Supreme Court denies 7 appeals in 5 states

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In a surprise development, the U.S. Supreme Court Monday announced it would not accept for review any of the seven appeals on same-sex marriage bans from five states – Virginia, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oklahoma, and Utah.

The action means that the stays placed on lower court decisions in all five states –decisions that struck down bans on marriage for same-sex couples – are immediately lifted, making way for the lower courts to issue orders requiring the states to stop enforcing their bans.

The action also means that six other states in the same federal circuits as the five states which had appeals before the high court will have to abide by the federal appeals court rulings in those circuits. All three circuits – the 4th, 7th, and 10th – struck down the bans on marriage for same-sex couples.

That means that very soon, same-sex couples will likely be able to marry in 30 states plus the District of Columbia, tipping the balance in favor of marriage equality, from the previous 19 states and the District of Columbia. Read more here.