Mormon church "regrets" California gay-marriage ruling

Church members were among the proposed law's most vigorous volunteers

Published August 4, 2010 10:19PM (EDT)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says it regrets a federal judge's ruling overturning a ban on gay marriage in California.

Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker made his ruling Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by two gay couples who claimed the voter-approved ban, known as Proposition 8, violated their civil rights.

In 2008, church leaders urged Mormons to give their time and money to support Proposition 8, which passed with 52 percent of the vote.

Church members were among the campaign's most vigorous volunteers and by some estimates contributed tens of millions of dollars to the effort. In a statement, the church said the decision reopens a vigorous debate about over the right of the people to define marriage.

By Brock Vergakis

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California Gay Marriage Proposition 8