The California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that supporters of the state's gay marriage ban can defend the law in court, sending the case challenging Proposition 8 back to a lower federal appeals judge.
Prop 8 sponsors had argued that they should be able to appeal last year's federal appeals court decision that struck down the same-sex marriage ban.
Lawyers for two gay couples argued that Prop 8 supporters didn't have the right to appeal.
But Thursday's decision by the seven justices proved otherwise.
"We conclude that California law authorizes the official proponents, under such circumstances, to appear in the proceeding to assert the state's interest in the initiative's validity and to appeal a judgment invalidating the measure," the unanimous ruling written by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye said.
The justices added that, "Neither the governor, the attorney general, nor any other executive or legislative official" can veto a measure that has been approved by voters.
California voters approved Prop 8 in 2008, but a lower court later overturned the measure.
Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and then-Attorney General Jerry Brown took the unusual step of refusing to appeal the decision.
The ruling sets a state precedent that could be used in other ballot initiative cases that the attorney general or governor decline to defend.
Randy Thomasson, president of the pro-family SaveCalifornia.com, said he was encouraged by the high court's ruling.
CBN News spoke with Thomasson more about the Prop 8 case and what this decision could mean for the gay marriage ban. Click play to watch.