SAN FRANCISCO — Proposition 8 backers trying to preserve California’s gay marriage ban in federal courts likely won’t be blocked by the state Supreme Court.

Justices heard oral arguments on Tuesday in Perry v. Brown, S189476, on the question of whether official proponents of the ballot initiative have standing to defend the measure in court since state officials have refused. The court is responding to a question by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which said it needed to know whether, under California law, proponents have a “particularized interest in the initiative’s validity” or authority to stand in for the state before the Ninth Circuit could move on to deciding the merits of the appeal.

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