In a move that surprised watchers, the Supreme Court of the United States rejected appeals of same-sex marriage rulings in five states. It had been expected to take the cases and finally rule on whether same-sex marriage is constitutional throughout the nation. The court’s action means the lower appellate court decisions, which struck down state bans in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin, will stand. Virginia’s attorney general said his state could begin issuing marriage licences immediately.
The same appellate decisions involved in the Supreme Court action will also affect court cases in six states: Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming. When those 11 states begin issuing marriage licences, the number of states permitting same-sex marriage will hit 30, a far cry from a decade ago. In 2004, Massachusetts was the only state with same-sex marriage.