The Supreme Court on Thursday delayed a
decision on whether to hear any cases challenging the
constitutionality of state bans on gay marriage.
Justices are considering petitions from
five cases challenging bans in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Indiana and
Wisconsin. Defendants in the cases turned to the high court after
lower courts overturned the bans.
The cases were not among those the
justices agreed to hear during its upcoming term.
A Supreme Court decision last year
forcing the federal government to recognize the legal marriages of
gay and lesbian couples set off a flurry of legal activity
challenging the nation's 31 state bans.
Rulings from two additional appeals
courts challenging bans in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee,
Hawaii, Idaho and Nevada are expected any day now and may also be
headed to the Supreme Court.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently said a split among appeals courts
would likely determine when the high court decides to step in. The
Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has signaled it might be
the first federal appellate court to uphold such bans.
Justices meet again to consider new
cases next Friday.