In February, a three-judge panel of the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a 2-1 decision upheld the ruling of US District Court judge Vaughn Walker that Proposition 8 (that reversed the policy allowing same sex marriage in California) was unconstitutional.
Opponents appealed to the full Ninth Circuit but on Tuesday, a majority of the full court decided against reconsidering that decision.
This means that Proposition 8 has been overturned and same sex marriage is legal in California. But the Appeals Court stayed the ruling for ninety days to allow supporters to file an appeal with the US Supreme Court, as they seem certain to do.
If the Supreme Court decides to take the case, as seems likely, then a final decision won’t come until sometime in 2013. If they decline to hear the case, then same sex marriage immediately becomes legal (again) in California. This could happen as early as this fall.