Supreme Court Won't Halt California Gay Marriages

The US Supreme Court won't halt gay marriage in California. The announcement was made on Sunday by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in response to an emergency request from the sponsors of the state's gay marriage ban.

The appeal was meant to halt the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses, which started up on Friday after the Supreme Court struck down Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on Wednesday.

Kennedy did not give any additional comments about the matter beyond the denial, which was announced as San Francisco's gay pride parade got underway. Dozens of same-sex couples have applied for and received marriage licenses since Friday.

Same-sex marriage opponents asked the Supreme Court to stop the ruling by a federal appeals court to dissolve an injunction on same-sex marriage in the state. The opponents claimed that the appeals court acted prematurely.

Under Supreme Court rules, the losing side of a legal dispute has 25 days to request a rehearing. However, those requests are rarely granted. The high court had said previously that it would wait to finalize its judgement on Proposition 8 until the waiting period was over.

It is still possible for Proposition 8 supporters to try and halt gay marriage in California by filing their request with a different Supreme Court justice. Supporters also have the option to seek a rehearing before the nation's highest court in the next 21 days.

Proposition 8 was approved by California voters in 2008 after the legislature passed a law to allow same-sex marriage. Ted Boutrous, a lawyer with the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the sponsor of the federal court challenge to the same-sex marriage ban, stated of the attempt to halt gay marriage this weekend:

"I think it's time for proponents of Prop 8 to stop trying to stop people from getting married and turn their attention to something else."

Along with supporters of gay marriage, California Attorney General Kamala Harris urged the appeals court to lift its stay immediately after the Supreme Court ruling on Wednesday. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals followed through with the suggestion on Friday in a move that surprised many.

With Justice Kennedy's decision not to halt gay marriage in California, it is unlikely that the practice will be banned in the state again.

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