Gay marriages remain legal in California

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The California Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to block same-sex marriages from continuing throughout the state, rejecting the latest legal bid to revive Proposition 8’s ban on gay nuptials.

In a brief order without explanation, the justices declined to hear a case brought last month by backers of Proposition 8 who argue that the law should remain in effect in at least 56 of the state’s 58 counties.

The U.S. Supreme Court in June left intact a 2010 federal judge’s ruling finding the state’s ban unconstitutional, concluding that sponsors of the 2008 measure did not have the legal right to defend the law in place of the governor and attorney general. Since then, thousands of same-sex couples have married across California.

The state Supreme Court declined to consider legal arguments presented by Proposition 8 backers on the application of their earlier ruling.

The justices previously refused to temporarily halt same-sex marriages while they considered the issue.

Proposition 8 backers maintained that the original ruling should only apply to the two couples who challenged the law and their two counties, Alameda and Los Angeles.

Proposition 8 backers could not immediately be reached for comment. But legal experts have predicted they might try the argument again the federal courts if they failed in the state Supreme Court.

San Diego’s county clerk raised the same argument in the California Supreme Court, but recently dropped his challenge.