BREAKING: Here’s What Marriage Equality Looks Like In America Now After The Supreme Court’s Decision
This map shows exactly what happened with the Supreme Court’s decision Monday to not hear the pending marriage equality cases.
There were seven pending suits in five states: Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and Utah. Marriage equality is arriving more or less immediately in those states. There are complications about when the Circuit Courts issue their mandates, but the states’ attorney generals and clerks — like in Virginia, for example — are already planning to issue licenses to same-sex couples before the day is over. This brings the total of marriage equality states to 24, plus the District of Columbia.
Several other states will quickly be impacted by the Circuit Court rulings that become final as a result. Utah and Oklahoma are in the Tenth Circuit, so the decision there will set a precedent for Wyoming, Colorado, and Kansas as well. In Colorado, a federal judge has already ruled in favor of marriage equality, so that ruling might also take effect quite soon. Suits challenging the other states’ bans are still pending, but will likely now be decided on a fast track with a favorable result.
Virginia is in the Fourth Circuit, meaning its decision will similarly impact West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Several of the suits filed in those states had been placed on hold pending the outcome of the Virginia case, so they should now be able to move forward and be resolved in favor of marriage equality.
Wisconsin and Indiana are in the Seventh Circuit, where the only other state is Illinois, which already has marriage equality, so that precedent will not impact any other states.
What’s perhaps most important to note is that most of the eleven states affected by the Supreme Court’s actions today do not have state-wide nondiscrimination protections based on sexual orientation. In fact, only Colorado and Wisconsin do. This means that even though same-sex couples will soon be able to legally marry in those nine other states, they can also be legally fired, denied housing, or refused service simply for doing so. Previously, Pennsylvania was the only state to have the distinction of marriage equality but no protections, and there have already been numerous cases of legal anti-gay discrimination taking place as a result.