The first case, 40 years on

California case may turn on 1972 ruling.

Jack Baker, the name party in the only gay marriage case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, stopped pressing the issue in 1980 when "it took on a life of its own," he said. Three decades later, the same-sex marriage issue is "fundamentally over and now is just a matter of putting it into operation," believes the former head of the Minnesota Civil Liberties Union who worked with Baker and his life partner from the trial court to the nation's top court.

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