Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on Sunday denied a last-ditch request from the sponsors of California's now-overturned gay marriage ban, Proposition 8.
He made no comment as he rejected their bid to halt the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses.
Proposition 8 supporters were asking the Supreme Court to intervene after a U.S. appeals court ignored a pre-determined waiting period, which allowed California to start immediately issuing gay marriage licenses.
California began issuing those licenses Friday, allowing homosexuals to begin marrying on Saturday.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals moved weeks ahead of schedule to allow gay marriage by lifting a hold it had placed on same-sex unions while Prop 8 was being appealed at the Supreme Court.
"We haven't even had an opportunity to see what other options are available to us to uphold the will of the people with Prop 8, but the 9th Circuit has jumped the gun and forced same sex-marriage back on California," Andrew Pugno, general counsel for ProtectMarriage.com, said.
"I think the main issue is that we do not have an appellate court in California or anywhere that has ruled Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional," he continued.
"So how is it that we can go forward with redefining marriage just because one trial judge says so?" Pugno said.
Lawyers for the sponsors of Prop 8 had filed an emergency motion Saturday asking the U.S. Supreme Court to step in and stop the weddings while they considered their next move.
Attorneys with the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom argued in the petition that the 9th Circuit acted prematurely and unfairly.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Austin Nimocks had contended that his clients still had 22 days to ask the justices to reconsider their decision holding that Proposition 8's backers did not have legal authority to defend the ban.
Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage issued a statement saying: "It's another sad example of the utter disregard for the rule of law and judicial propriety by those who swear an oath to uphold the laws of California and the nation."
The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for gay marriage to return to the nation's most populous state by ruling 5-4 on Wednesday that the sponsors of California's voter-approved ban on same-sex unions lacked authority to defend the measure in court.
Brown said that only happened because California's leaders ignored their obligation to defend the bill that was passed by California voters.
"After Proposition 8 was challenged, both the governor and attorney general refused to defend it," he said. "It would appear that the desire to impose same-sex marriage by some public officials trumps integrity, fairness, propriety, and even the rule of law. All Americans should be outraged."