Unconstitutional.  That was the ruling made Tuesday on California's voter-approved Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriages.

Mike Simpson with FOX News Radio affiliate KFBK reports from Sacramento:

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down Proposition 8, our ban on same-sex marriages in California, clearing the way for the U.S. Supreme Court to likely decide on the issue as early as next year.

Today's ruling upheld a 2010 judgement by U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, who himself was in a gay relationship.  Opponents cited that fact in their appeals, saying that he should have recused himself from the case.  

The appeals court, though, refused to invalidate the ruling, saying in their decision, "Proposition 8 served no purpose and had no effect other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California."  Supporters of the same-sex marriage ban say they'll appeal.

In Sacramento, Mike Simpson, for FOX News Radio.

It didn't take long after the ruling from the appeals court came out for supporters and opponents to make their feelings known.

FOX News Radio's Sabrina Sabbagh has more on the reaction to the ruling from Los Angeles:

As soon as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional, backers of the voter-approved ban said they would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.  But in West Hollywood, Chad Griffin with the American Foundation for Equal Rights called the ruling a historic victory.

(Griffin) "Every American deserves the same dignity and respect, the same freedom to love, and to marry and to build a family."

A gay rights group is planning to start collecting signatures for a November ballot initiative asking voters to repeal Proposition 8.

Sabrina Sabbagh, FOX News Radio.

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