The ruling came in response to lawsuits filed by the city of San Francisco and a dozen gay couples a year ago after the California Supreme Court halted a four-week same-sex marriage spree started by Mayor Gavin Newsom.
The opinion had been eagerly awaited because of San Francisco's historical role as a gay rights battleground.
Gay marriage supporters hailed the ruling as a historic development akin to the 1948 state Supreme Court decision that made California the first state to legalize interracial marriage.
"Today's ruling is an important step toward a more fair and just California that rejects discrimination and affirms family values for all California families," San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said.
damn right: family values for all families. because some families actually have gay people in them. but some people don't like those families:
"For a single judge to rule there is no conceivable purpose for preserving marriage as one man and one woman is mind-boggling," said Liberty Counsel President Mathew Staver. "This decision will be gasoline on the fire of the pro-marriage movement in California as well as the rest of the country.
of course, that's not what the judge said. he said there is "no rational purpose." there could be any number of conceivable purposes. it's just that all those purposes are totally fucking irrational.
don't rent your tux just yet, though.
Lockyer has said in the past that he expected the matter eventually would have to be settled by the California Supreme Court.
Two bills now before the California Legislature would put a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage on the November ballot. If California voters approve such an amendment, as those in 13 other states did last year, that would put the issue out of the control of lawmakers and the courts.