A federal judge overturned California's gay marriage ban Wednesday with an unequivocal ruling that could eventually force the U. Supreme Court to confront the question of whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed. Chief U. District Judge Vaughn Walker's strongly worded opinion in the landmark case — the first in a federal court to examine if states can lawfully limit marriage to a man and a woman — touched off a celebration outside the courthouse. Later in the day, a jubilant crowd marched through the city that has long been a haven for gays.
Supreme Court clears way for gay marriage in California
Supreme Court justices question gay marriage bans
Declaring that "same-sex love and intimacy are well-documented in human history," a judge has overturned California's ban on homosexual marriage as unconstitutional — in a sweeping victory for gay and lesbian civil rights. It's a victory for our justice system," said Theodore Olson, the former US Solicitor General who made the closing arguments at the trial opposing Proposition 8. The trial hinged on the civil rights question of whether California's voters had a right under the US Constitution to make a moral judgment by discriminating against sexual orientation. Supporters erupted in celebration outside the court in San Francisco where the case was heard, as the news of the demise of "Prop Hate" filtered out. But little will change immediately, as the ruling will remain suspended while Proposition 8's backers attempt to have their case heard by the US 9th circuit court of appeals. Whatever the result, the issue will almost certainly be decided by the US Supreme Court , perhaps by , according to legal experts.
Federal Judge Overturns California's Same-Sex Marriage Ban
At times, it seemed the court regretted taking the case. As thousands of supporters and opponents of gay marriage marched and demonstrated outside, a select few hundred — some of whom waited up to five days for a seat — sat hushed as the nine justices peppered questions at attorneys for both sides. The discussion often focused on technical issues that could thwart both sides' desire for a clear result.
Gay marriage campaigners were celebrating a major victory on Tuesday after a federal appeals court ruled California's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. The long-awaited ruling could pave the way for a US supreme court decision on the voter-approved measure known as Proposition 8. In a decision, a three-judge panel of the ninth US circuit court of appeals in San Francisco agreed with a lower court judge who in declared the ban to be a violation of the civil rights of gay and lesbian people. In its ruling, the appeals panel stressed that its decision applies only to California, which allowed gay marriage before Proposition 8, even although it has jurisdiction in nine western states.