A gay pride and an American flag hang from a shoulder bag during a demonstration outside of the Phillip Burton Federal Building on June 13, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court will not tackle gay marriage in its latest term. The court decided Monday not to take up appeals on same-sex marriage from Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia, which effectively means that same-sex marriages in those states can proceed.

Courts in those states struck down gay marriage bans as unconstitutional. The five states attempted to take the cases to the Supreme Court after the federal appeals courts' rulings.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg hinted last month that the court may not take up the gay marriage appeals. She said there was "no need for us to rush" on same-sex marriage, referring to the Supreme Court, because all the state rulings came to the same opinion. Had there been a case that affirmed a same-sex marriage ban, there may have been "some urgency," Ginsburg told the Associated Press in September.

The court's decision comes as somewhat of a shock, according to SCOTUSblog, a website that tracks Supreme Court activity.

"Many people had anticipated that one or more of the same-sex marriage petitions might be on that list, but the court did not act on any of them at the time," wrote Amy Howe of SCOTUSblog.