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California gay marriage ban is 'unconstitutional'


A federal appeals court has declared California's same-sex marriage ban to be unconstitutional, paving the way for a likely US Supreme Court showdown on the voter-approved law.

A three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 today that a lower court judge interpreted the US Constitution correctly in 2010 when he declared the ban, known as Proposition 8, to be a violation of the civil rights of gays and lesbians.

The ban passed with 52 percent of the vote in 2008 and outlawed same-sex unions just five months after they became legal in the state.

Lawyers for Proposition 8 sponsors and for two couples who sued to overturn the ban have said they would appeal to the Supreme Court if they did not receive a favorable ruling.