Although it seems unlikely, it’s possible the US Supreme Court will decline to take any of the marriage equality cases before it this year. So what happens then?
Matt Baume at the Advocate explains:
It’s hard to imagine, but the court could choose to deny a writ of certiorari for the petitions currently pending and anticipated over the next few months. If it did so, the impact would be immediate and huge. The most significant effect would be the lifting of stays in states where marriage bans have been overturned. Courts had imposed those stays pending final resolution of the cases at the Supreme Court as a last resort. Without that last resort, pro-marriage equality rulings would become the law of the land in Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Indiana. Those states alone would account for a massive surge in the number of Americans in marriage equality states. The population of those states adds up to a little over 27 million people. But it wouldn’t stop there. The victories in those states were at the appellate circuit level, which means the rulings would become precedent in neighboring states encompassed by the circuit as well.
Basically, marriage equality would become the law of the land immediately or shortly thereafter for about 65 million people, in the following states: Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. And if the expected Ninth Circuit ruling is favorable, add Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, and Nevada to that list.
By my count, that pushes the total to 35 states, well over a majority of the country.
Find more articles and gay wedding resources.