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The First District Court of Appeal concluded 2-1 that California’s ban on same-sex marriage is constitutional, analyzing it under a rational-basis test. The opinion ( .pdf), written by Justice William McGuiness with Justice Joanne Parrilli concurring, represents a victory for lawyers defending a one-man, one-woman definition, and overturned a lower court ruling that had previously concluded that the ban on same-sex marriage violated the state Constitution. Justice J. Anthony Kline dissented from Thursday’s decision. Proponents of gay marriage had won the initial round last year. Applying strict-scrutiny analysis ( .pdf), San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer found California’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Though he added that he would have found the same even under a more forgiving rational-basis test, the level of analysis that should be applied continued to be a key point of contention before the First District. And undoubtedly, both sides will continue to press that point as the case continues on to the state Supreme Court.

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