In a surprising move announced this morning, the United States Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of five separate decisions in which judges ruled that Constitutional Amendments defining marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman are unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court did not affirm the lower court decisions, but by virtue of not hearing the appeal, the decisions from Virginia, Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin and Indiana will stand.

This decision, however, has implications beyond those five states.

The federal court system is broken up into 11 circuits. A decision from one state will apply to all states in that circuit. Therefore, by allowing the decisions from these states to stand the Supreme Court has effectively struck down marriage laws in North Carolina, West Virginia, South Carolina, Wyoming, Kansas and Colorado as well.

As a result, the number of states now recognizing same-sex “marriage” could be as high as thirty.

While proponents of natural marriage are disappointed because it redefines marriage in other states, proponents of redefining marriage had hoped the Supreme Court would take up the issue and rule in their favor.

No one is entirely pleased.

Still, the decision is surprising because the Supreme Court had previously granted a stay (delay in implementation of the ruling) of the lower court decision pending a final outcome.

It is unusual for the Supreme Court to grant a stay but then refuse to hear the appeal.

Regardless, by refusing to hear the appeal, the stay will expire and marriage to be redefined by default.

The decision is troubling because it furthers a trend of unelected bodies overturning the will of the people.

However, this is certainly not the final word on this subject either in the courts or in the culture.

In the courts, there are several other cases working their way up through the system. The Supreme Court could be waiting for one of those cases to delay their final decision a couple of years.

Culturally, the conversation over this issue is just getting started. In one sense, proponents of redefining marriage are just finishing their opening argument. Time will afford the chance for a rebuttal.

While it is critical that we respond to the confusion over marriage, gender, and the family right now, time is our greatest ally.

Proponents of same-sex “marriage” insist that as people get to know same-sex couples, we will all come to see that same-sex relationships are no different. In reality, those closest to same-sex relationships will be the greatest advocates for natural marriage a generation from now.

In thirty years, it is the children of same-sex relationships who will be arguing most forcefully on our behalf. That is not because those children will hate the same-sex couples who raised them but because they will be immune to the argument that the only possible reason to support natural marriage is because you hate gay people. They will also have a perspective that those who deal only in theory and never in practice will have no response for.

A mother or father cannot be removed from the eco-system of the family without harming it. I cannot make decisions based on my belief that my own personal happiness is the greatest good without hurting myself and others.

We may find reality inconvenient but reality did not ask for our opinion.

As Cicero once wrote, “Time obliterates the fictions of opinion and confirms the decisions of nature.”

The Supreme Court’s decision is unfortunate, but this is all far from over.

The best response is vigilance.

Of course with the redefinition of marriage comes lawsuits and other forms of harassment directed at people who believe in natural marriage.

But if you we want to protect our freedoms from those who would take them in the name of tolerance and diversity, we have to know which candidates share our perspective. And we have to actually go to the trouble of supporting those who share our perspective with our vote.

And then make sure you get your friends and family to do the same. Remember, with our new Vote Finder tool, you can know if your friends and family have voted before the election is over. So use the tool to find 10 friends and family members who share your perspective and make sure they turn in their ballot.

A few more votes in the right places from the right people will be the difference between grandmas being sued because of their beliefs about marriage and people being free.

Yes, it’s easy to be frustrated about some of these developments. But doing something about it is far more fulfilling.