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The California Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to hear a challenge to a ballot initiative that seeks to ban same-sex marriages.

The unanimous decision means that, barring further legal action, voters will consider a constitutional amendment in November that would again limit marriage in California to a union between a man and a woman. The court did not give a reason for deciding not to accept the case.

"This was a frivolous lawsuit. It was a desperate attempt to try to keep the voter initiative off the ballot in November," said Glen Lavy, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund representing the measure's sponsors.

If it passes, the amendment, known as Proposition 8, would overrule the Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage in the state as of June 16.

Equality California and other gay rights groups issued a statement Wednesday saying they were confident that the initiative, similar to gay marriage bans enacted in 26 other states, will fail.

"We're disappointed, but this ruling does not affect the campaign against Prop. 8 in any way," the groups said. "We have been focused on continuing the election and moving forward."

Equality California filed a petition last month arguing that the signature petitions used to put the proposal on the ballot, printed up before the court struck down the state's marriage laws, were misleading because they stated that the initiative would have no legal or financial effect.

The gay rights group also claimed that Proposition 8 would so drastically alter the promise of equality written into the California Constitution that it was improper to put it before voters as an amendment.


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