Prop 8 plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Stier were the first gay
couple to get married in California in over four years on Friday.
(Pic: American Foundation for Equal Rights)

A last-ditch effort to stop same-sex marriages from going ahead in California has been summarily rejected by US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Last week, the Supreme Court’s failure to rule on the Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage in California meant that an earlier lower court ruling which found it to be unconstitutional would come into effect.

While it was expected that there would be a delay before same-sex marriages resumed, on Friday the 9th Circuit Court said that the state could immediately begin to approve license marriage applications by gay couples.

That same day, the first same-sex couple to marry in California in over four years were Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, the plaintiffs behind the case opposing the Proposition 8 ban. Their son, Elliott Perry, served as a witness. 

In response, supporters of the ban filed a petition with the Supreme Court arguing that the resumption of same-sex marriages was premature and that under the law this had to wait until 25 days after the Supreme Court’s judgment.

Justice Kennedy, however, rejected the petition with no explanation.

“On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of the United States acknowledged that gay and lesbian Californians are equal under the law and can once again marry the person they love. Today, Sandy and I realised that promise of equality, as we stand here united in marriage,” said Perry, after she and Stier finally got married.

“We look forward to spending the rest of our lives together. Yet we will never forget this dayラthe day the freedom to marry was restored to our home state,” she said.

The Prop 8 ban was put in place by 52% of California voters in a referendum in November 2008, after the state had earlier legalised same-sex marriage. It then became the subject of ongoing legal battles.

“After four and a half long and painful years, justice for committed gay and lesbian couples has finally been delivered. In California, a time of struggle and indignity are over, and love, justice and freedom begin anew,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin.

“And now, no election, no judge ヨ no one ヨ can take this basic right away. At long last, marriage has finally returned to the most populous state in the nation.”

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