Supreme Court and Gay MarriageThe U.S. Supreme Court made a landmark decision on Monday, without making any decision at all. The Supreme Court's rejection of several appeals cases from Oklahoma, Virginia, Utah, Indiana and Wisconsin involving gay marriage has resulted in the legalization of gay marriage in those states.

The appeals rejected by the Supreme Court on Monday involved lower court decisions to invalidate their states' gay marriage bans. By refusing to hear the cases, the Supreme Court left these lower-court rulings intact, effectively legalizing gay marriage in the associated states.

30 States Have Dropped Their Gay Marriage Bans

Additional states that struck down gay marriage bans (Colorado, Kansas, Wyoming, South Carolina, West Virginia and North Carolina) will also be affected by the Supreme Court's refusal, bringing the number of states that allow gay marriage from 19 up to 30 in total. The Supreme Court's decision not to decide these cases is expected to send a clear message to state courts that the invalidation of gay marriage bans is completely constitutional, thereby inviting more states to come on board with similar rulings.

The president of the Human Rights Campaign, a group that advocates for the rights of gays, made a statement that the Supreme Court's rejection of the appeals was definitely something to celebrate because it has extended marriage equality for thousands of individuals throughout the United States.

The Supreme Court's refusal of the cases was largely unexpected. Most legal analysts predicted that the high court would want to decide a question of such national importance. Nevertheless, the refusal of these cases does not mean that the gay marriage issue will never make it to the Supreme Court level at a later time.

Same Sex Spouses May Still Face Challenges

Although gay marriage has been effectively legalized in 30 states, it does not mean that those who wish to get married in those states will not face various challenges and legal hurdles. There is also the issue of a gay couple being married in one state, and moving to a new state that does not allow for such unions. Due to the legal complexities involved in same sex marriage, couples may wish to consult with a family law attorney before entering such a legal union -- just to be sure they are fully aware of their rights and privileges under the law, and how to circumvent any potential challenges later on down the road.