Members of the gay and lessbian community listen to speakers during a Proposition 8 opposition rally in San Diego.
Thousands of gay rights supporters took to the streets of Hollywood late Wednesday outraged that California had voted to ban same-sex marriages.
The historic presidential win of Barack Obama, who promises to be far more socially liberal than his predecessor, was therefore a bitter-sweet moment for California's gay community as a simultaneous referendum went against them.
Voters approved the constitutional amendment by a margin of 52.5 to 47.5 percent, according to near complete results.
Known as "Proposition 8," the proposal was trumpeted by conservative groups as the people's way of overturning the legalization of gay marriage back in May.
For the gay community, however, it was a bitter pill to swallow.
Angry crowds thronged the streets in central West Hollywood, the heart of Los Angeles' gay community, chanting slogans and waving signs.
Hundreds also gathered on the steps of San Francisco's City Hall. Some held candles and carried signs that read, "We all deserve the freedom to marry."
The referendum circumvents a California Supreme Court ruling in May that legalizes gay marriage by amending the state constitution to add the phrase: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."
The court's May ruling overturned an earlier plebiscite in 2000, when 61 percent of voters agreed marriage should be defined as only being between a man and a woman.
Fearing that Proposition 8 could be approved, thousands of same-sex couples rushed to tie the knot since June, and especially in the last days.
The ruling now leaves thousands of gay couples in a legal limbo.
Those couples include some celebrity marriages such as comedienne Ellen DeGeneres who wed her long-time girlfriend Portia de Rossi in August.
（英语点津 姗姗 编辑）