under federal law.
Gay rights groups want the state high court to deny standing to the initiative's sponsors. That could avoid a constitutional showdown on Proposition 8 that gays might lose before the U.S. Supreme Court.