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Correction: Gay Marriage-Parades story

July 3, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In a story June 30 about (topic), The Associated Press reported erroneously that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. A 5-4 court majority ruled that the ban’s sponsors lacked authority to defend the measure on appeal and thereby let stand a lower court ruling that overturned Proposition 8, but did not directly address the ban’s constitutionality.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Court wins drew big crowds to US gay pride parades

Court wins drew big crowds to US gay pride parades; ‘There is a vindication’

By LISA LEFF

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Gay rights supporters crowded parade routes in major U.S. cities for pride celebrations that were especially lively after a week that saw the Supreme Court issue two major decisions on gay marriage.

In San Francisco, the biggest applause went up for the two newlywed couples whose successful legal challenge of the state’s gay marriage ban made it possible for Californians to wed.

The city’s parade illustrated how support for same-sex marriage is becoming more mainstream. Companies such as Facebook were represented. Police officers marched while holding hands.

“You can feel the smiles,” said Graham Linn, 42. “All around you there is a release. There is a vindication, and you can feel it.”

The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed an appeal of a lower court ruling that had overturned the California ban and also invalidated part of a 1996 federal law that denied spousal benefits to gay couples. On Sunday morning, Justice Kennedy denied a last-ditch request from the sponsors of California’s ban, who argued that a lower court on Friday prematurely allowed gay marriages to continue in the nation’s most populous state before the high court finalized its ruling.

San Francisco City Hall remained open on Sunday so couples who wanted to marry could obtain their licenses. Every other clerk in California’s 58 counties will be required to issue same-sex marriage licenses starting Monday.

The parade in New York City, where the first pride march was held 44 years ago, celebrated Edith Windsor, the 84-year-old widow who challenged the federal Defense of Marriage Act after she was forced to pay $363,053 on the estate of her late wife.

“If someone had told me 50 years ago that I would be the marshal of New York City gay pride parade in 2013 at the age of 84, I never would have believed it,” Windsor said.

In Seattle, the two women who were the first same-sex couple to be granted a marriage license in Washington state after same-sex marriage became legal there last year helped raise a giant marriage equality sign on top of the city’s iconic Space Needle.

In another first, the Seattle Mariners professional baseball team flew a rainbow flag — the symbol of gay pride, first unfurled during San Francisco’s parade in 1978 — during their game Sunday against the Chicago Cubs.

The Supreme Court wins motivated many first-time pride parade spectators. Michael Pence, 53, and John Moehnke, 46, a North Carolina couple who are engaged, attended Chicago’s annual Pride Parade for the first time, saying they were thrilled about the rulings.

The couple planned to marry in New York in the fall but want to see gay marriage extended to other states including Illinois, where efforts to legalize gay marriage have stalled despite pressure from President Barack Obama.

“We have such a long way to go, but we’re ready for the fight,” Moehnke said.

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Associated Press writers Sophia Tareen in Chicago, AP Radio Correspondent Julie Walker in New York and AP Photographer Elaine Thompson in Seattle contributed to this story.

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