UPDATE: 10:15AM. The 10th Circuit Court has issued its order for marriages to begin.
BREAKING NEWS: The Supreme Court has just rejected all 7 cert petitions on same-sex marriage, effectively legalizing marriage for same-sex couples in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Indiana.
In a surprising move this morning, SCOTUS has declined to take up any of the same-sex marriage cases—which for Utah means the ruling striking down Amendment 3, the state’s ban on same-sex marriages, as unconstitutional by the 10th Circuit Court will hold. Marriages will begin as soon as the 10th Circuit orders them to, which could take a few days. Utah does not have the option of seeking an additional stay on the decision, and same-sex couples who were married during the 17 day window last year should now be able to access their full benefits under the law.
Supporters of same-sex marriage have long argued that past Supreme Court decisions, ruling that civil marriage is a fundamental right of all U.S. citizens, should be equally applied to same-sex couples and that to deny that right is unconstitutional.
By rejecting the cases, SCOTUS has left open the door for every other state’s legal battle to continue. However, given that every appellate court has thus far held the bans on same-sex marriage are invalid, it is probable that same-sex marriage will be legalized nationwide by the end of next year.
Human rights groups are hailing the decision as a victory, and are emphasizing that the decision only effects civil marriage—the right to get married in a courthouse—and that religions (such as the LDS church) are in no way under obligation to perform any unions that are against their beliefs.