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Judge denies request to ban same-sex marriage

SAN FRANCISCO -- Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on Sunday denied a last-ditch request from the sponsors of California's now-overturned gay marriage ban to halt the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses in the nation's most populous state.

Kennedy turned away the appeal with no additional comment just as San Francisco's gay pride parade was getting under way in San Francisco, where dozens of couples have gotten married since Friday and where the clerk's office was expected to issue more licenses Sunday.

Same-sex marriage opponents asked Kennedy to step in on Saturday, a day after the federal appeals court in San Francisco allowed same-sex marriages to go forward. Opponents said the appeals court had acted about three weeks too soon when it cleared the way Friday for same-sex marriages to be legal in California for the first time in 4 1/2 years by lifting a hold it had imposed on such unions while a lawsuit challenging Proposition 8 made its way to and through the high court.

Under Supreme Court rules, the losing side in a legal dispute has 25 days to request a rehearing. While such requests are almost never granted, the high court said that it wouldn't finalize its judgment in the case at least until after that waiting period elapsed.

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