WASHINGTON, March 2 (UPI) -- Chief Justice John G. Roberts has refused to stay a Washington, D.C., same-sex marriage law opponents wanted to take to voters in a referendum, documents show.
The move will allow gay couples in the District of Columbia to begin to apply for marriage licenses Wednesday, The Washington Post reported.
In his ruling, Roberts said underlying legal issues are still under review by the U.S. Court of Appeals and it was not time for the Supreme Court to involve itself, the Post said.
While the chance for a referendum has passed, Roberts noted, opponents can still pursue a ballot initiative.
"The D.C. Court of Appeals will have the chance to consider the relevant legal questions on their merits," Roberts wrote, "and petitioners will have the right to challenge any adverse decision through a petition ... in this Court at the appropriate time."
Roberts ruled on the request for a stay on his own without referring it to the full court, the Post reported.