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Kennedy refuses to halt gay marriages in Calif.

AAA  Jun. 30, 2013 1:41 PM ET
Kennedy refuses to halt gay marriages in Calif.
By LISA LEFFBy LISA LEFF, Associated Press THE ASSOCIATED PRESS STATEMENT OF NEWS VALUES AND PRINCIPLES 

Cynthia Wides, right, and Elizabeth Carey file for a marriage certificate at City Hall in San Francisco, Saturday, June 29, 2013. Dozens of gay couples have lined up outside City Hall in San Francisco as clerks have resumed issuing same-sex marriage licenses one day after a federal appeals court cleared the way for the state of California to immediately lift a 4-year freeze. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Cynthia Wides, right, and Elizabeth Carey file for a marriage certificate at City Hall in San Francisco, Saturday, June 29, 2013. Dozens of gay couples have lined up outside City Hall in San Francisco as clerks have resumed issuing same-sex marriage licenses one day after a federal appeals court cleared the way for the state of California to immediately lift a 4-year freeze. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Cynthia Wides, right, and Elizabeth Carey exchange wedding vows at City Hall in San Francisco, Saturday, June 29, 2013. Dozens of gay couples have lined up outside City Hall in San Francisco as clerks have resumed issuing same-sex marriage licenses one day after a federal appeals court cleared the way for the state of California to immediately lift a 4-year freeze. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Jen Rainin, left, laughs as her wife Frances holds up their dog Punum after they were married at City Hall in San Francisco, Friday, June 28, 2013. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a brief order Friday afternoon dissolving, “effective immediately,” a stay it imposed on gay marriages while the lawsuit challenging the ban advanced through the courts. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Army Capt. Michael Potoczniak, center left, and Todd Saunders, of El Cerrito, Calif., are married by deputy marriage commissioner John Loschmann, center, as witnesses Bill Hershon, left, and Sean Boileau watch at City Hall in San Francisco, Saturday, June 29, 2013. Dozens of gay couples waited excitedly Saturday outside of San Francisco’s City Hall as clerks resumed issuing same-sex marriage licenses, one day after a federal appeals court cleared the way for the state of California to immediately lift a 4 ½ year freeze. Big crowds were expected from across the state as long lines had already stretched down the lobby shortly after 9 a.m. City officials decided to hold weekend hours and let couples tie the knot as San Francisco is also celebrating its annual Pride weekend expected to draw as many as 1 million people. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Army Capt. Michael Potoczniak, at left, and Todd Saunders, right, of El Cerrito, Calif., exchange rings as they are married by deputy marriage commissioner John Loschmann, center, at City Hall in San Francisco, Saturday, June 29, 2013. Dozens of gay couples waited excitedly Saturday outside of San Francisco’s City Hall as clerks resumed issuing same-sex marriage licenses, one day after a federal appeals court cleared the way for the state of California to immediately lift a 4 ½ year freeze. Big crowds were expected from across the state as long lines had already stretched down the lobby shortly after 9 a.m. City officials decided to hold weekend hours and let couples tie the knot as San Francisco is also celebrating its annual Pride weekend expected to draw as many as 1 million people. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on Sunday denied a last-ditch request from the sponsors of California’s now-overturned gay marriage ban to halt the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses in the nation’s most populous state.

Kennedy turned away the appeal with no additional comment just as San Francisco’s gay pride parade was getting underway in San Francisco, where dozens of couples have gotten married since Friday and where the clerk’s office was expected to issue more licenses on Sunday.

Same-sex marriage opponents asked Kennedy to step in on Saturday, a day after the federal appeals court in San Francisco allowed same-sex marriages to go forward.

The opponents said the appeals court had acted about three weeks too soon when it cleared the way Friday for same-sex marriages to be legal in California for the first time in 4 ½ years by lifting a hold it had imposed on such unions while a lawsuit challenging Proposition 8 made its way to and through the high court.

Under Supreme Court rules, the losing side in a legal dispute has 25 days to request a rehearing. While such requests are almost never granted, the high court said that it wouldn’t finalize its judgment in the case at least until after that waiting period elapsed.

Proposition 8 supporters could continue their efforts to halt gay marriage by filing their request with another Supreme Court justice. They also have another 21 days to seek a rehearing before the high court.

The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that Proposition 8’s backers lacked standing to defend the 2008 law because California’s governor and attorney general have declined to defend the ban.

Then on Friday, the 9th Circuit appeared to have removed the last obstacle to making same sex matrimony legal again in California when it removed its hold on a lower court’s 2010 order directing state officials to stop enforcing the ban.

Within hours, same sex couples were seeking marriage licenses. The two couples who sued to overturn Proposition 8 were wed in San Francisco and Los Angeles Friday.

Organizers of the gay pride parade have invited newly married couples to a VIP reception at San Francisco City Hall on Sunday afternoon.

Associated Press


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