Completing the latest stage of reversing the ban on same-sex marriage in California, a judge has ruled that ceremonies may resume in the state on August 18.
Media reports suggested that supporters outside San Franciscos City Hall erupted in cheers when they heard about the ruling. Afterward, Rick Jacobs, founder of the Courage Campaign, commented that beginning this week equal protection under the law will again be enjoyed by millions of Californians who are currently left out, according to CNN.
However, Family Research Council (FRC) criticized the decision, accusing Judge Vaughn Walker of disregarding the will of some 7 million state residents who voted in favor of Proposition 8 in November 2008.
Gay marriage opponents may have suffered a setback, but many are counting on the ruling to be overturned by higher courts.
In fact, FRC president Tony Perkins said that even if this decision is upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appealsthe most liberal appeals court in Americathe U.S. Supreme Court will affirm the right of the American people to protect marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
Currently, five U.S. states allow gay couples to marry, including Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa and New Hampshire. Same-sex marriage is also legal in the District of Columbia, while civil unions are permitted in New Jersey.