California's supreme court has upheld Proposition 8, the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. The ruling, however, allows thousands of same-sex marriages performed prior to the ban.
California's experience has been closely watched in Washington, where gay marriage opponents have filed a referendum to undo a state law granting domestic partners most of the rights and responsibilities of spouses.
In interviews, foes of same-sex marriage cite Prop. 8 as evidence that voters, if given the chance, will reject it. (In Washington, the picture's a little less clear, since the law targeted by the referendum stops short of full marriage.)
On the other side of the issue, some gay marriage proponents see California as an argument for a more incremental approach to winning the right to marry.
"If the brief back-and-forth history of marriage equality in California teaches us anything, it's that progress must occur with public involvement and input, one step at a time," said Washington state Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, one of several openly gay lawmakers in Olympia.
"...In Washington, we remain dedicated to continuing our conversation with the public and steadily building upon our domestic partnership progress," he said. "I'm confident that Washington state will soon be ready to accept -- once and for all -- full marriage equality for all."