California State Attorney General Jerry Brown was honored Saturday night by gay rights group Equality California, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Brown has adamantly maintained that Proposition 8, California's 2008 voter-approved gay marriage ban, is unconstitutional.

Equality California, the state's largest gay rights advocate, honored Brown with the group's Equality Leadership Award. Brown has refused to defend the gay marriage ban in ongoing litigation and has joined in a federal lawsuit that calls the ban unconstitutional.

“There's progress here,” he said, referring to attitudes about gay marriage. “We're getting there, but there's going to be a struggle.”

Brown, a former California governor, has emerged as the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor of the Golden State in 2010. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newson, a long-time gay community ally, recently ended his candidacy.

“He did something that no attorney general of this state has done for over 50 years,” Geoffrey Kors, executive director of Equality California, told the paper. “He went to court to overturn something the voters of California did.”