By Bill Mears
CNN Supreme Court Producer
(CNN) — Same-sex marriage in Alaska can move forward after the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday rejected the state’s request to delay enforcement.
The one-sentence order from the justices denying a stay means gays and lesbians could soon legally wed.
It would make Alaska the 30th state to allow same-sex marriage, up from 19 states at the beginning of the month.
A federal judge in the state in recent days had ordered gays and lesbians be allowed to apply for marriage licenses and to wed after a normal three-day waiting period. But everything was on hold pending emergency action from the justices.
Some couples had begun applying for marriage licenses as early as Monday and in at least some cases, couples were married when they were granted an expedited consideration.
The state had requested a stay, saying it needed more time to file more detailed appeals to show its sovereign power to define marriage was being usurped by the courts. Officials, including the governor, had said waiting until the broader legal questions are resolved was best for all Alaskans.
But a number of same-sex couples cited a federal appeals court ruling last week that struck down bans in Nevada and Idaho as unconstitutional. That appeals court’s legal jurisdiction also includes Alaska and other Western states.
The high court case is Parnell v. Hamby (14A413).
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