The United States Supreme Court can no longer decide whether or not states can allow gay marriage.
Reuters reports that the high court rejected appeals on Monday from rulings in Indiana, Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia and Wisconsin that allowed gay marriage. Its decision to reject these appeals will allow gay men and women to marry in these states that considered banning gay marriage, but couldn’t. The five new states under the court’s jurisdiction join 6 other states — North Carolina, West Virginia, South Carolina, Wyoming, Kansas and Colorado — that have also struck down gay marriage bans.
“Any time same-sex couples are extended marriage equality is something to celebrate,” Chad Griffin, president of the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement, “and today is a joyous day for thousands of couples across America who will immediately feel the impact of today’s Supreme Court action.”
Monday’s decision will reportedly allow same-sex couples to eventually get married in 30 states. “The court’s letting stand these victories means that gay couples will soon share in the freedom to marry in 30 states, representing 60% of the American people,” said Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry. “But we are one country, with one Constitution, and the court’s delay in affirming the freedom to marry nationwide prolongs the patchwork of state-to-state discrimination.”
The Supreme Court’s move can mean two different things for a state, depending on whether or not it allows same-sex marriage. On one hand, the decision means state rulings prohibiting same-sex marriage bans are actually constitutional. But, on the other hand, it means that states with rulings that ban gay marriage already cannot be challenged in the Supreme Court, since there will be no national ruling in the matter.