On Monday, the Supreme Court turned down same-sex marriage appeals from five states—Indiana, Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
By rejecting appeals in cases involving Virginia, Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin and Indiana, the court left intact lower-court rulings that struck down bans in those states.
Other states under the jurisdiction of appeals courts that struck down the bans will also be affected, meaning the number of states with gay marriage is likely to quickly jump from 19 to 30.
The decision to decline the cases, which will allow gay marriages to continue, comes as a surprise, as SCOTUS was expected to hear at least one of the cases.
Practically, today SCOTUS recognized a right to SSM. Implausible that later it will undo marriages, absent a big change in Ct’s membership.
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) October 6, 2014
The justices did not explain their rejection to review the appeals. But by declining to hear them, 30 states and the District of Columbia will soon have gay marriage and effectively ends the argument over same-sex marriage both nationally and within the Supreme Court itself.
Since the announcement Monday morning, same-sex couples in the states have already begun marrying.
Second gay couple to get marriage license in Richmond. “We didn’t even change clothes” says guy in flip-flops pic.twitter.com/LIwt6EZ19g
— Graham Moomaw (@gmoomaw) October 6, 2014
Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin are filling out their license now and plan to marry at the courthouse today. pic.twitter.com/QZOwKNGLQn
— Max Resnik (@meresnik) October 6, 2014
As Mother Jones previously reported, the appeals asked “SCOTUS to consider whether a state law limiting marriage to a union between a man and a woman violates the 14th Amendment. Six of the seven cases also [raised] the question of whether states must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.”