By RYAN GORMAN
The Supreme Court effectively made same-sex marriage legal Monday in 11 additional states.
The nation's highest court declined to review petitions from lower courts whose jurisdiction covers nearly a dozen states. The decision upheld court decisions striking down bans on same-sex unions in those states.
The decision was announced quietly, but the resulting shockwaves will be felt across the nation.
The court validated three federal appeals covering Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming, according to Bloomberg.
By declining to hear the petitions brought forth from the jurisdictions, the Supreme Court left intact appeals courts decisions to strike down same-sex marriage bans in the locales.
Couples in those states should soon be able to obtain marriage licenses and be legally wed.
The announcement led a large group of same-sex marriage supporters gathered outside the court to celebrate. They cheered, waved flags, hugged each other and embraced the landmark decision.
Supreme Court and #SSM (a same-sex marriage hashtag) immediately shot to the top of trending topics in the United States on Twitter.
Supreme Court of the United States immediately became the most talked about topic on Facebook.
"Practically, today SCOTUS recognized a right to SSM," SCOTUS Blog, which covers the Supreme Court, said immediately after the decisions were made public.
The court unwillingness to wade into the gay marriage debate is noteworthy. It is highly unlikely the court would undo marriages in any future decision.
A case can only be reviewed it at least four of the nine sitting justices want to hear it. The justices also did not signal if they would be willing to hear a same-sex marriage case in the future.
No reason was given for the decision.
The court has previously showed support for gay marriage when it struck down a federal law last year denying benefits to same-sex married couples.
Further appeals are currently under review in San Francisco and Cincinnati, according to Bloomberg. Rulings on those cases could come at any moment.
Refusing to hear an appeals on lower court decisions to strike down same-sex marriage bans sets a precedent. The remaining 20 states banning gay marriage will likely also be bound to appeals courts decisions should their bans be overturned.
The unions are now legal in a total of 30 states, plus the District of Columbia.