Supreme Court rejects call to halt gay marriages in California

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Rainbow flags line the courtyard at San Francisco's City Hall building on June 26, 2012. The US Supreme Court struck down The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and declared that same-sex couples who are legally married deserve equal rights to the benefits under federal law that go to all other married couples. In another ruling, the Supreme Court cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California as the justices, in a procedural ruling, turned away the defenders of Proposition 8.

Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy denied a request from the backers of California's Proposition 8 to halt gay marriages in California. 

Sponsors of the state's gay marriage ban had filed an emergency motion Saturday asking the U.S. Supreme Court to step in and stop the weddings while they file a request that the Supreme Court reconsider its decision.

RELATED: Timeline: Same-sex marriage in California

Kennedy apparently turned down the request without comment. According to SCOTUSblog, which regularly tracks the Supreme Court:

Since Justice Kennedy offered no explanation for denying an application claiming that the Ninth Circuit panel had no authority to lift its stay, there is no way to know what legal rationale he had used.  It could have been that the sponsors of the measure lacked a legal right to pursue their challenge further, that even if they had such a right it was without legal merit, that the lower court did have the authority to decide for itself when to life the stay, or perhaps that events had just moved too rapidly in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that it would be inappropriate to try to roll them back.

Numerous weddings were performed at San Francisco City Hall following the court decisions.

The opponents said the appeals court had acted about three weeks too soon. Proposition 8 supporters could continue their efforts to halt gay marriage by filing their request with another Supreme Court justice.

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