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Federal judge rules Prop. 8 unconstitutional

Judge overturns California ban on same-sex marriage

A federal judge in San Francisco today overturned Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage.

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker said the voter-approved initiative violated the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection. Supporters of Proposition 8 have already announced in a filing late Tuesday that they will appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Walker ruled in a lawsuit filed last year by two same-sex couples. The case, which the judge decided without a jury, was the nation's first federal trial on a challenge under the U.S. Constitution to a state ban on gay marriage.

State Senator Leland Yee, whose district includes Portola Valley and Woodside, said: "Today's decision is a giant leap forward in healing the wounds of government-sanctioned discrimination. For far too long, our nation has unfairly denied fundamental rights to individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation -- clearly and sadly violating the equal protection doctrine in our state and federal Constitutions."

Related story:

Stanford prof: Prop. 8 will be 'unconstitutional'

— Bay City News Service

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