The supreme court justice Anthony Kennedy has denied a request from Proposition 8 supporters in California to halt the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses, as thousands turned out for gay pride celebrations from New York to San Francisco. Kennedy turned away the request on Sunday, with no additional comment.
Opponents of same-sex marriage asked him to step in on Saturday, a day after the federal appeals court in San Francisco allowed same-sex marriages to go forward. Numerous weddings were performed at San Francisco City Hall following the court decisions.
The opponents said the appeals court had acted about three weeks too soon. Proposition 8 supporters could continue their efforts to halt gay marriage by filing their request with another supreme court justice.
In New York, forecast thunderstorms failed to materialise and the annual Heritage of Pride march set off along Fifth Avenue under a baking sun. The parade was led by a convoy of lesbian and gay bikers, with Edith Windsor, the 84-year-old plaintiff in the case that led to the Supreme Court striking down Doma this week, conveyed behind in a red convertible.
Wearing a wide brimmed straw hat, sunglasses and an elegant white pant suit, Windsor – who earlier this year was appointed one of the "grand marshals" of the parade, in honour of her legal battle – waved to crowds lining the route, who erupted in wild cheers as she passed by.
Local politicians, including mayor Michael Bloomberg, senator Chuck Schumer and governor Andrew Cuomo, marched among gay rights activists, a choir, and a float carrying muscle-bound male models advertising Diet Coke.
The gay pride celebrations scheduled in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Minneapolis-St Paul, Seattle and St Louis are annual and in most cases decades-old events whose tones and themes have mirrored the gay rights movement's greatest victories and defeats. This year's parades, coming on the heels of the supreme court's historic decisions, should be no exception.
In San Francisco, the four plaintiffs in the case that led to the end of California's gay marriage ban will be riding in a contingent organized by the city attorney.
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