Høyesterett i California har annullert resultatet av en folkeavstemning der flertallet var mot homofilt ekteskap, og tillater nå ekteskap mellom personer av samme kjønn.

Guvernør Arnold Schwarzenegger sier han vil respektere dommen og ikke forsøke å omstøte den.

The city of San Francisco, two dozen gay and lesbian couples and gay rights groups sued in March 2004 after the court halted the monthlong wedding march that took place when Mayor Gavin Newsom opened the doors of City Hall to same-sex marriages.

«Today the California Supreme Court took a giant leap to ensure that everybody — not just in the state of California, but throughout the country — will have equal treatment under the law,» said City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who argued the case for San Francisco.

The challenge for gay rights advocates, however, is not over.

A coalition of religious and social conservative groups is attempting to put a measure on the November ballot that would enshrine laws banning gay marriage in the state constitution.

The Secretary of State is expected to rule by the end of June whether the sponsors gathered enough signatures to qualify the marriage amendment, similar to ones enacted in 26 other states.

California’s top court overturns gay marriage ban