The Supreme Court declined to review five appeals of same-sex marriage cases today, leaving marriage-equality victories intact in three federal circuits—and opening the door to the freedom to marry for all in many more states.
Related: A Marriage-Equality Map Of The U.S.
The decision not to review the cases means that earlier verdicts ruling in favor of marriage equality in Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, Indiana and Wisconsin will go into effect immediately. Clerks in various counties have already begun to issue licenses.
Additionally, stays in place in Colorado, Kansas, Wyoming, North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia will automatically terminate now that SCOTUS has refused to review appeals, making marriage equality the law of the land in those states as well—though the timetable has yet to be established.
“The Court’s letting stand these victories means that gay couples will soon share in the freedom to marry in 30 states, representing 60% of the American people,” said Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry. “But we are one country, with one Constitution, and the Court’s delay in affirming the freedom to marry nationwide prolongs the patchwork of state-to-state discrimination and the harms and indignity that the denial of marriage still inflicts on too many couples in too many places.”
As a result of today’s Supreme Court news, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced this morning that same-sex couples should be able to begin obtaining marriage licenses “later today.”
The 4th Circuit says their mandate will issue at 1 PM & marriages can then begin. What a momentous & joyous day for thousands of Virginians.
— AG Mark Herring (@AGMarkHerring) October 6, 2014
Herring declared in January that he would not defend the state’s ban against same-sex marriage.
Polish boxing legend Dariusz “Tiger” Michalczewski has come out in support of the LGBT community, despite pervasive homophobia in his homeland.
Michalczewski, a WBO light-heavyweight champion who retired in 2005 has joined the Campaign Against Homophobia, saying in a statement “I am an ally of LGBT people, because I want to live in a country where my gay friends are not discriminated against.”
An op-ed in the New York Times praises the pugilist’s brave stance:
Mr. Michalczewski is both a surprising advocate for gay rights and the perfect choice for the role: He is white, heterosexual, Catholic, rich, professionally successful and widely popular, and thus more likely to persuade conservatives than a liberal intellectual or politician.
A typical young man from an economically depressed town that doesn’t have a single movie theater but has five churches might not get a chance to read a progressive manifesto.
Not surprisingly, he’s faced off against social conservatives, telling one in a TV interview, “What if your daughter were a lesbian? What if your son were gay? If it were my child, I would love him very much. And I would support him in everything, because he’d be my child!”
British tourist Ray Cole has been jailed in Morocco for four months for committing “homosexual acts”.
Cole and his Moroccan boyfriend, Jam Wald Nass, were arrested last month by police in Marrakesh, who claimed photos on Cole’s phone of the men together were “proof” of homosexuality.
Cole’s son, Adrian, who is also gay, called the trial “a farce” and says he risked imprisonment himself simply by attending. He’s turned to the British government for help.
“I have been doing all I can to help free Mr Cole from these appalling charges,” said MP Charlie Elphicke. “I urge people not to visit Morocco. If you go there you are at serious risk of facing trumped up charges for medieval crimes. The message is clear: Morocco is not safe for British tourists.”