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California Supreme Court refuses to stay gay marriage ruling

California’s highest court on Wednesday refused to stay until after the November election its decision legalizing same-sex marriage in the state.

Conservative religious and legal groups had asked the California Supreme Court to stop its May 15 order requiring state and local officials to sanction same-sex unions from becoming effective until voters have the chance to weigh in on the issue. The justices’ decisions typically become final after 30 days.

An initiative to ban gay marriage has qualified for the Nov. 4 ballot. Its passage would overrule the court’s decision by amending the state constitution to limit marriage as between a man and a woman.