California's top court legalizes gay marriage

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"California's Supreme Court declared that gay couples in the nation's biggest state can marry ? a monumental but perhaps short-lived victory for the gay rights movement Thursday that was greeted with tears, hugs, kisses and at least one instant proposal of matrimony.

"...The case was set in motion in 2004 when the mayor of San Francisco ? the unofficial capital of gay America ? threw City Hall open to gay couples to get married in a calculated challenge to California law. Four thousand wed before the Supreme Court put a halt to the practice after a month. Two dozen gay couples then sued, along with the city and gay rights organizations.

"...Unlike Massachusetts, California has no residency requirement for obtaining a marriage license, meaning gays nationwide are likely to flock to the state to be wed, said Jennifer Pizer, an attorney who worked on the case."