Washington: The US Supreme Court on Monday refused to revisit the subject of same-sex marriage, announcing that it would not take up any of the seven cases on the issue that were pending before the court.
The decision was a shock to court watchers who expected the justices to tackle the issue this fall.
In declining to take the cases involving five US states as Indiana, Utah, Virginia, Oklahoma and Wisconsin, the court effectively allowed gay marriage decisions to stand in those states, Xinhua reported.
Dozens of states on both sides of the issue have asked the court to weigh in, after bans on same-sex marriage were overturned in recent weeks in Wisconsin and Indiana.
Fifteen states that allow same-sex marriage filed a brief last month asking the high court to review cases from Oklahoma, Utah and Virginia, whose bans were recently thrown out by lower courts. Massachusetts, the first state to legalize same-sex marriage, spearheaded this group' s request.
Meanwhile, seventeen other states in the country that have same-sex marriage bans in place also asked the justices to review the Oklahoma and Utah cases.
Lower courts reversed the bans in Oklahoma, Utah and Virginia this summer, though a few rulings have been put on hold pending appeal. Some states have appealed directly to the Supreme Court.
Last year, the Supreme Court struck down central provisions of the Defence of Marriage Act, the federal law that banned federal benefits for same-sex couples.