The Supreme Court today refused to consider whether states can ban gay marriages and in so doing upheld rulings by judges in five states that had struck down bans on gay marriages.

As a result, Virginia, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Utah and Indiana will now be obliged to allow gay marriages, bringing the total number of states so aligned to 24 from 19. In addition, another six states are bound by federal appeals court rulings that have struck down their bans and will soon join the five states’ ranks. That leaves 20 states with bans intact.

With appeals on lower courts’ rulings no longer on hold, gay couples in those five states can begin lining up immediately for marriage licenses.

The upheaval in state same-sex marriage laws follows the June 2013 Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Windsor, which ruled as unconstitutional that part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which defined marriage as legal only when between a man and a woman.

To understand how the Windsor decision affects your workplace and your administration of benefits, please get a copy of our DOMA Ruling Compliance Kit today.