SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. federal judge on Wednesday overturns Proposition 8, California's voter-approved initiative that banned same-sex marriage.
Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker of San Francisco found that the ban violated the constitutional rights to equal protection and due process of two gay couples that want to marry.
Walker presided over a nonjury trial in January, the first federal trial in the United States on same-sex couples' right to marry.
The case was brought by two same-sex couples who sued the state of California, after they were denied the right to marry because of Proposition 8, a California constitutional amendment approved by voters in November 2008 that banned same-sex marriage.
The California Supreme Court upheld the ban in May 2009, while ruling that the unions of roughly 18,000 same-sex couples who were wed before Proposition 8 was passed will remain valid.
"Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional," Walker wrote in the ruling.
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