FOX: The large rainbow flag that waves in Harvey Milk Plaza was lowered to half-staff after California's highest court upset a string of gay rights victories in other states by upholding a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages.
But the mourning period represented by the black stripe hoisted in the gay pride flag's place did not seem destined to last long. Within minutes of the Supreme Court's 6-1 ruling, gay leaders said they were moving into campaign mode with an eye toward trying to repeal Proposition 8 at the ballot box as early as next year.
"So the court has said we have to go back," said Geoffrey Kors, executive director of the gay rights group Equality California. "We believe the political drive, the momentum, is there to do that."
The door to gay marriage in California -- opened with a 4-3 ruling by the same court last spring and closed by voters in November -- remains blocked for now as a result of Tuesday's decision. The court held that the ban, which passed with 52 percent of the vote, was a legal exercise of the virtually unfettered initiative power the California Constitution grants its citizens.
The court did refuse to nullify an estimated 18,000 marriages that took place before the ban was approved. For the couples involved, relief was mixed with a sense of being marginalized.
"It's a little strange to feel like we're part of a grandfathered minority," said Leanne Waldal, 38, wiping away tears after the ruling was announced. Waldal and her wife were married in Canada in 2007 and again in California in October. "I hoped they wouldn't invalidate our marriage, but I would rather be part of a full group."
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