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The Supreme Court won't hear any gay marriage cases this term

The Supreme Court on Monday revealed it had denied all seven petitions challenging same-sex marriage bans, a decision that effectively legalizes gay marriage in at least five states.

By rejecting all seven appeals, the Court allowed to stand lower rulings that legalized gay marriage in Indiana, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Utah. And because the petitions involved several circuit courts of appeals, the decision could also result in the legalization of gay marriage in six other states — Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina — that fall within their jurisdiction. If so, that would mean 30 states and the District of Columbia permit same-sex marriage.

The Justices gave no reason for rejecting the appeals. And by deflecting the issue, they've put off — for now — the question of whether same-sex marriage should be legal in every state. All the lower court rulings struck down marriage bans, but if an appeals court were to uphold such a prohibition, the Justices would be more likely to weigh in.