A federal judge in San Francisco will hear closing arguments Wednesday in the first federal trial to consider the constitutionality of a gay marriage ban.

Saying he wanted to review the evidence before listening to closing arguments, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker cleared out his courtroom in January after hearing two-and-a-half weeks' worth of testimony without issuing a ruling.

Walker is expected to rule on whether California's gay marriage ban, Proposition 8, approved by voters in November of 2008, violates the U.S. Constitution.

On Wednesday, lawyers will summarize their arguments and answer remaining questions issued by Walker.

The legal team of Ted Olson and David Boies are representing a gay couple and a lesbian couple who have been denied the right to marry because of Proposition 8.

Olson – President George W. Bush's solicitor general – drew heavy criticism from social conservatives for taking up the cause of gay marriage. Gay rights advocates initially feared working with the 69-year-old conservative, saying he was sabotaging the issue by prematurely taking it to the federal level and ultimately the Supreme Court, which gay activists say remains too conservative to rule in their favor.

But on the eve of final arguments, Olson was sounding confident, telling a group of gay law students over the weekend that “civil rights are not won by people saying, 'Wait until the right time.'”

During the trial, lawyers opposed to Proposition 8 argued that proponents had approved the measure out of animus towards gay men and lesbians, stripping such couples of their constitutional rights.

ProtectMarriage.com, the primary sponsor of Proposition 8, is defending the measure. They argued that voters approved the measure because they believe allowing gay men and lesbians to marry would hurt children, an argument advanced during the campaign to approve the amendment.

On Friday, Walker denied a motion to strike from evidence emails from religious groups involved in the Yes on 8 campaign, primarily members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) and the Roman Catholic church. Mormon officials continue to deny they directly supported passage of the measure.

Walker could decide to overturn the gay marriage ban and allow gay couples to begin marrying in California immediately. But such a ruling would likely be quickly appealed to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In fact, both parties have suggested the trial is the opening act in a road show headed to the Supreme Court.