San Francisco, Aug 5: Handing out a major victory to homosexuals and gay rights activists, a US district court chief judge overturned California ban on same-sex marriages terming it unconstitutional.
However gay and lesbian couples are still banned from entering the wedlock for now as the federal judge, Vaughn Walker said that the Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban, should remain in place until he considers and assesses a request by supporters of the ban while the case moves to a higher court.
This mean that the US Supreme Court would subsequently be the one that answers the question if same—sex couples have a constitutional right to wed.
Observing that Prop 8 opponents have demonstrated through "overwhelming evidence" that the ban violates due process and equal-protection rights under the US Constitution, Walker, in his conclusion of 136-page opinion, wrote, "Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license."
While same-sex marriage supporters have cheered the court's observation, governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who personally supports gay marriage, said the court's decision "affirms the full protections and safeguards I believe everyone deserves."