The non-ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States on Monday, October 6th has helped strike down same-sex marriage bans in three jurisdictions across the country.  

Same-sex couples and gay marriage advocates are celebrating a major success after the Supreme Court’s refusal to review cases by the three appellate courts that failed to uphold same-sex marriage bans in various states. Attorneys General in five states had requested that the Supreme Court review and overrule lower court decisions made in support of gay marriage, but SCOTUS refused to intervene to defend the marriage bans.

Three Jurisdictions Affected by Supreme Court’s Maneuver

Rulings against gay marriage bans were retained when the Supreme Court chose not to review with the decisions made by three appellate courts on Monday, October 6th. The three federal appeals courts involved encompass 11 states within their jurisdictions, all of which will be impacted by the Supreme Court’s tacit support of gay marriage.

In five states—Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Indiana—the same-sex marriage bans have been struck down. Virginia became the first of these states to issue gay marriage licenses, which it began doing as early as Monday.

Implications for the Future of Same-Sex Marriage in America

The appellate courts affected by Supreme Court’s decision also have jurisdiction over six other states—Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming—which have demonstrated mixed reactions to Monday’s decision. For instance, courts in Kansas have reportedly been turning away same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt described the legal situation as “uncertain” as “no court has squarely decided whether the Kansas Constitution’s prohibition on same-sex marriage—adopted by voters less than a decade ago—is invalid.”

However, following Monday’s decision, many of the impacted states have revised their treatment of gay marriage. Additionally, any future attempts to refute gay marriage rights in the other 19 states where it is legal will have even lower odds of success, securing the ability of gay men and women to marry their partners in those states.