Yesterday, the nine justices of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) declined to hear any of the federal cases pending before them regarding state bans on same-sex marriage. By not taking up the cases, SCOTUS allows the lower district court decisions to stand, meaning same-sex couples in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Indiana will soon be able to marry. This development also means any other state with similar bans in the Fourth, Seventh, and Tenth Circuits will soon have marriage equality as well. These states include West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming.
|Photo by George Martinez|
Though this action by SCOTUS will impact thousands of couples across the U.S., it does not have a direct effect on Florida's ban because the state is part of the 11th Federal Circuit.
The constitutionality of gay marriage in Florida is still winding its way through the courts. Florida's attorney general, Pam Bondi, could drop the fight and let gay marriages proceed, or she could continue the fight until it is resolved in federal appeals courts. Bondi has said she continues to fight not because of her personal viewpoint but because gay marriage is prohibited by the state constitution --- in just 2008, 62 percent of voters chose to define marriage as between a man and a woman.
See also: Supreme Court Rejects Gay Marriage Appeals: What Does That Mean for Florida? More »