The US Supreme Court has rejected appeals against gay marriage in five states — Indiana, Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The move increases the number of states where same-sex marriage is legal to 30, plus the District of Columbia, according to BBC News.
By declining to hear the appeals, the court left intact lower court rulings that had struck down those state bans.
Support for gay marriage in the United States has gained momentum since the Supreme Court delivered two landmark rulings in 2013.
Monday’s ruling means that the nine justices of the court have stopped short from resolving the question of same-sex marriage nationwide.
But it was received rapturously by gay marriage campaigners.
“Today is a joyous day for thousands of couples across America who will immediately feel the impact of today’s Supreme Court action,” said Chad Griffin, president of Human Rights Campaign.
The ruling immediately lifted the delay on same-sex weddings in the five states, and within hours there were wedding bells in Virginia.
Thirty-year-old Lindsey Oliver and 42-year-old Nicole Pries received the first same-sex marriage licence issued from the Richmond circuit court clerk’s office.
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