Judge in California gay marriage trial to issue ruling today
The judge presiding over the trial on the constitutionality of California’s gay marriage ban will announce his ruling today.
Chief US District Judge Vaughn Walker’s spokeswoman confirmed that he had reached his decision.
He oversaw a 13-day trial in January, which was the first federal court to examine whether the state’s 2008 ban on gay marriage violates the US constitution.
The case was brought by two gay couples who argued that their constitutional rights were violated by Proposition 8, the motion which banned same-sex marriage.
During case testimony, the court heard experts testify that allowing gay marriage would help the mental health of gays and lesbians, give more legal protection to their children, reduce discrimination and give gay couples more political power.
Prop 8 supporters argued that retaining the ban would protect children and traditional marriage. They put forward only two witnesses, one of who argued that gays are 12 times more likely to molest children.
During the trial, Judge Walker was outed by a newspaper as gay. His sexuality was said to be “the biggest open secret in the landmark trial”.
Around 18,000 gay couples married in the state in the few months in which gay marriage was legal. They were permitted to remain married after the ban passed.
Prop 8, which was the most expensive social issue campaign in US history, passed with 52 per cent of the vote.
Both sides have said they will fight the case all the way to the Supreme Court.