An appeal was filed on Tuesday challenging a San Francisco judges ruling that declared Californias same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional.
Earlier this year, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer ruled that state law that only recognizes marriage between a man and a woman violates equal rights protected under the state constitution.
The decision sparked heated debate both in the state and throughout the nation, coming at a time when many states are deciding upon constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage, in response to a Massachusetts court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage within that state in 2003.
California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, despite personal support for same-sex marriage, filed the appeal on Kramers ruling in defense of state law.
Lockyer and pro-family groups will seek to overturn Kramers decision. Kramer has stayed his ruling during the appeal process. The case is likely to reach the state Supreme Court.
This week, legislators are expected to vote on a bill proposed by Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) to legalize same-sex marriage in the state. Opponents of same-sex marriage failed to win approval of an opposing bill to ban gay marriage, but have since filed a voter-initiative seeking to put the issue on the next statewide ballot.