US Supreme Court not to decide on DOMA or Prop 8 cases today

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Despite an expectation that the US Supreme Court was to issue a decision on two cases around equal marriage today, the four decisions they are making have been announced, and do not include the same-sex marriage cases.

The court is to rule on the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, which bans equal marriage in the state, and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which federally bans equal benefits for same-sex married couples.

On the first day of hearings in March, the court heard arguments around Proposition 8, the state of California’s ban on equal marriage. Then the justices questioned the meaning of marriage, and challenged arguments for the ban. 

On the second day of hearings, several of the Supreme Court Justices raised concerns around DOMA, and some took that as a sign that there may be a narrow majority who will strike it down.

There are a number of possible outcomes, which range from effectively allowing equal marriage across the US, to letting Proposition 8 and DOMA stand.

The Supreme Court does not announce its decision date ahead of time, so its ruling could come any time by the end of June. Rulings are traditionally made on Mondays, and the next possible decision announcement would be Monday 17 June.