THERE has been a surge in the US marriage equality momentum with 10 states legalising same-sex marriage within the past week.

On Monday, the US Supreme Court — the country’s highest court — refused to hear appeals from lower-level court decisions striking down same-sex marriage bans in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin, paving the way for gay and lesbian couples in those states to go ahead and marry.

The next day, a court of appeals based in San Francisco struck down bans in Idaho and Nevada.

A temporary legal stay on the decision for Idaho was then issued shortly after, but on Friday the Supreme Court allowed same-sex marriages to proceed in the state after it lifted the stay.

Throughout the week, regional federal court judges also struck down same-sex marriage bans in Colorado and West Virginia. On Friday, North Carolina was the latest state to join the list.

The number of US states now allowing gay marriage now stands at 29, plus the District of Columbia.

In total, approximately 180 million Americans — more than half the total population — now live in states with same-sex marriage.

UPDATE:

Alaska has joined the list of states with marriage equality after a federal judge struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage on Sunday evening (Monday morning Australian EST time).

The number of US states now allowing gay marriage now stands at 30, plus the District of Columbia.

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