SAN FRANCISCO -- An emergency effort to again halt gay weddings in California ended Sunday after the Supreme Court rejected a request by that opposes of same-sex marriage.
The move came a day after scores of same-sex couples got married in San Francisco. More weddings are expected Monday when Los Angeles and Orange County begin offering them.
The high court's rebuff heightened the celebrations in San Francisco, which was holding its annual gay pride parade on Sunday.
The parade usually draws about 1 million people, but organizers predicted the crowd would swell by 20% because of last week's court decisions.
Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., one of the lawyers who challenged Proposition 8, said that he had just received word from the court Sunday morning that Justice Anthony M. Kennedy denied a request by Prop. 8 sponsor ProtectMarriage to halt the weddings.
Boutrous said that Kennedy, who handles petitions from the Western states, turned down the request without comment.
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order late Friday that allowed gay weddings to resume in California, a step that ProtectMarriage said was premature and in violation of procedural rules.
Kennedy wrote Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling that required the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages in the Defense of Marriage Act case. He dissented, however, in a separate decision the same day about Prop. 8. In that case, the majority ruled that ProtectMarriage and other initiative sponsors could not stand in the place of state officials to defend the measure in federal court.
The 9th Circuit normally waits 25 days before acting on a case just decided by the Supreme Court. But in a surprise move, a three-judge panel that included liberal jurist Stephen Reinhardt lifted a hold it had placed on a 2010 injunction ordering state officials to stop enforcing the gay marriage ban.
Couples from throughout the state have converged on San Francisco City Hall, believed to be the only government office in California issuing marriage licenses over the weekend.
In the first hour of business on Saturday morning alone, San Francisco officials issued about 100 marriage licenses. All told, 246 were granted and 188 couples were married on the first full day of legal, post-Prop. 8 weddings.
For some couples, Saturday offered a chance to make up for not having wed during brief windows in 2004, when more than 4,000 same-sex weddings were performed in San Francisco, and in 2008, when such unions were legal statewide before Prop. 8 was passed.
Sandy Palmer and Mary Dang piled into their white Prius in Los Alamitos and arrived at City Hall not long after sunrise Saturday.
They knew they couldn't get the crucial piece of paper over the weekend in Orange County, where they have lived together for 10 years. And they worried that the right to marry granted by the appeals court on Friday could be taken away again Monday morning.
Hence the sleepless night, the moonlit sprint up Interstate 5, the 90-minute wait on the steps of City Hall as early morning traffic rushed by and the line for licenses swelled.
"We had a wedding in 2010," said Palmer, 33, describing a pirate-themed affair with swords and hats, friends and family. "It was amazing, but the legal piece was missing. I wanted to make this a part of my personal history, to grab the moment, be part of something special — not just for me, but for the country."
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