The United States Supreme Court today let stand the federal court decisions across the country that ruled state bans on same sex marriage unconstitutional.

This is big. With this spark the court started the last great fire that will burn down all the old barriers to equal citizenship for LGBT Americans. All the lower court rulings against marriage bans are now in place, meaning more than 60% of Americans now live in states with legal gay marriage, and all the remaining barriers in other states should now fall very quickly.

As of today, gay couples can marry:

Gay couples in Salt Lake City celebrate the Supreme Court legalizing their gay marriages. (photo by Scott G Winterton, ©Scott G Winterton/Deseret News 2014)[/caption]The next to fall will be other states that come under the existing court rulings, meaning it is just a technicality now to get same sex marriage legalized in West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Wyoming, Colorado, and Kansas, as the higher court ruling their laws are unconstitutional are already in place.

As the Human Rights Campaign said today: “There is no reason under the sun for federal courts not to fast-track all pending marriage cases in light of today’s news. Every argument has been made, every legal dispute has been heard, time and time again”


  • A fuller explanation of why this is probably the end of the road and the fight over gay marriage is over, from The Atlantic.
  • For a more scholarly view of where we are now with the various states, here is an NYU Law professor’s take.