Supreme Court clears way for gay marriage expansion
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court's order turning way appeals from five states seeking to prohibit same-sex marriage has triggered a series of moves in affected states to clear the way for gay and lesbian unions.
Without comment, the justices brought to an end delays in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin and effectively made gay marriage legal in 30 states.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker declared the fight against same-sex marriage "over" in his state. Walker says the federal appeals court ruling supporting gay marriage is now "the law of the land," and the state will "go forward enacting it."
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver has lifted its stay in gay marriage cases in Oklahoma and Utah, clearing the way for same-sex nuptials to begin in both states. Colorado's attorney general says legal formalities are all that's left and his office "will file motions to expedite" the process.
Virginia's attorney general says marriage licenses could start to be issued to same-sex couples as early as this afternoon.
In Louisiana, a parish judge ruled Sept. 22 that the state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The attorney general has appealed to the state's Supreme Court. The U. S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans should also soon set a date to hear arguments over Texas' same-sex marriage ban, which was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge.