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California’s gay marriage ban is ruled unconstitutional

On Tuesday morning, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that Proposition 8, the ban on gay marriage in the state of California, is unconstitutional.

Proposition 8 was a voter-mandated ban on gay marriage that came into effect in November of 2008.  Tuesday’s historic decision was made by 2-1 vote of justices in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  The panel stated that the gay marriage ban in California “used the state’s initiative power to target a minority group and take away a right the group possessed, without legitimate reason.”

Judge Stephen Reinhardt, who was appointed by former President Jimmy Carter, stated, ”Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.”

Same-sex marriage opponents will most likely appeal this decision, and it is unclear whether they will decide to try the case in front of the same court with a 14 judge panel or move directly to the Supreme Court.