Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy
on Wednesday stayed an appeals court ruling that struck down gay
marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada.
Kennedy's response to Idaho's emergency
request came about 10 minutes before the state said that it would
have been required to comply with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals'
ruling handed down on Tuesday.
“Each same-sex marriage performed
will be contrary to the interests of the state and its citizens in
being able to define marriage through ordinary democratic channels,”
a lawyer representing Republican Governor Butch Otter wrote in one of
the state's filings.
Nevada officials who said Tuesday that
gay couples could begin marrying Wednesday were forced to reverse
Lawyers for the plaintiffs said they
had asked the Supreme Court for clarification.
“#SCOTUS issues stay order on
yesterday's #9thCircuit ruling but we don't believe stay order should
apply to NV & have asked #SCOTUs for clarification,” the group
Lambda Legal said in a series of tweets.
The Ninth Circuit's ruling came a day
Supreme Court declined to review appeals in cases challenging
bans in five states, effectively legalizing marriage equality in 11
The AP noted: “Having allowed those
other rulings to take effect without a full review by the Supreme
Court, it would be surprising if the justices were to put the 9th
circuit ruling on hold for any length of time.”
Kennedy ordered the plaintiffs in the
Idaho case to respond by the end of the day Thursday.