(folkz the tide is turning)
California judge backs gay unions
A judge in California has ruled that the state's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer said the state could no longer justify limiting marriage to a man and a woman.
Last year, the Supreme Court annulled 4,000 gay marriages, which the city had permitted in defiance of state law.
Correspondents say the question of the legality of same-sex marriages continues to divide opinion in the US.
In its 2004 ruling, the Supreme Court sidestepped the issue of whether the state law defining marriage as between a man and a woman violated the California's liberal constitution