By Alexa Gonzales
The U.S. Supreme Court made court rulings on Monday, October 6th, that allowed same-sex marriages in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear cases from these five states tacitly struck down the same-sex marriage bans that the states were seeking to uphold. By refusing to uphold states’ requests for prohibiting same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court declared the same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional.
Within hours after the decision, county clerks in these five states began issuing gay marriage licenses and couples rushed to get married.
This ruling marks the Justice’s first ruling on the same-sex marriage issue since December 2012, with California’s Proposition 8. With this new ruling, the number of states allowing same sex-marriage has increased, with now up to 24 states. These five states now face the challenge of articulating the rights and protections to which gay and lesbian couples are entitled.
The three federal appeals courts for these five states also have jurisdiction over six additional states that currently ban same-sex marriage: Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming. These states could follow precedent, bringing the number of same-sex marriage states up to 30.
United States solicitor general in the Clinton administration, Walter E. Delinger III, sees this continuing development as a sign for a final decision on the issue within the next two years. “Once a substantial part of the country has experienced gay marriage, then the court will be more willing to finish the job,” Delinger said.
This progress has caused marriage equality supporters to rejoice, while opponents of same-sex marriage are frustrated. Many conservatives believe that the Supreme Court should stay out of same-sex marriage issues, while others anticipate the high court to make a definitive ruling on the issue soon.