It is something of a milestone that a Republican governor and a Conservative prime minister and a Republican lawyer have all reached the same conclusion. Arnold:

"For the hundreds of thousands of Californians in gay and lesbian households who are managing their day-to-day lives, this decision affirms the full legal protections and safeguards I believe everyone deserves. At the same time, it provides an opportunity for all Californians to consider our history of leading the way to the future, and our growing reputation of treating all people and their relationships with equal respect and dignity.

Today's decision is by no means California's first milestone, nor our last, on America's road to equality and freedom for all people."

But the battle now goes to the Supreme Court and Anthony Kennedy. And one is mindful of Scalia's dissent in Lawrence.

(Photo: Prop 8 opponents celebrate the ruling to overturn the ban on gay marriage outside of the Philip Burton Federal building August 4, 2010 in San Francisco, California.US District Judge Vaughn Walker announced his ruling to overturn Prop 8 finding it unconstitutional. The voter approved measure denies same-sex couples the right to marry in the State of California. By Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.)