California's Supreme Court decides on Tuesday whether gay marriage is legal in the most populous U.S. state, a key battleground in American culture wars.
Passage of a gay marriage ban in a November California vote bucked the state's reputation as a liberal trendsetter and sparked national protests by gay advocates and congratulations among social conservatives.
A flurry of pro-gay marriage rulings and votes in Iowa and New England this year has reversed a trend toward banning them. Most U.S. states do not allow same-sex marriage, but both sides are gearing up for renewed battle, mostly at state ballot boxes.
Some leaders from both sides of the gay marriage issue have predicted that the California justices will uphold the ban but also allow approximately 18,000 same-sex marriages from last summer to stand.
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