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Same-sex couples can marry immediately — or close to it — nationwide

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Libby Nelson is Vox's policy editor, leading coverage of how government action and inaction shape American life. Libby has more than a decade of policy journalism experience, including at Inside Higher Ed and Politico. She joined Vox in 2014.

Today's Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriageshould take effect immediately, or close to it, in the 13 states that don't already allow gay couples to marry.

In some states, including Georgia, it already has:

"What can happen and should happen is that states should start issuing marriage licenses almost immediately," James Esseks, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's LGBT and AIDS Project, told Vox's German Lopez. "Once the Supreme Court rules, it's the law of the land, and they can go forward."

But some state could drag their feet, particularly if they weren't part of the cases the Court heard, by requiring lower federal courts to lift stays or affirm the Supreme Court decision.