longform-original-15022-1412626253-9Over the past few years, an increasing number of legal challenges have been made to state laws that restrict marriage rights to couples of the opposite legal sex.  Most recently, cases arising in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin have led federal appeals courts for the Fourth, Seventh, and Tenth Circuits to issue rulings stating that bans on same-sex marriage within their respective jurisdictions are unconstitutional.  Proponents of the same-sex marriage bans appealed the decisions to the Supreme Court, but it announced today that it would not hear any marriage equality cases.  This means that marriage equality is now the law of the land in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin, and as soon as a few procedural matters are cleared up, will also take effect in the other states in the Fourth, Seventh, and Tenth districts where it has not already been adopted, namely Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming.  This decision on the part of the Supreme Court raises the overall number of states that extend full rights to legally same-sex couples from 19 to 30.


(Click the image to link to an expanded version, courtesy of BuzzFeed.)