A San Francisco federal appeals court has ruled that California's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, a decision that makes it almost certain that the case will go before the U.S. Supreme Court in the near future. 

The ban was passed in 2008 after a statewide referendum - Proposition 8 - was approved by voters. Courts overturned this decision in 2010 for violating the rights of the people, and now a three-judge panel in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that 2-1 that decision correct.

Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote in his decision, "All that Proposition 8 accomplished was to take away from same sex-couples the right to be granted marriage licenses and thus legally to use the designation 'marriage.' Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gay men and lesbians in California."

[via NY Times]