This decision is disappointing because it allows the court not to rule on the federal marriage equality but we will surely not regret the legalization of same-sex marriage in these five states!
And maybe in 12 states!
As explained very well Mark Joseph Stern from The Slate, "technically speaking, the court's decision merely let the rulings of the 4th, 7th, and 10th circuit courts stand. Each of those courts had found that gay marriage bans violate the U.S. Constitution. But each court also stayed its ruling, assuming, quite reasonably, that the Supreme Court would ultimately step in and decide the issue.
But the Supreme Court has now officially refused to step in - and that makes gay marriage the law of the circuit in the 4th, 7th, and 10th circuits. Every state within each circuit, in other words, is now bound by a ruling that all gay marriage bans are unconstitutional."
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals is concerning North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. In the 10th Circuit, Kansas, Wyoming and Colorado do not allow marriage for same-sex couples.
It is therefore expected that all these six states shortly legalize marriage equality thanks to the challenges launched against bans.
The law is clear, Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, told The Slate. Each of these states is in a circuit where the Supreme Court let stand a freedom to marry ruling. And that is binding on those states. I think in some of those states, marriage is going to begin as soon as today. There should be no need to go to court.
This is already the case! The Attorney General of Colorado will allow same-sex couples to receive marriage licenses.
The Attorney General of Missouri now refuses to appeal the decision of a judge who repealed the prohibition of marriage equality in the state.
Of course, in the states controlled by a very anti-gay governor, it will expect a long process but in the end, we are very close to see the equal marriage legalized in all American states.