Supreme Court and enforcement was delayed until the court decided.
State legislatures, voters and more recently the courts have made sweeping changes over the past two decades in laws defining whether marriage is limited to relationships between a man and a woman or is extended to same-sex couples.
The measure went into effect Dec.
In February, the court answered, "segregating same-sex unions from opposite-sex unions cannot possibly be held rationally to advance or preserve" the governmental aim of encouraging "stable adult relationships for the good of the individual and of the community, especially its children.
Circuit upheld four states' bans on same-sex marriage.
The decision emphasized the dominance of state law defining marriage and required the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages granted under state law.
It is the first time voters had been asked to legalize same-sex marriage rather than prohibit it.
Supreme Court on Nov.
The Maine Legislature passed and Governor Baldacci signed legislation in May allowing same sex marriage.
A South Carolina state Supreme Court and federal judge in Montana are the latest to rule overturning same-sex marriage bans.