Nationwide same-sex marriage has taken a large step closer to becoming reality in the US.

In a decision many legal experts had expected would be drawn out with delays, the US Supreme Court has agreed in favour of decisions made by five smaller ‘Appeals’ courts to legalise same sex marriage in their states.

This decision has seen same-sex marriage in the conservative states of Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin increasing the number of states that allow same-sex marriage from 19 to 24.


The number will soon climb to 30 as the court turned down making rulings on any more pending appeals. Generally these appeals rose when smaller courts that look after the interests of one or a few states – ruled that bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional.

Conservatives groups then took appeals on these decisions to the Supreme Court to have the smaller court’s rulings overturned. But now the Supreme court has refused to review anymore pending appeals, the power is returned to the appeals courts who have already found in favour of same-sex marriages in Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming, bringing the total to 30 of the 50 states.

In a statement Evan Wolfson, president of the ‘Freedom to Marry’ campaign, said he was pleased with the court’s decision, but wished they would ‘finish the job’ and declare national same-sex marriage legal. “The court’s letting stand these victories means that gay couples will soon share in the freedom to marry in 30 states, representing 60% of the American people…We are one country, with one constitution, and the court’s delay in affirming the freedom to marry nationwide prolongs the patchwork of state-to-state discrimination and the harms and indignity that the denial of marriage still inflicts on too many couples in too many places.”

 Article | Oliver Hall