Supreme Court begins new term

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The Supreme Court Monday began its new term, with a big surprise, an announcement that has sent thousands of same-sex couples rushing to the courthouse in five different states.

Veteran court watchers thought this supreme court session would be the one in which justices would finally offer a binding legal opinion about the constitutionality of same-sex marriages.

But the high court defied those expectations by saying it would not hear those cases.

Just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court decided it would not consider the appeals brought by same-sex marriage opponents, gay couples in five states celebrated, and some wasted no time.

The high court declined to hear arguments from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Five states that had wanted to uphold a ban on gay marriage.

In Wisconsin, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union hailed the latest developments.

California is one of the 19 states where same-sex marriages are already legal.

The court did not have any compelling legal reason to take up the issue at this time.

In addition to those states whose appeals were turned aside, six more states, covered by the same appellate ruling will also lift their prohibitions on same-sex unions.

That brings the number of states where gay marriage is legal from 19 to 30. That’s more than half of the nation.

Those who oppose the idea of gay marriage say they are disappointed that the Supreme Court won’t review their arguments.

But for couples like Carol and Mary who challenged Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage, the message from the high court is clear.

Same-sex marriage was considered the one issue before the high court this term with the greatest social and judicial impact.

Second to that, there is a case involving political redistricting that some here in California are watching closely.

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