Supreme Court decision allows for same – sex marriage


Same-sex marriage will be the law of the land  to come but not just yet. Hours after the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way by turning away several appeals, gay couples started marrying in Virginia.

The message of the Supreme Court’s decision on Oct. 6 let stand five federal appellate court rulings that rec- ognized a constitutional right for gay people to marry. The concrete effects of the non- decision are considerable. At a minimum, it means that the five states whose cases were before the court (Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin and Indiana) should allow same- sex marriage immediately.

The states covered by the circuit courts that include these states will possibly now allow same-sex marriages as well. This includes the Fourth Circuit, covering Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina; the Seventh Circuit, including Illinois, Indiana and Wis- consin; and the 10th Circuit, which covers Colorado, Kan- sas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming.

The justices never explain why they decline to take a case. It takes only four out of nine votes for the court to hear a case. So why didn’t four justices vote to hear the challenges to the same-sex marriage ban?

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