BREAKING: Sup. Ct. legalizes gay marriage in 11 more states

By refusing to hear appeals in cases brought by the states of Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Utah, the Supreme Court has not only made gay marriage effectively legal in those states, but also in six more: North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Colorado, Kansas and Wyoming.

UPDATE: Colorado’s Attorney General has told the state’s county clerks that they must begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

UPDATE: Marriages of gay couples have begun in Virginia! Here’s the first:

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UPDATE: Utah!

At 11 a.m., the first same-sex couple arrived to obtain a license, Kelli Frame and Suzanne Marelius. “I’m gonna be the groom?” Kelli asked.

“Growing up, I never thought it would happen,” Kelli said. “I never put myself in the category of people who would get married.”

What happened was that Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Utah recently saw their gay marriage bans struck down by federal courts.

The states then lost their appeals in the federal appellate courts for their regions.

And then, by the Supreme Court today refusing to hear those appeals, the decisions of the appellate courts stand, and those opinions affect every state in the regions they cover.

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A gay couple gets married in Indiana.

Thus, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Colorado, Kansas and Wyoming are affected as well.

This will bring to 30 the total number of states in which gays can wed.

Interestingly, the NYT does not mention the additional six states. Freedom to Marry, the resident expert on gay marriage, however does.

While many gay rights advocates had hoped the court would hear at least one appeal, and use it to legalize gay marriage nationwide, that wasn’t the Supreme Court’s game plan. As I’ve indicated before, I think the court’s pro-gay-marriage majority in US v. Windsor intended gay marriage to come upon the land on cat feet. Slowly. Quietly. State by state. And not all at once.

The idea: to make gay marriage inevitable and boring, so as to ultimately avoid another Roe v. Wade -type decision, that would not only threaten the decision itself, but also the court’s credibility.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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