Color the state of Florida red in the maps above, as a state court judge in Miami-Dade County today allowed gay and lesbian couples to marry there. The judge’s action followed an August 21 federal court ruling striking down the state’s same-sex marriage ban, a decision which the U.S. Supreme Court subsequently refused to stay.
That makes 36 states now where same-sex marriage is legal, including North Carolina, which followed suit after the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond overturned Virginia’s marriage ban in July 2014 — a decision that was binding here and in all other states in the circuit.
Another nine states have court rulings pending appeal.
Against that backdrop, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider petitions for review from five states — Tennessee, Louisiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky — at conference on January 9, and it is likely that the court will take at least one, given that conflicting decisions have now been issued by federal courts of appeal.