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How did a decision on the first day of the U.S. Supreme Court's session increase the number of states with same sex marriage?

Today, the first Monday in October, the traditional start of the Supreme Court session, the court issued a statement declaring it would not take up any of the same sex marriage cases submitted for review.

So, what does that mean? Here are four things you need to know about today's non decision:

  1. The eleven states that have defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman, and who lost in lower courts, will now be required to recognize same sex marriages. These states are: Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and Utah (states that had struck down bans), as well as North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Colorado, Kansas and Wyoming.
  2. A total of 30 states and the District of Columbia now must recognize same sex marriage.
  3. The decision was handed down without further commentary, leaving the question unresolved.
  4. No other relevant cases are on the Supreme Court docket, meaning this decision should stand for the next year.

Think Progress published a map on how this decision affects the states:

map

The following is reaction on the Supreme Court decision:

As NBC reported, “Monday's action does not set a legal precedent. Lower courts are free to rule for — or against — same-sex marriage, and we may yet get rulings upholding bans.”

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