Supreme Court Allows Gay Marriage to Begin in 5 States

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from The Wall Street Journal,

Justices Decline for Now to Make Nationwide Decision on Issue.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined a chorus of requests for it to resolve whether gay couples have the right to marry nationwide, and in doing so cleared the way for same-sex marriages to begin in several more states.

The court in brief written orders turned away appeals from Utah, Virginia, Indiana, Oklahoma and Wisconsin, all states that have seen their bans on same-sex marriage thrown out by lower courts. In the near term, the justices’ decision to sit on the sidelines could lead to legalized gay marriage in about 30 states. Same-sex marriage was already legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

States moved quickly to respond to the development.

States not involved in the cases pending before the court also responded.

The court’s move suggests the justices feel no urgency to intervene at a time when same-sex marriage cases are moving swiftly through lower courts around the country. Still more cases are pending in other U.S. courts, and no appeals court so far has upheld a gay-marriage ban since a 2013 Supreme Court ruling called such bans into question. Should an appeals court do so, it would create a split in the lower courts that makes it more likely the Supreme Court could intervene.

For now, Monday’s developments cast doubt on whether the high court will take up the issue in its new term, which began on Monday and runs through June. The court, as is its custom, offered no explanation for why it decided not to get involved.

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