The Supreme Court took no action Friday on a series of pending appeals involving gay marriage, putting off until at least next week a decision on which cases to hear.
The justices met behind closed doors to debate cases involving the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8, the voter initiative that limits marriage to a man and a woman. The court said only that it had agreed to hear two new business cases.
Nonetheless, the court is almost certain to review at least one of the gay marriage cases.
The U.S. appeals courts in Boston and New York have struck down the part of the Defense of Marriage Act that denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. That means the federal law is constitutional in much of the nation, but not in other parts. The high court must step in to resolve that issue.
It is not certain the court will want to decide the fate of Proposition 8. It was struck down last year by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on the grounds that California voters took away from gays and lesbians a right to marry that they had won in the state courts.