By RODNEY HO/Reuters A federal appeals court has ruled that same-sex couples are entitled to marriage licenses in California, allowing them to get married, according to a report by Reuters.
The court also ruled that the state’s ban on same-year marriage, which was put in place in 2004, cannot be struck down, Reuters reported.
The justices said in a ruling on Tuesday that California’s ban was unconstitutional because it violated the U.S. Constitution and the federal Marriage Protection Act of 1993.
They also said they were not convinced that a similar ban was constitutional in another state.
The ruling comes amid nationwide protests against same-gender marriage and a sharp decline in support for marriage equality in the United States.
The court, in a 6-3 decision, said that California law is constitutional.
It said that the ban is also valid in two other states, the District of Columbia and New York, where voters approved same-day marriage in November, Reuters said.
The court’s ruling came in the case of a lesbian couple from San Diego, who sought a marriage license.
The couples, who have been married for 10 years, sued the state of California in January, arguing that the law violates their constitutional rights.
In February, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the marriage ban, which took effect after the Supreme Court’s ruling.
The state of San Diego is not part of the court’s decision.
In a statement on Wednesday, Brown said that he has been ‘truly heartbroken’ by the decision.
‘I have been proud to have stood with the LGBT community for over 30 years,’ Brown said.
‘I have always had a firm belief in the rights of all Californians to marry the person they love, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
‘The court decision is a tragic reminder that we must continue to work to ensure every Californian has the opportunity to be treated equally.
‘This court has the same principle that the people of my state have in our hearts.
The decision is wrong and needs to be reversed.’