The legal wait will soon be over on whether California's same-sex marriage ban violates the constitutional rights of gay men and lesbians.
Chief Judge Vaughn Walker is expected to release his ruling between 1 and 3 p.m. today.
The case, Perry vs. Schwarzenegger, was argued in January. Closing arguments were held in June. At the conclusion of the trial the judge thanked both sides, calling their presentations "splendid."
The ruling will not be a high court drama. Instead, Walker will issue his opinion through the court's electronic filing system.
Walker is being asked to overturn Proposition 8, which outlawed the marriages five months after the California Supreme Court legalized same-sex unions.
The plaintiffs are Jeffrey Zarrillo and his partner Paul Katami, and a lesbian couple from Berkeley, Kristin Perry and Sandy Stier.
Former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson argued for the two couples, claiming Prop 8 was a violation of their civil rights.
"Their state has stigmatized them as unworthy of marriage, different, and less respected," Olson said.
Lawyers who represent the sponsors of Prop 8, including attorney Charles Cooper, maintained that marriage has traditionally been defined throughout history by societies as exclusively opposite-sex, and the primary purpose has been procreation. He said that definition is "fundamental to the very existence and survival of the human race."
Lawyers on both sides of the issue have said they will appeal if Walker did not rule in their favor. That takes away some of the power of Walker's opinion, because the case will most certainly be argued again in a higher court.
If you want to bone up on the arguments of the case ahead of the ruling, here's a transcript of the closing arguments. It's 164 pages and includes questions by the judge to both sides in the case.