California's three-year legal battle over Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that effectively banned gay marriage in the state was suspended this morning after a panel from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled it unconstitutional in a 2-1 decision.

In the ruling, which can be viewed in full at the LA Times' website, the court ruled that Prop 8 violated the 14th Amendment. The decision added, with delightful scorn, that it "served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California." The proponents of the measure are expected to appeal the ruling, which will likely send it to the Supreme Court—but for now in California, people who appreciate human dignity can rejoice.

[LA Times, image via Getty]