US Supreme Court paves way for same-sex marriage in California
WASHINGTON— The US Supreme Court on Wednesday opted not to take up a case brought by opponents of same-sex marriage in California, effectively opening the door for gay couples to wed in the western US state.
The nine justices had been asked to rule on the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot initiative that saw the nation’s most populous state ban same-sex marriage. Activists had petitioned the Supreme Court to confirm Prop 8, which had been invalidated by a lower court.
In significant but incomplete victories for gay rights, the Supreme Court struck down a provision of a US law denying federal benefits to married gay couples.
The justices issued two 5-4 rulings in their final session of the term. One decision wiped away part of a federal anti-gay marriage law that has kept legally married same-sex couples from receiving tax, health and pension benefits.
The other was a technical legal ruling that said nothing at all about same-sex marriage, but left in place a trial court’s declaration that California’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. That outcome probably will allow state officials to order the resumption of same-sex weddings in the nation’s most populous state in about a month.
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