The wingnuts will be in quite a tizzy tonight. While, this will undoubtedly be sent to the California Supreme Court on appeal, this is a huge developement in the U.S.'s cultural war.
Update: Top ten reasons to ban gay marraige H/T DA
Judge Says Calif. Can't Ban Gay Marriage
By LISA LEFF, Associated Press Writer
SAN FRANCISCO - A judge ruled Monday that California's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, saying the state could no longer justify limiting marriage to a man and a woman.
In the eagerly awaited opinion likely to be appealed to the state's highest court, San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer said that withholding marriage licenses from gays and lesbians is unconstitutional.
"It appears that no rational purpose exists for limiting marriage in this state to opposite-sex partners," Kramer wrote.
The judge wrote that the state's historical definition of marriage, by itself, cannot justify the denial of equal protection for gays and lesbians.
"The state's protracted denial of equal protection cannot be justified simply because such constitutional violation has become traditional," Kramer wrote.
Kramer ruled in lawsuits brought by the city of San Francisco and a dozen same-sex couples last March. The suits were brought after the California Supreme Court halted a four-week marriage spree that Mayor Gavin Newsom had initiated in February 2004 when he directed city officials to issue marriage licenses to gays and lesbians in defiance of state law.
The plaintiffs said withholding marriage licenses from gays and lesbians trespasses on the civil rights all citizens are guaranteed under the California Constitution.