As recently as last week, Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg was nonchalantly dismissing the need for the court to weigh in on marriage. Because lower federal courts are all in agreement that marriage bans are unconstitutional, she explained, there's no need for the justices to intercede. But that may (or may not) change now that a judge in Puerto Rico has upheld a marriage ban.
On Monday morning, the Supreme Court surprised many by declining to hear appeals from decisions in five states striking down bans on same-sex marriage. As advocates of same-sex marriage cheer the march of progress, it's important not to lose sight of the fact that marriage equality affects individuals.
Today the Supreme Court is scheduled to discuss seven petitions from five different states urging it to decide on the constitutionality of state laws excluding same-sex couples from marriage on a nationwide basis. No one knows if it will decide whether to take any of the cases at this time or defer its decision until a future conference this fall.