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Supreme Court rejects bid to halt California marriages

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court today rejected a desperate attempt by anti-gay supporters of Proposition 8 to stop same-gender marriages in California.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who handles all matters coming to the high court regarding the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, declined to accept the emergency order request and made no public comment.

California native Kennedy disagreed with the majority opinion of the high court, which ruled on Wednesday that the Prop 8 litigants had no legal standing to appeal a lower court ruling by District Judge Vaughn Walker that Prop 8 was unconstitutional. Kennedy was part of the majority that ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional.

The Ninth Circuit originally said it would take 25 days to conclude the order from the high court, but surprisingly lifted its stay on Friday and a flurry of weddings began. SDGLN had full coverage as the Prop 8 plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Stier of Berkeley, Calif. were the first couple to marry in a ceremony at San Francisco City Hall and quickly followed by the other plaintiff couple Paul Katama and Jeff Zarrillo at Los Angeles City Hall. Dozens of other couples married this weekend for fear that the wedding would be halted by another legal appeal.

Both the SCOTUS Blog and Los Angeles Times posted reports this morning.