Supreme Court Clears Path For Same-Sex Marriage In Five States

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Supreme Court Rejects Gay Marriage Bans Five States

By Michael Lewittes

Supreme Court Rejects Gay Marriage Bans Five States

(Getty Images)

The Supreme Court has rejected appeals from five states looking to ban gay marriage, essentially legalizing same-sex marriage in those states. On Monday, the nation’s highest court slammed down appeals from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin, which sought to reverse rulings that had declared bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court’s action effectively upholds the striking-down of those bans, immediately ending delays on same-sex marriage in those states. Meanwhile, the decision will soon allow gay couples in six other states — North Carolina, West Virginia, South Carolina, Wyoming, Kansas and Colorado — to marry, since those states’ same-sex marriage rulings are linked to the same appellate decisions the Supreme Court just validated.

The strike-down of the bans will likely take the number of states that legalize gay marriage from 19 to 30. Although the justices’ ruling plausibly sends the message to the lower courts that the rejection of the bans are in line with the U.S. Constitution, litigation in the states where same-sex marriage is forbidden is likely to continue without a national ruling.

In 2013, the highest court in the land declared Defense of Marriage Act — which says marriage must be between a man and a woman — unconstitutional, allowing homosexual couples to receive the same benefits as heterosexual couples. The Court also struck down California’s Proposition 8, which came after hearings about the legality of the state’s gay marriage ban in March 2013.

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