Thousands of gay couples celebrated across America today after a judge overturned a ban on same-sex marriages in California. Crowds carrying placards reading “Our Love Wins” gathered in Hollywood, New York and San Francisco, where the ruling was delivered.
Federal judge Vaughn Walker accepted the arguments of two gay couples that the ban violated their civil rights, This is London reports.
"Rather than being different, same-sex and opposite-sex unions are, for all purposes relevant to California law, exactly the same," Walker wrote in an unequivocal and strongly worded 136-page ruling. "The evidence shows conclusively that moral and religious views form the only basis for a belief that same-sex couples are different from opposite-sex couples."
While the ruling affects only California, the appeal will go to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over nine Western states. The outcome there eventually could force the U.S. Supreme Court to confront the question of whether gays have a constitutional right to wed, The Associated Press informs.