Starting Monday, a federal judge in San Francisco will preside over a case that will determine whether the US constitution can forbid states from restricting marriage to opposite sex-couples.
In November of 2008, California voters approved Proposition 8, making marriage a union between a man and a woman.
The Supreme Court later upheld that vote. But opponents like Maldonado, say that's discrimination. "The job of the courts is to ensure that majorities and the rights of all people are upheld and with the passage of prop 8, the rights of same sex couples have been stripped." Valley residents have been involved with the issue since the beginning.
In May, thousands gathered in Fresno in support of gay marriage. The following day, Prop 8 opponents made their voices heard. "What has happened to our state?"
Pastor Jim Franklin of Fresno says the voters have already spoken. He says lawmakers aren't doing their job. "I think they should be out of office. They took an oath to defend the constitution, the Supreme Court has upheld it, the people have voted twice and now they don't have enough back bone to step up and do their job."
If the plaintiffs prevail all the way to the Supreme Court, a decade of election-night wins by groups opposed to gay marriage will be reversed.
"I would hope and pray that the people's right to govern themselves will be held."
"I'm really glad to be a part of a team of people that will restore rights to all same sex couples in California."
This trial will be the first in federal court history to answer the question of whether the U.S. Constitution forbids states like California from restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples.