Actor George Takei has said that a vote to ban gay marriage in California is taking away a “fundamental right.”

Mr Takei, best-known for his portrayal of Mr Sulu in the cult TV series Star Trek, married his partner Brad Altman at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles in September.

The ceremony featured bagpipes, a Buddhist priest and Native American wedding bands.

Enterprise crew members stars Walter Koenig (Mr Chekhov) and Nichelle Nichols (Lieutenant Uhura), were best man and best lady.

In May the California Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to get married in the state.

Between June and election day last week, an estimated 18,000 couples exercised that right.

However, a ballot measure that wanted to change the state constitution to define marriage as only between a man and a woman passed on November 4th.

“We feel that our marriage is valid,” Mr Takei said in an interview with CBS (see below).

“We are concerned about the others who did not get married and will want to in the future.

“This is a fundamental right. This is taking away that right – it is like saying a certain group will have their freedom of speech taken away from them, just because they are redheads.”

Actor George Clooney also slammed Proposition 8, which faces challenges in the state Supreme Court.

“At some point in our lifetime, gay marriage won’t be an issue, and everyone who stood against this civil right will look as outdated as George Wallace standing on the school steps keeping James Hood from entering the University of Alabama because he was black,” Mr Clooney said yesterday.

British singer Elton John has said that gay Californians should not have pushed for marriage.

“We’re not married,” Sir Elton said, in reference to his partner David Furnish.

“Let’s get that right. We have a civil partnership. What is wrong with Proposition 8 is that they went for marriage. Marriage is going to put a lot of people off, the word marriage.

“I don’t want to be married. I’m very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership.”

Gay and lesbian couples in California are already able to register domestic partnerships.