According to reports, Gay-rights advocates have calculated that if any state was going to sanction same-sex unions, it would be in California.
The bill to legalize gay marriage in California died in the California assembly before its deadline yesterday on June 3.
Within the Democratic dominated assembly, all 33 Republicans and a handful of Democrats rejected the bill. The measure fell short 41 votes needed to pass.
While marriage rights were granted to same-sex couples in Massachusetts by a court order, gay rights advocates had hoped for California to be the first to have a legislative body legalize gay marriage voluntarily.
Advocates showed disappointment with the defeat of the bill that defined marriage to be between "two persons" instead of between a man and a woman.
Opponents, who said the bill violates the will of the people as well as the California constitution, applauded the vote. California laws define marriage to be between a man and a woman and provides gay couples many of the legal benefits of marriage.
"This defeat shows that even the homosexual-friendly California assembly is not willing to go so far as to redefine marriage," said Glen Lavy of the Alliance Defense Fund.
Both President Bush and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had already expressed their opposition to gay marriage.
Still, homosexual activists show no signs of backing down as they are determined to make the proposal again next year.
As the gay marriage battle continues in California as well as the nation, Republican Assemblyman Jay La Suer said, "This has nothing to do with discrimination -- it has everything to do with the destruction of the moral fabric of America."