Declaring a measure overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2004 violated a provision of the state constitution that limits ballot questions to a single subject, a Georgia judge struck down the state’s gay marriage ban this week.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Constance Russell handed down the ruling that gay rights supporters who filed the court challenge in November 2004 had been eagerly awaiting, shortly after the constitutional ban was approved.

According to the Associated Press, Russell said “procedural safeguards such as the single-subject rule rarely enjoy public support.

“But ultimately it is those safeguards that preserve our liberties, because they ensure that the actions of government are constrained by the rule of law,” the judge wrote.

Jack Senterfitt, who issued a challenge to the amendment on behalf of gay rights organisation Lambda Legal, told the Associated Press that the ruling “protects the right of voters to make independent decisions on each independent issue.”

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