The Supreme Court ducked the same-sex marriage question Monday, effectively striking down marriage restrictions in five states but leaving for another day a widely anticipated constitutional clash.
The court’s stunning decision not to hear any of the seven marriage cases presented eliminates same-sex marriage bans in Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah and Oklahoma. The decision also undercuts bans in six other states covered by the three appellate courts that have ruled.
“I would call this a huge step forward, but the job is still not done,” Evan Wolfson, the president of Freedom to Marry, said in an interview Monday.
A denial of a petition to the high court, as happened Monday, leaves intact the lower appellate court decisions that struck down the five state bans. Same-sex marriages began within hours in Virginia, Wisconsin and Indiana. Utah officials, who’d been vigorously defending the state’s ban, likewise capitulated after the court’s decision. Oklahoma began issuing marriage license to same-sex couples Monday.