Among a range of options the court will consider is further consideration of Proposition 8; if the justices do nothing to upend the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal's decision to overturn the law, gay and lesbian couples in California would be allowed to legally marry.

  • What we might learn Monday: The U.S. Supreme Court could reveal whether it will finally weigh in on same-sex marriage. The justices may announce whether they will review the legality of Proposition 8, California's same-sex marriage ban, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which bars federal benefits to same-sex couples.

  • Same-sex marriage in California: If the court decides to review the Proposition 8 case, expect a ruling by the end of the term in June. But if the justices refuse to hear the case, it would leave intact a lower court ruling finding the ban unconstitutional, therefore legalizing gay marriage in the state. Same-sex marriages could begin within days. There's also a chance the court could put the Proposition 8 case on hold for now, preserving the status quo in California for months or longer.

  • Federal benefits for same-sex couples: The court is expected to review at least some of the Defense of Marriage Act cases.


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  • Tune back in Friday? The court may wait to further mull how to proceed on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act cases until the justices' next conference, Dec. 7, and issue orders after that.