A Federal District Judge has overturned California’s same sex marriage ban today, according to the Drudge Report. Judge Vaughn Walker, who conducted the trial in January, has decided that the ban instituted by Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. This marks the first time a federal judge has ruled that the ban violates the US Constitution. Judge Walker did not place a stay on his order pending appeal.
Previously, a number of courts have looked at whether the issue of gay marriage violates their state constitution. This, however, is the first time that a federal judge has decided that the ban violates the federal constitution.
Walker, in his decision, found that Proposition 8 does not survive a rational basis, that Proposition 8 places lawful force behind the stigma to gays and lesbians and that stereotypes and misinformation has worked to hinder the legal basis for them.
This ruling will be immediately appealed to the 9th Circuit. Whichever side loses there will presumably appeal the decision to the US Supreme Court. A number of similar cases are already in the federal system, notably a Massachusetts decision on the federal Defense of Marriage Act.