As recently as last week, Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg was nonchalantly dismissing the need for the court to weigh in on marriage. Because lower federal courts are all in agreement that marriage bans are unconstitutional, she explained, there's no need for the justices to intercede. But that may (or may not) change now that a judge in Puerto Rico has upheld a marriage ban.
On Monday morning, the Supreme Court surprised many by declining to hear appeals from decisions in five states striking down bans on same-sex marriage. As advocates of same-sex marriage cheer the march of progress, it's important not to lose sight of the fact that marriage equality affects individuals.