The Supreme Court on Tuesday did not
rule on two cases related to gay marriage, leaving them for the final
day of the court's term.
The high court released three opinions
on Tuesday morning, including a historic decision on the Voting
“Same-sex marriage rulings will not
be out today,” SCOTUSblog tweeted to its more than 106,000
followers. “Waiting on word on the next decision day.”
The court said that it would return on
The cases, which were heard by the
justices in March, challenge the constitutionality of Proposition 8,
California's gay marriage ban, and the Defense of Marriage Act
(DOMA), which prohibits federal agencies from recognizing the legal
marriages of gay and lesbian couples.
Joseph Backholm, executive director of
the Family Policy Institute of Washington, a group which last fall
unsuccessfully campaigned to keep a gay marriage law in Washington
from taking effect, prematurely
released his group's reactions to the rulings.
According to Backholm's statements, if
the court upheld the marriage bans, he was prepared to say that gay
couples don't deserve to have their relationships recognized because
“the U.S. Constitution does not include a 'right' … to have their
relationships officially affirmed as 'marriages.'”
Decisions striking down Prop 8 and
DOMA, according to Backholm, would be “so lacking in foundation in
the text of the Constitution, or in the history or traditions of our
country” that the “Court raises serious questions about its
legitimacy.” He added that conservatives would “never accept the
Court's assertion of a 'right' to change the definition of our most
fundamental social institution.”
Meanwhile, supporters are preparing
events throughout the nation to mark the occasion. In
California, AFER, the group formed to challenge Prop 8, is promoting
Day event, which will take place in West Hollywood at 5:30PM on
the day the court rules.
Of course, whether to celebrate or
commiserate remains the question. Experts predict that the court
will strike down DOMA.
The possible outcomes in Hollingsworth
v. Perry, the Prop 8 case, vary from a narrow decision allowing
the plaintiffs in the case, two gay couples, to marry, to a broad
ruling which could affect the entire nation. The court could also
uphold Prop 8. But more likely, experts say, is a decision that
would limit the expansion of such rights to California.