The Supreme Court is expected to hand down its rulings on gay marriage this week. There are two cases before the court: one on California’s ban on gay marriage (a.k.a., Proposition 8) and another on the Defense of Marriage Act (a.k.a. DOMA). The question that everyone wants answered is “How will the court rule?”
The issues are complex, and there are a variety of possible outcomes. If you want to have a grasp on what might happen this week, I highly recommend that you check out The New York Times infographic “How the Court Could Rule on Same-Sex Marriage.”
The long and short of it is this. The Court will either uphold Proposition 8 and DOMA, or it will take an action that has the effect of repealing all or part of each. Predictions are precarious at this point, but I think that the latter is the most likely. If so, then the question remains whether the justices will issue a broad ruling or a narrow one. Will they rule in such a way that redefines marriage for the entire country? Or will they rule such that only California is affected by the changes?
My hunch is that the Court will not wish to repeat the mistake of Roe v. Wade, which imposed a controversial solution on all the states. So the court will likely issue a narrow ruling. That means that at the very least, gay marriage will become legal in California and possibly a handful of other states.
I could be wrong about all of this. Time will tell. Sources say we may find out as early as Wednesday. Stay tuned.