Gay rights campaigners have launched federal court action against California in a bid to overturn a nationwide ban on same sex marriages.
They hope to take their case against the state’s Proposition 8 ban all the way to the US Supreme Court.
Dustin Lance Black, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of the gay rights biopic, Milk, says marriage is a fundamental Constitutional right for everyone.
“We should have made this argument 32 years ago. By not taking this argument on, by not going to the federal government, like every successful civil rights movement in this country’s history, we are legitimising the myths and lies and stereotypes that say we are not equal. We know that we are equal, we know we deserve this protection, and it is time to make those arguments.”
Gay marriage is only legal in five states and defeat here would seriously undermine efforts to win gay marriage rights in state courts.
The trial is expected to last two weeks.