"A federal judge overturned California's gay marriage ban Wednesday with an unequivocal ruling that could eventually force the U.S. Supreme Court to confront the question of whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed. Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's strongly worded opinion in the landmark case — the first in a federal court to examine if states can lawfully limit marriage to a man and a woman — touched off a celebration outside the courthouse. Later in the day, a jubilant crowd marched through the city that has long been a haven for gays. As word of the verdict spread, about 300 people assembled in a West Hollywood park waving rainbow gay pride flags. In New York City, a crowd of about 150 gathered outside a lower Manhattan courthouse. They carried signs saying ""Our Love Wins"" as organizers read portions of the 136-page decision aloud. Ruling in a lawsuit filed by two couples who claimed the ban violated their civil rights, Walker methodically dismantled every argument advanced by sponsors of the voter-approved measure, known as Proposition 8, before declaring it unconstitutional."