LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California.
Because the Supreme Court did not rule on voter-approved Proposition 8, which bars gay marriage in California, United States District Court Judge Vaughn Walker’s 2010 decision to overturn the ban will stand.
“We have no authority to decide this case on the merits, and neither did the 9th Circuit,” Chief Justice John Roberts said.
Roberts wrote the majority opinion, joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Antonin Scalia.
The decision only affects marriages in California, which are expected to resume in as early as 25 days. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says it will take at least that long for the Supreme Court’s ruling to become official and that the court could bar gay marriages beyond that if proponents of Proposition 8 ask for a rehearing.
Prop. 8 was being challenged by two California same-sex couples after it was approved by 7 million voters in 2008.
The lower court must take action to lift the stay before county clerk’s offices can issue marriage licenses based on the decision, the Los Angeles County Clerk said in a statement.