Supreme Court Leaves Gay Marriage Bans to Lower Courts


Courtesy MCT Campus Service

Map of the state of gay marriage in the U.S. via The Los Angeles Times

On Monday the Supreme Court announced that they would not look at any current state cases wanting to uphold the ban on gay marriages.  As a result, this is huge news for the LGBT community and others involved in the fight for equality among the nation. For five states, and potentially another six, individuals will now be able to marry whoever they would like.

And within hours, marriages were performed in Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin,Virginia, and Indiana; many couples rejoicing and expressing the newly obtained freedoms.

However this is shocking to some, mainly because in the last couple years the Justices have denied gay marriages in states such as Virginia and Utah.  Others who are trying to define marriage as the joining between a man and a woman are wishing the results would have been opened to a vote.

In regards to the future of gay marriage, the push for equal rights has paid off.  Soon it is expected that the majority of the country (30 states in total) will be able to marry freely.  This means that the reality of the Supreme Court now retracting their decision is slim.  By declining to rule, the Justices seem to be making a statement by doing nothing at all; they are allowing lower courts to continue to set policy (precedent) rather than making a definitive national stand on the issue at this time.  Those lower (appellate) courts have struck down several gay marriage bans in recent rulings over the summer.

Legal observers around the country do not think the question is settled, but supporters of gay marriage see this as a victory.