Opponents of gay marriage in the US have been struck a blow by the Supreme Court.
Judges have rejected appeals against same-sex weddings in five states: Virginia, Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin and Indiana.
A total of 19 states allow gay marriage and the new ruling means that could now increase to 30.
The Supreme Court had been called on to rule on the legality of lower court rulings that had struck down bans on gay marriage in numerous states.
Our correspondent in the US, Stefan Grobe, reported: “This is just the latest sign that the courts have finally caught up with public opinion. Large majorities of Americans, especially young people, support same-sex marriages.
“Even many prominent Republican politicians now concede that this has become a feature of American life.”