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Supreme Court Rejects Petition To Halt Gay Marriages In California

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The Supreme Court has rejected a petition from an anti-gay marriage group to halt same-sex weddings in California.

Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., one of the attorneys who challenged California's gay marriage ban in federal court, told the Los Angeles Times on Sunday that Justice Anthony Kennedy had denied the petition by Proposition 8's sponsors to put an immediate hold on all gay weddings in the state. According to Boutros, Kennedy did not comment on the decision.

On Saturday, Proposition 8's backers filed the emergency petition requesting that the Supreme Court vacate the Ninth Circuit order that cleared the way for same-sex weddings to resume in California.

"The Ninth Circuit's June 28, 2013 Order purporting to dissolve the stay...is the latest in a long line of judicial irregularities that have unfairly thwarted Petitioners' defense of California's marriage amendment," the paperwork filed by attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom read. "Failing to correct the appellate court's actions threatens to undermine the public's confidence in its legal system."

The Ninth Circuit's order came as a surprise to many, as the three-judge panel had previously said it would wait to lift the hold for 25 days.

The order allowed weddings to resume just two days after the Supreme Court declined to rule on Proposition 8's constitutionality.

“We have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the Supreme Court's majority opinion. “We decline to do so for the first time here.”

Prop 8 plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Stier tied the knot Friday in California's first gay wedding in over four years. California Attorney General Kamala Harris presided over the ceremony.

"They have waited and fought for this moment," Harris said. "Today their wait is finally over."

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