The Supreme Court on Friday denied a
stay of a lower court's ruling striking down Alaska's ban on gay
The move removes the last legal
obstacle preventing gay and lesbian couples from marrying in Alaska.
U.S. District Court Judge Timothy
Burgess struck down the ban, which was approved by voters in 1998, on
Sunday, saying it violates the 14th Amendment of the U.S.
Lawyers representing Republican
Governor Sean Parnell turned to the 9th Circuit Court of
Appeals in San Francisco after Burgess refused to set aside his
ruling pending an appeal. A 3-judge panel on Wednesday issued a
temporary stay “to afford appellants an opportunity to seek a stay
from the United States Supreme Court.”
“The application for stay presented
to Justice Kennedy and by him referred to the Court is denied,” the
high court said in rejecting the request.
Officials in Alaska started issuing
marriage licenses to gay couples on Monday. However, the state's
3-day waiting period gave the state time to pursue legal venues
before such couples exchanged vows. Still, at least two couples
persuaded a judge to waive the requirement and marry them.