California governor: Counties must allow gay marriage

California governor: Counties must allow gay marriage »Play Video
Tina Reynolds celebrates the Supreme Court decision at the LGBT Sacramento Community Center on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 in Sacramento, Calif. The Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a provision of a U.S. law denying federal benefits to married gay couples and cleared the way for the resumption of same-sex marriage in the state of California. (AP Photo/The Sacramento Bee, Hector Amezcua)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown says he has directed the California Department of Public Health to start issuing marriage licenses to gay couples as soon as a federal appeals court lifts its stay on a lower court ruling in the case.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday let stand that lower court ruling, which overturned the state's voter-approved gay marriage ban, Proposition 8.

Brown said in a statement that the court has made same-sex marriage a reality in California "after years of struggle."

The Democratic governor says he and Attorney General Kamala Harris have determined that county clerks and county registrars must comply with Wednesday's ruling and begin registering same-sex marriage licenses once the stay is lifted.

The state Department of Public Health says in a letter to counties that it could take a month or more before that happens.