On Election Day about a month ago, it seemed that gay marriage recognition was nearly a national inevitability. Three states passed legislation to allow same sex marriage and a ban was voted down in a forth. The current roster of states that recognize same sex marriage is: Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington. This brings the total number to nine states plus The District of Columbia. However, none of these state-level marriages are federally recognized, and could be overruled at any point.
On Friday, the Supreme Court met for a regular conference. On the agenda was whether or not a test case for same sex marriage rights would be heard. No announcement was made, so this Monday will be the next opportunity to tell the public whether or not the issue will get its day in court.
Several legal precedents are at stake: whether or not the Constitution allows for citizens to marry regardless of sexual orientation, and the related issue of federal benefits for same sex couples. Accordingly, the legality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which federally prohibits same sex marriage, and California’s Proposition 8, would be challenged.
According to the AP, if there is no decision on Monday, the next justice meeting is in a week’s time, and will be the final one before the January recess. If a case is heard, it will occur in the spring, and a final verdict could be expected in June 2013. History may be made, or the court could continue to dodge the debate. We’ll know by Christmas.