Supreme Court Justice Denies Bid to Stop California Gay Marriages

Earlier today a U.S. Supreme Court justice rejected a long-shot bid to halt gay marriages in California

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a bid to halt same-sex marriages in California on Sunday, a few day after the court declared the ban unconstitutional. Photo: asterix611/Flickr

The U.S. Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy denied the application verbally, spokeswoman Kathy Arberg told the media today.

Advocates of the same-sex marriage ban also knoen as Proposition 8, was approved in California five years ago, asked the high court on Saturday to overrule a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals order that lifted an injunction barring gay unions.

“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,” said Ted Boutrous, a lawyer for the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which sponsored the federal court challenge to Prop 8.

Numerous gay and lesbian weddings took place since a panel of the appeals court in San Francisco removed its stay on Proposition 8 on Friday.

The stay had been in force until the decision striking down the so-called Prop 8 was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, Reuters writes. Political supporters of the measure were left to appeal the case because state elected officials declined to defend it.

However, the court ruled on Wednesday that Prop 8 supporters didn’t have enough legal standing to defend the ban, a decision that left the trial judge’s ruling intact and cleared the way for gay marriage in the state to resume.

The Supreme Court had said its ruling would gain force for at least 25 days, the period of time normally given the losing party to seek a rehearing of the matter.

But California Attorney General Kamala Harris urged the appeals court to lift its stay sooner than the given time, and on Friday the 9th Circuit did so in a surprise move that prompted a series of same-sex weddings up and down the state.

Friday saw the news that many same-sex couples rushed to keep their unions registed as legal marriages. Among those were two pair whose case greatly influenced Wednesday’s Supreme Court decision exchanged vows.

“This is the first day of the rest of our lives together,” said Kristin Perry, who with her girlfriend, Sandy Stier, filed the lawsuit against DOMA, the ballot initiative that outlawed same-sex marriage in California in 2008.

“They have waited and fought for this moment,” said State Attorney General Kamala Harris who presided at the wedding. “Today their wait is finally over.”

Stier turned to the horde of reporters and well-wishers crowding the room and said, smiling: “Thank you so much for coming to our wedding.”

Four hundred miles from San Francisco, Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, a second couple who attened the Wednesday’s hearing as plaintiffs in the case, wed at City Hall in Los Angeles.

“You are just as in love today as you were when you met 12 years ago,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who conducted the ceremony, told the two men.

California briefly allowed gay marriages in five years ago, before the ballot initiative came into force. It now becomes the 13th state, and the largest, to allow gay marriage – just in time, advocates point out, for Gay Pride weekend.

“On my way to S.F. City Hall,” tweeted Harris minutes after the injunction was lifted. “Let the wedding bells ring!”

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