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Judge Rules Against California’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban

A federal judge Wednesday struck down California’s controversial Proposition 8 voter-approved ballot measure that banned same-sex unions.

In his ruling, U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker of San Francisco ruled Proposition 8 violated the 14th Amendment of the Constitution because it limits the ability of gays and lesbians to marry the partners of their choice, the Associated Press reports.

“Plaintiffs challenge Proposition 8 under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment,” the judge wrote. “Each challenge is independently meritorious, as Proposition 8 both unconstitutionally burdens the exercise of the fundamental right to marry and creates an irrational classification on the basis of sexual orientation.”

The ruling is expected to be appealed to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and could wind up before the Supreme Court. Proposition 8 was approved by 52.3 percent of California voters in November 2008.

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