While we were otherwise engaged, the California Supreme Court ruled that homosexual couples have a constitutional right to marry, striking down laws barring same-sex marriages and making California the second state (after Massachusetts) to legalize gay weddings. The court directed state officials to guarantee that all local authorities comply with the ruling. The decision takes effect in 30 days unless extended by the court. (Source)
The ruling marks a watershed moment in the conflict over gay marriage, with the most influential state Supreme Court in the nation, dominated by Republican appointees, ruling in favor of gay rights advocates in the state with the largest gay population. California was considered a crucial battleground for civil rights groups, which have lost a number of major legal challenges in recent years in other states such as New York, Washington and New Jersey.