[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/US/05/15/same.sex.marriage/art.gay.marriage.gi.jpg caption="California's Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - In a much-anticipated ruling issued Thursday, the California Supreme Court struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional.
Several gay and lesbian couples, along with the city of San Francisco and gay rights groups, sued to overturn state laws allowing only marriages between a man and a woman.
"There can be no doubt that extending the designation of marriage to same-sex couples, rather than denying it to all couples, is the equal protection remedy that is most consistent with our state's general legislative policy and preference," said the 120-page ruling.
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