27 June 2013 Last updated at 01:53 GMT
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The US Supreme Court has struck down a law denying federal benefits to gay couples and cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California.
The justices said that the Defense of Marriage Act, known as Doma, discriminated against same-sex couples.
In a second ruling, they left in place a lower court's striking down of Proposition 8, California's prohibition of gay marriage.
Opinion polls indicate that most Americans support same-sex marriage.
Wednesday's decisions do not affect the bans on gay unions enshrined in the constitutions of 29 US states.