U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker has overturned Proposition 8, ruling that a ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
"Today's historic decision by the federal District Court is clearly a milestone victory for all gay, lesbian and bisexual Californians, our families and our friends. But much more than that, it is a resounding affirmation of fundamental American ideals and core principles of the U.S. Constitution," said CEO Lorri L. Jean from the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center.
Walker presided over the non-jury trial of a lawsuit brought by two same-sex couples seeking to overturn Proposition 8. The measure, which prevents gay and lesbian couples from getting married in California, was approved by the state's voters in November 2008 by a margin of 52.5 percent to 47.5 percent.
In March 2000, California voters approved Proposition 22, which specified that only marriages between a man and a woman would be considered valid in California. In May 2008, the California State Supreme Court ruled that Proposition 22 was unconstitutional because it discriminated against gay and lesbian people.
An estimated 18,000 same-sex couples got married in California following this ruling. In May 2009, the California Supreme Court upheld Prop. 8 and ruled those marriages would remain valid.
Same-sex marriage supporters will gather at West Hollywood Park on Wednesday night for a news conference that's tentatively scheduled for 6 p.m.