Oct 6, 2014 11:30 AM by Megan McMann
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court has cleared the way for an immediate expansion of same-sex marriage.
The court turned away, without comment, appeals from five states seeking to prohibit gay and lesbian unions. The justices stopped short of resolving the question of same-sex marriage nationwide, but the order immediately ends delays in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Couples in six other states - Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming - also should be able to get married in short order. Those states would be bound by the same appellate rulings put on hold pending the Supreme Court's review.
That would make same-sex marriage legal in 30 states and the District of Columbia.
Advocates on both sides of the issue are criticizing the move. Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry says the Supreme Court has left in place a "patchwork of state-to-state discrimination."
Ed Whelan of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, an opponent of same-sex marriage, blasts the court for what he calls an "irresponsible denial of review in the cases."