(Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for same-sex matrimony to proceed in Idaho on Friday by lifting a temporary hold imposed earlier in the week, capping a week of victories for supporters of gay marriage in America.
The move came as a district court judge struck down North Carolina's prohibition on gay nuptials, and followed days of back-and-forth federal court actions that could soon see legal weddings for gay couples extended to 35 states.
There was no immediate word on whether Idaho officials would immediately begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the Supreme Court lifted a stay imposed on a Tuesday federal appeals court ruling that overturned the state's ban.
Nevada, where a gay marriage prohibition was struck down on Tuesday by the same federal appeals court, began issuing licenses to gay couples on Thursday.
"We've been here before," said Ty Carson, 41, of Boise, who was hoping to swiftly marry her partner of 16 years, with whom she has raised three children. "The reason we're going through this emotional roller coaster is so that our kids can one day laugh about how this used to be against the law."
The U.S. Supreme Court action on Friday capped a week in which its nine justices played a crucial role in paving the way for gay marriage in up to 11 states where it was previously illegal.
On Monday, the justices declined to hear appeals in seven different cases, leaving intact other regional appeals court rulings that struck down gay marriage bans in five states, and could indirectly impact six more.
A day after the Supreme Court made its surprise announcement, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco struck down Idaho and Nevada's bans, in rulings that will in turn affect three more states in its jurisdiction: Arizona, Alaska and Montana.
In Alaska a federal judge was due to hear oral arguments on Friday in a lawsuit brought by five same-sex couples who are challenging that state's marriage prohibition.