A federal judge in California is expected to issue his ruling Wednesday on whether the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The closely watched case, to be decided by Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, comes some two years after Californians voted to pass Proposition 8, which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
Wednesday's ruling, expected in the early afternoon, will decide whether that ban violates the U.S. Constitution by creating separate classes of people with different laws for each.
Though stakes in the case are high, neither opponents nor supporters of same-sex marriage say Walker's ruling will likely be the last. Both sides say the decision will be appealed and eventually wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court.
"We have little doubt that this trial judge is going to knock down Prop. 8. I hope I'm proven wrong tomorrow," said Maggie Gallagher, chairman of the National Organization for Marriage. "This has been a judge that looks pretty eager to make a historic decision."
She added Walker's ruling will likely have national implications as he is a federal judge.
Rick Jacobs, founder of the Campaign Courage, which supports same-sex marriage, said he was hopeful about Wednesday's decision because of what happened during the trial.