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High Court Clears Way for Same-Sex Marriage in CA

WASHINGTON (KTLA) — The Supreme Court on Wednesday cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California, turning away an appeal by supporters of Proposition 8.

In a 5-4 decision, the justices ruled that the private backers of Prop 8 did not have the legal standing to defend the measure after the state declined to do so.

The decision means that the ruling of a federal judge in San Francisco invalidating the ban on same-sex marriage will be reinstated. An appeals court stay on that decision will be lifted.

Gov. Jerry Brown directed the California Department of Public Health to advise all California counties to “begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in California as soon as the Ninth Circuit confirms the stay is lifted.”

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion, joined by Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative, and three liberals — Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan.

Justice Anthony Kennedy filed a dissenting opinion, joined by Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor.

Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, who live in Berkeley, Calif., were two of the plaintiffs in the case.

“We can go back to California and say to our own children — all four of our boys — your family is just as good as everybody else’s family,” Perry said.

Paul Katami and Jeff Zarillo, of Burbank, were also plaintiffs in the Prop 8 case.

“Today is a great day,” Katami said. “We enter this building and we always see those words, ‘Equal justice under the law.’ Today, we’re closer to that equality,” he said.

“We know that the fight continues across this country. We cannot forget our LGBT bothers and sisters that are in states that still discriminate against them, and we will not allow it,” Katami said.

There will likely be about a 25-day waiting period, meaning same-sex marriages could resume in California sometime in mid-July.

“We do not foresee any delays or interruption in service for our customers. We are prepared to accommodate any potential volume increases,” said Dean Logan of the Los Angeles County Registrar’s office in a statement.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa hailed the decision, calling it a “momentous step on the path to full equality and dignity for all Californians and all Americans.”

“Today we celebrate a victory for love and fairness, a victory for same-sex couples who only want to follow their hearts and marry the person they love,” Villaraigosa said.

Also on Wednesday, the court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denied federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples.

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