SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court has refused to reconsider its ruling banning the removal of prospective jurors because of their sexual orientation.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday declined to take up the issue again, though three judges dissented, saying the ruling will have far-reaching implications on same-sex marriage cases and other sexual orientation legal issues.

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A unanimous three-judge panel of the appeals court held in January that striking someone based on sexual orientation was unlawful discrimination akin to removing potential jurors because of race or gender.

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It reversed a verdict and ordered a new trial between two rival drug companies locked in a legal dispute over the price of a popular AIDS drug.

The rehearing request was made by a 9th Circuit judge.

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