A conclusive federal decision on the freedom to marry isn't due for another few months, but we could get a sneak peek into the Supreme Court's position this week. Anti-gay attorneys have asked Chief Justice John Roberts to delay the start of marriage equality in Virginia, and a ruling on the issue is due sometime in the next few days.
Virginia has twice seen a court overturn its marriage-equality ban, but state officials have asked the Supreme Court to examine the case. At least two other states have asked the court for a similar hearing, and as many as 11 cases may make it to the highest court in the land by the time its fall session begins.
In Virginia the latest victory is scheduled to go into effect on Thursday of this week. That means that gay and lesbian Virginia couples could be marrying within a few days. But anti-gay groups have petitioned the Supreme Court for an emergency stay of the ruling.
The Supreme Court tends to act cautiously, so it would not be surprising if they halted the marriages until they have a chance to weigh in. But just a few weeks ago the court rejected a challenge to marriage equality in Pennsylvania by a county clerk, so there's a possibility that marriage equality in Virginia might indeed start this week.