NPR logo Supreme Court Declines To Hear Gay-Marriage Cases ... For Now

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Supreme Court Declines To Hear Gay-Marriage Cases ... For Now

There was no word today from the U.S. Supreme Court on whether it would tackle the issue of gay marriage. The justices issued a list of cases they will hear in the new term, which begins on Monday, but same-sex marriage was notably absent.

The silence on the gay-marriage question was no surprise.

Although there are seven same-sex-marriage cases pending before the court, the justices like to thoroughly vet a big issue like this before they choose which cases to hear and when.

The court, of course, could wait until there are more cases before it. All of the appeals courts that have ruled on the issue have ruled that state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. But both pro- and anti-gay-rights forces are urging the court not to wait and to decide the question sooner rather than later.

So, sometime in the next few weeks, the high court very likely — though not certainly — will announce which gay-marriage cases it has chosen as test cases for review.