SCOTUS Clears Way For Gay Marriage In 5 States

In an unexpected and unexpectedly wonderful decision Monday, the Supreme Court refused to consider five states' same-sex marriage victories appeals — essentially clearing the path for marriages to take place there. Gay marriage had been "on hold" in Indiana, Virginia, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wisconsin after the five victories, but SCOTUS' rejection of the cases means that the appeals cases have been flipped back to the lower states' courts — all of whom ruled in favor of marriage equality.

In other words, marriage equality is, for now, legal in Indiana, Virginia, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wisconsin.

The Supreme Court set an important precedent with this ruling; it essentially suggested SCOTUS won't rule to halt state decisions that are in favor of same-sex marriage (as the appeals sought to do). It also means that a Supreme Court ruling on nationwide marriage equality isn't in the cards just yet — at least, not until a federal appeals court upholds a state ban, which would force the court to act.

Last month, Supreme Court justice (and our personal hero) Ruth Bader Ginsburg hinted to a Minnesota audience that the cases in front of the court this session would play a role in the ever-increasing legalization of same-sex marriage across the nation. If a federal appeals court allowed a same-sex marriage ban to stand, she said, "there will be some urgency" in the court's mind.