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via BBC News

A California ban on gay marriages should be overturned by the US Supreme Court, the Obama administration says.

In a legal brief filed ahead of arguments scheduled for late March, the justice department says the ban – known as Proposition 8 – is unconstitutional.

Outlawing same-sex marriage while offering marriage-like rights under law contravenes the right to equal protection under law, the brief says.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on two same-sex marriage issues.

As well as Proposition 8, the nine justices will consider the Defense of Marriage Act, a Clinton-era piece of US federal legislation that defines marriage as solely being between a man and a woman.

Mr Obama himself offered his personal support for gay marriage in a TV interview in 2012, reversing a previously held position.

But until now he had not yet translated a personal viewpoint into a legal or legislative agenda.

“The same evolution that I’ve gone through is an evolution that the country as a whole has gone through. And I think it is a profoundly positive thing,” Mr Obama said on Friday.

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