"The Supreme Court (of the United States, my addition) refused to get involved in the national debate over same-sex marriage Monday, leaving intact lower court rulings that will legalize the practice in 11 additional states. The unexpected decision by the justices, announced without further explanation, immediately affects five states in which federal appeals courts had struck down bans against gay marriage: Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Utah.
It also will bring along six other states located in the judicial circuits overseen by those appellate courts: North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Colorado, Kansas and Wyoming. The action will bring to 30 the number of states where gays and lesbians can marry. Appeals courts in Cincinnati and San Francisco are considering cases that could expand that number further, presuming the Supreme Court remains outside the legal fray." (USA Today)---
By not taking up the cases offered the SCOTUS today decided to allow same-sex marriages in eleven more states where the ban on same-sex marriage had been found to be unconstitutional
"Rather than decide the issue of same-sex marriage, as virtually everyone involved in the debate expected, the justices simply let stand lower-court rulings striking down bans in five states. Within hours, marriages were set to take place.
And the justices knew their decision to stay out of the grand national debate would have further repercussions: Within days or weeks, gay marriage could be legal in 30 states representing 60% of the U.S. population. Nine more states in the Midwest and West could be added very soon if appeals courts there join the juggernaut.
Why did the Supreme Court take a pass? Most likely because it lacked the votes to stop what federal and state court judges have started.
"The far more conservative justices couldn't count to five," said Jon Davidson of the gay rights group Lambda Legal. "They were not assured of a fifth vote, and so they didn't want to grant review yet." (USA Today; First Take: Justices decide gay marriage by not deciding).