A California judge has ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, is unconstitutional.
DOMA requires that federal law limit marriage to a relationship between one man and one woman.
Judge Stephen Reinhardt of California's Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued the solitary opinion. The case involves federal benefit rights for a gay couple.
Click the player to hear CBN News reporter Heather Sells telephone interview with ACLJ staff counsel Eric Zimmerman.
Legal experts say the decision will not likely set a precedent, since it's not an official ruling of the 9th circuit court panel. But experts say it might be a preview of rulings to come, especially with the Obama administration's strong support for gay rights.
"Unfortunately, with the change of the administration and the Congress, support for the Defense of Marriage Act by the federal government might decline," the American Center for Law and Justice's Eric Zimmerman told CBN News.
"There might be less incentive to defend DOMA in the court system, which certainly could contribute to judges maybe being more willing to overrule or strike down the Defense of Marriage Act," he said.
Mathew D. Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel said the American people have had their fill of activist judges.
"Activist judges make a mockery of the law and bring disrespect to the judicial process," Staver said.
"An opinion of an activist judge based on nothing else than his personal bias is no law at all and commands no respect," he added. "As the Founding Fathers would say, such a ruling is no law at all, and is as if it had never happened."
*Originally aired February 6, 2009