Updated: 11:00 a.m. PDT
WASHINGTON — 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 America’s most populous state.
Kennedy turned away the appeal with no additional comment just as San Francisco’s gay pride parade was getting under way 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.
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 Propositio n 8, the gay wedding ban, 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.
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 th e 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.
Developing story, check back for updates.
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