Monday to hear same-sex marriage appeals from Utah and four other states, letting stand lower court rulings that allow gays and lesbians to marry.
In a surprising move, the high court denied seven petitions from Utah, Oklahoma, Indiana, Virginia and Wisconsin. Each of those states argued their cases were the best vehicles for the justices to decide the same-sex marriage question once and for all.
The court did not state a reason for rejecting the cases. Last month, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the court might not take on the issue at this point because there was no disagreement among the lower courts.
A few hours later, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the hold it had placed on same-sex marriages in Utah and the five other states — Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Kansas — in its jurisdiction. The 10th Circuit in June upheld lower court decisions striking down gay marriage bans in cases from Utah and Oklahoma.
County clerks in those state could begin issue marriages licenses immediately.