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Judge Says Banning Gay Marriage unconstitutional

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) __ A San Francisco Superior Court judge has ruled today that California´s law limiting marriage to a union between a man and a woman is unconstitutional.

It´s a huge legal milestone that — if upheld on appeal — would pave the way for California to follow Massachusetts in allowing same-sex couples to wed.

San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer says in his ruling: “It appears that no rational purpose exists for limiting marriage in this state to opposite-sex partners.”

Kramer´s decision came in a pair of lawsuits seeking to overturn California´s statutory ban on gay marriage.

They were brought by the city of San Francisco and a dozen same-sex couples last March, after the California Supreme Court halted the four-week marriage spree.

Mayor Gavin Newsom had initiated the unions by directing city officials to issue marriage licenses to gays and lesbians in defiance of state law.