Large crowd marching from California Supreme Court building

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) With many in the crowd "chanting shame on you" the crowd began walking through the city's streets just after the court announced its decision.

The court upheld the ban on gay marriage voters approved when they voted in favor of Proposition 8 last fall.

But the court also decided that the estimated 18,000 gay couples who tied the knot before the law took effect will stay wed.

The decision today rejects an argument from gay rights activists that the ban revised the California constitution's equal protection clause to such a dramatic degree that it first needed the Legislature's approval.

Besides the march this morning, gay rights advocates have scheduled marches throughout the state and the Bay Area this evening.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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