Kennedy Refuses to Halt Same-Sex Marriages

gayprideToday, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy refused an emergency stay request to block California same-sex marriages from being performed.  The request was made Saturday by defenders of Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban on same-sex unions in the state.

Kennedy’s denial was made without comment.

Marriages in California resumed Friday when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals acted unusually swiftly to clear the last legal impediment to the marriages.  The appeals court had upheld a decision by U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional.  But the circuit imposed a stay on that decision to give the U.S. Supreme Court time to act.

With the high court’s decision Wednesday that the Prop. 8 defenders had no standing to challenge Walker’s decision, the 9th Circuit had no reason to keep the stay in place.  The appeals court did brush aside the typical 25-day waiting period that allows the losing party to seek reconsideration.

Couples began getting married almost immediately, with the San Francisco City Hall remaining open late Friday and remaining open all weekend to accommodate demands for marriage licenses.

Kennedy’s order came on the day that marks annual Gay Pride Parade and celebrations in San Francisco.

Case:  Hollingsworth v. Perry, No. 12-144