US court dismisses challenge to California's gay marriage ban
The US Supreme Court has struck down a federal law barring the recognition of same-sex marriage.
The 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, prohibited the federal government from recognising same-sex marriages even in the 12 states and District of Columbia that allow them.
However, the Supreme Court has ruled that the law violates the rights of gays and lesbians and intrudes into states' rights to define and regulate marriage.
The court also dismissed a challenge to California's gay marriage ban, ruling that supporters of the ban did not have the legal standing, or right, to appeal a lower court's decision striking down Proposition 8.
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