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Prop 8 victory, but stayed

U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker ruled Wednesday that California’s ballot measure banning same-sex marriage violates the federal constitution’s guarantees to equal protection and due process of law. A few minutes after issuing the decision, Walker also issued a temporary stay of its impact and directed attorneys challenging the initiative to respond to request by August 6.

The 136-page decision, which has been much anticipated by both sides of the same-sex marriage debate, says supporters of Proposition 8 failed to establish any rational or legitimate reason for prohibiting same-sex couples from having marriage licenses.

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By the numbers: Gay marriage in California and beyond

58 to 42

Margin, in percent, by which California voters passed Proposition 8, which ended gay marriage there. In what could be a landmark case, a federal judge is now weighing a challenge to the law; a ruling is expected as soon as this month and the case may eventually reach the Supreme Court.

18,000

Same-sex couples who were married in California.

42

States with laws or constitutional amendments banning gay marriage. Georgia has both.

5

States, plus the District of Columbia, where gay marriage is legal.

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Elderly Calif. gay man sues over separation from partner

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is suing Sonoma County, Calif., on behalf of an elderly gay man who alleges the county separated him and his partner of 20 years after his partner injured himself. His partner later died.