Gay marriage trial to begin in California, could set legal precedent for generations to come
Associated Press Writer
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The national debate over same-sex marriage will take center stage in a California courtroom next week at a closely watched federal trial that could ultimately become the landmark case that determines whether gay Americans have a right to marry.
The case will decide a challenge to California's gay marriage ban that was approved by voters in 2008, and the ruling will likely be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. How the high court rules in the case could set the precedent for whether gay marriage becomes legal nationwide.
"This could be our Brown vs. Board of Education," said former Clinton White House adviser Richard Socarides, referring to the 1954 Supreme Court decision that outlawed racial segregation in schools and other public facilities. "Certainly the plaintiffs will tell you they are hoping for a broad ruling that says that any law that treats someone differently because of sexual orientation violates the U.S. Constitution."
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