The U.S. Supreme Court could decide very soon -- or not for weeks -- whether it will take up the case of Proposition 8, making this a nail-biter of a waiting period. The question is, if you're a supporter of equal marriage rights, as The Times' editorial board is, what are you supposed to wish for?
If the court decides not to review the case, that means Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriage approved by California voters nearly four years ago, dies. Under this scenario, the court would not consider overturning the decision of a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that found that the initiative unconstitutionally deprived gay and lesbian couples of marriage rights. The ruling, though, was much narrower than the decision by the trial judge, finding that what made Proposition 8 unconstitutional was that these couples already had the right to marry in the state, a right that was taken away by the initiative.
"Withdrawing from a disfavored group the right to obtain a designation with significant social consequences is different from declining to extend that designation in the first place," wrote Justice Stephen Reinhardt.
The problem is that there aren't many states where gay and lesbian couples had the right to wed and then had it taken away, so the ruling would affect mainly California and possibly one or two other states.