A US appeals court has found California's gay marriage ban unconstitutional, in a case that is likely to lead to a showdown on the issue in the US Supreme Court.
Proponents of the ban said they would appeal against the ruling, and the Protect Marriage coalition, which sponsored the ban, called the judgment "out of step with every other federal appellate and Supreme Court decision".
The appeal is likely to keep gay marriage on hold, pending future proceedings. But gay marriage supporters celebrated. Outside San Francisco City Hall, Breana Hansen stood smiling by her partner, Monica Chacon. "We're so happy. It's a validation for us as a couple," She said.
The majority in the 2-1 decision by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals did not address whether marriage was a fundamental right available to same-sex couples as well as heterosexuals.
But the two judges ruled that California's Proposition 8 ban did not further "responsible...