Gay activists have revealed part of their legal strategy to bring gay marriage to all 50 states.
Nine major gay rights groups admit they must lay the groundwork at the state level before they can turn to Congress and the federal courts.
For more legal analysis on the gay marriage debate, click play to watch Regent University Law Professor Craig Stern.
That's why the groups have issued a memo urging gay couples who wed in California not to sue the federal government or other states to get their marriage recognized. Read the memo here.
"Pushing the federal government before we have a critical mass of states recognizing same-sex relationships suing in states where the courts aren't ready is likely to get us bad rulings," the memo states.
The memo urges gays and lesbians to consider the incremental changes that came through the Civil Rights Movement.
"Neither court decisions nor legislatures can make effective, enduring change in a democratic republic as diverse as this one unless people either come to agree with the change or accept that it is required by an important higher principle," the six-page memo says.
"That was true with segregation, it was true with sex discrimination, and it will be true with discrimination in marriage."
Rather than rush off to the courts, the gay activist groups stress the importance in holding on to their win in California. Earlier this month, the California Supreme Court cleared the way for same-sex marriages to begin June 17.
"Marriage in California will transform the national debate on the freedom to marry. It will do that because California is an American trendsetter," they argue.
Although gay couples can start marrying there next week, a proposal on the November ballot could stop gay marriages from being legally recognized by the state.
If voters pass the proposal, a clause that only recognizes marriage as between a man and woman would be added California Constitution.