Gay stars including Ricky Martin, Ellen DeGeneres and Lance Bass are celebrating after a U.S. judge branded legislation outlawing same sex marriage in California "unconstitutional". Gay marriages were made legal in America for the first time in California in 2008, but state legislation Proposition 8 overturned the law and deemed the unions illegal, just six months later.
The political backtracking sparked anger among campaigners and, in a landmark ruling on Wednesday, August 4, a judge ruled the ban on same-sex marriage was "unconstitutional" because it was an infringement of the "fundamental right to marry and creates an irrational classification on the basis of sexual orientation".
And Hollywood's gay stars are overjoyed with Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker's decision to overturn Prop 8. Actress Portia de Rossi says, "I am ecstatic that Proposition 8 has been overturned in the state of California. This is an incredibly exciting and historical day and a big step towards equal rights for all."
Her partner DeGeneres adds, "Equality won!" In a post on his Twitter.com page, Martin, who 'came out' earlier this year (10), writes, "YEAHHHHH!!!!! PROP8 UNCONSTITUTIONAL MOVING FORWARD!!!!!!!!"
And Lance Bass exclaims, "Congrats on the overturning of Prop 8!!!!" Despite Wednesday's ruling, Proposition 8 still has to go through an appeals process - which could be before the U.S. Supreme Court - to decide if the Constitution grants gays and lesbians the right to marry in California.