US federal judge rules against California ban on gay marriage
Advocates for homosexual marriage in California won a key victory Wednesday in a ruling by a US federal judge, dpa reported.
Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that California's ban on same-sex marriage violated the US constitution, US broadcaster CNN reported. Such a ban went against the equal rights for homosexuals anchored in the US constitution, Walker ruled.
Walker overturned a 2009 ruling by the California Supreme Court that upheld a voters' referendum that banned gay marriages.
The issue has been unsettled for years in California, where the top California court had given the green light to same sex marriage in May 2008, only to have 52 per cent of the voters in November 2008 ban the practise.
The ban was then upheld in May 2009 by the California Supreme Court, which however did recognize the 18,000 "I dos" pronounced between May and November 2008.
Wednesday's decision is another step for the hotly contested issue through the judicial process on a likely path to the US Supreme Court.