The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals voted today against reconsidering its previous ruling that the state's same-sex marriage ban — better known as Proposition 8 — was unconstitutional.

NPR's news blog helpfully notes that this "does not mean that same-sex marriages are suddenly legal again in California," as the court granted Prop 8's supporters 90 to file a petition for writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court, something they fully intend to do.

The question of whether or not the Supreme Court will hear the case remains open. If the top court turns the case down, same-sex marriage could be legal again in California as early as October.

"Today marks a monumental turning point in our case for equality," said the American Foundation for Equal Rights in a statement following news of the ruling. "AFER's federal constitutional challenge to Proposition 8 is now entering its final stage...Now, there are only two things that could happen: 1. Couples start getting married again in California; or 2. Our case for marriage equality goes to the U.S. Supreme Court."

[photo via AP]