02/07/2012 01:01 pm ET

Prop 8 Ruling & A Look Back At Recent Gay Rights Achievements (PHOTOS)

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriages in California, is unconstitutional.

Although the ruling is expected to be appealed and go to the United States Supreme Court, the 9th Circuit's decision is a victory for gay rights activists who have been fighting the California ban since the ballot initiative first passed in 2008.

The Ninth Circuit, based in San Francisco, first heard arguments on the case over a year ago. The case was decided by three ideologically diverse judges: conservative Randy Smith, appointed by President George W. Bush; liberal Stephen Reinhardt, appointed by President Jimmy Carter; and moderate Michael Hawkins, appointed by President Bill Clinton.

Over the past year, there have been a number of victories for marriage equality. Here's a look back at some of the most notable recent developments in LGBT rights: