Earlier today the United States Supreme Court declined to hear appeals from Wisconsin and four other states seeking to preserve their bans on same-sex marriage, clearing the way for marriage equality in those states.
In the order, the high court provided no breakdown of how the nine justices had voted and no reason for rejecting the appeals from Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and officials in the states of Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah and Virginia. The action surprised legal observers by signaling that the nation’s highest court favors the side of same-sex marriage advocates but without actually stating that or establishing a precedent for the rest of the nation.
The court’s order allowsgay marriage in Wisconsin and these other states, said Van Hollen and Gov. Scott Walker, the top state Republican officials who had sought to preserve the ban. Walker, a defendant in Wisconsin’s case, said he would work to implement the decision and Van Hollen encouraged others to respect it, as well.
“For us, it’s over in Wisconsin,” Walker said of the fight over same-sex unions. “Others will have to talk about the federal level.”
Predictably, many conservatives were quick to attack the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear appeals on same-sex marriage, with Julaine Appling, president of the anti-equality group Wisconsin Family Action, playing the victim card. Appling said Wisconsin had been “victimized by the federal courts” while conveniently ignoring the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court has a conservative majority.