GAY NEWS FLASH: Supreme Court Denies Review of Five Gay-Marriage Cases

When gay news breaks, we flash it.

Over the summer you may remember reading headlines like “Wisconsin Judge Says Gay Marriage Ban is Unconstitutional,” or “Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down in Virginia.” Similar calls rolled in from Utah, Oklahoma, and Indiana, but the stories didn’t really go much further, because government officials in each of those states appealed the ruling, putting off gay marriage until a higher court could hear the ruling.

Well today that higher court—the Supreme Court, thank you— is listening, and if SCOTUS is correct it has decided to deny review in all seven petitions before it.

What does this mean? Amy Howe from SCOTUS blog explains:

This morning the Court issued additional orders from its September 29 Conference.  Most notably, the Court denied review of all seven of the petitions arising from challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage.  This means that the lower-court decisions striking down bans in Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah, Oklahoma, and Virginia should go into effect shortly, clearing the way for same-sex marriages in those states and any other state with similar bans in those circuits.

Last month, another SCOTUS blogger, Lisa Keen, reported on what this means for marriage if the Supreme Court decides to decline review:

If the Supreme Court declines to review one of the pending marriage cases this session, said Kaplan, it would have to lift the stays currently in place. “Then marriages between gay couples could happen in a whole bunch of new states,” she said. That would enable same-sex couples to get married in 12 additional states: Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, and Oklahoma in the Tenth Circuit; Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia in the Fourth Circuit; and Wisconsin and Indiana, in the Seventh Circuit. Added to the 19 states that already enable same-sex couples to marry, and the count will stand at 31 and the District of Columbia.

So basically, we could be hearing a ton of gay wedding bells ringing across the nation very soon, including the first ones to ding-dong in a Southern state (!). Stay tuned for developments.