Usually when the Supreme Court decides not to hear a case, it means that important national questions go completely unanswered, but not so yesterday. When the Supreme Court opted not to rule on appeals from five states seeking prohibitions against same-sex marriage, their actions made such unions legal in those five states. Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin all had appeals on the docket for review by the court. Instead, the previous rulings in each of these states will stand, meaning that same-sex marriage will soon be effectively legal in 30 states and District of Columbia.
There’s certainly still a lack of clarity and definition around this issue, and we won’t get national resolution this session. However, the court’s decision not to hear the cases will mean that many couples who have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to wed can now do so. Sometimes the proof really is in the pudding.
Hopefully, this signals a continued turning of the tide. As the goal of full marriage equality throughout the United States comes closer to fruition, now is the time for conversations about increasing queer visibility and redoubling our efforts for safety, equity, and happiness for all queer people, including people of color, those living in poverty, disabled people, and trans folks.