The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday
refused to stay a ruling striking down South Carolina's ban on gay
Last week, U.S. District Judge Richard
Gergel declared the ban invalid and ordered the state to begin
issuing marriage licenses to gay couples starting on Thursday at
South Carolina Attorney General Alan
Wilson, a Republican, on Tuesday asked Supreme Court Chief Justice
John Roberts to stay Gergel's order as the state pursues an appeal.
“The application for stay presented
to The Chief Justice and by him referred to the Court is denied,”
the court stated in its 1-page order. Justices Antonin Scalia and
Clarence Thomas dissented.
The first gay couple to marry in South
Carolina did so on Wednesday after a probate judge issued the state's
first licenses to same-sex couples.
couples receive marriage licenses in South Carolina.)