WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- In a one-sentence order Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for gay couples to begin marrying in Alaska.
Justice Anthony Kennedy issued the order to deny the state's appeal after U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess ruled on Sunday that the state's ban was unconstitutional.
Couples began applying for licenses on Monday, and some were able to obtain waivers to begin marrying immediately.
Gov. Sean Parnell appealed the ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which issued a stay until 11 a.m. Friday, to give the state time to appeal to the Supreme Court.
Last week, the Ninth Circuit ruled Idaho and Nevada's bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. And earlier Friday, a district court judge in Arizona found he Circuit Court's decision to be sufficient to strike down Arizona's ban as well.
With the Supreme Court's decision last week to deny review of petitions from five states, same-sex marriage is now fully legal 28 states and the District of Columbia.
Other states in the four circuit courts that have ruled against gay marriage bans will almost certainly see theirs fall shortly. Montana remains the only state in the Ninth Circuit not to explicitly allow gay marriage, while bans in states in the Fourth Circuit (South Carolina, West Virginia) and Tenth Circuit (Colorado, Kansas) are also on the chopping block.
A district court judge ruled Wyoming's ban unconstitutional Friday afternoon, but stayed the ruling until Oct. 23.