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Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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How Court’s Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage Will Affect Midterm, 2016 Elections

Alaska, Arizona and Wyoming Lift Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

(Photo : Reuters) Demonstrators waved the pride colors during a same-sex marriage rally in August to celebrate 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The U.S. Supreme Court's Monday ruling threw gay marriage into national political talks, just one month ahead of the midterm elections and just before presidential candidates hit the campaign trail for the 2016 race.

The court's refusal to hear same-sex unions has almost instantaneously made gay marriage in five states legal, namely in Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Utah, Indiana, and Virginia.

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The move is likely to force candidates to make a definitive stand on the issue as they may lose critical votes if they are out of step with their state, The Christian Science Monitor observed. At the very least, the court's ruling will force midterm elections candidates to answer questions on the divisive issue.

While same-sex marriage has started to gain solid support among Americans, the Republicans are keen not to amplify the issue as it runs against the grain of GOP's base.

The political arm of the Republicans declined to give its remark in the immediate aftermath of the court's decision on Monday.

Some Republicans have decried the court's decision, though.

Conservative Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), a possible 2016 presidential contender, denounced the court's ruling as "tragic and indefensible," Washington Post reports. In a statement, the senator vowed to create a constitutional amendment that will allow states to ban same-sex unions.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) echoes similar sentiments, while New Jersey Governor Chris Christie earlier said that Republicans should rely on broader public opinion as they stand by their conservative stance.

Democrats may not be as badly hit, but Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu and Arkansas' Mark Pryor might be unseated despite their opposition against same-sex union. Bloomberg News said voters in both states are largely conservative and might want to secure a ban on gay marriages by slating GOP candidates.

Democrats generally showed open support for gay marriage, but some like President Barack Obama and presumed 2016 presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, had revised their stance in the wake of legalization measures supporting the same-sex unions.

Ralph Reed, the head of the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Iowa, one of the closely watched senatorial races in this year's elections, told Washington Post that the ruling will likely motivate socially conservative voters until midterms ends.

He added that there is no avoiding the same-sex marriage issue among candidates running in this year's elections and those who are rallying for the presidential race in 2016. 

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