Gay-Marriage Action Deferred by U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court deferred saying whether it will consider gay marriage for the first time, taking no action on 10 pending appeals touching on the rights of same-sex couples.

The justices, who were scheduled to consider the appeals during a private conference today, released a list of orders that made no mention of the gay-marriage cases while granting review to two other cases. The court will have another conference in a week and may make an announcement after that session.

The court is weighing whether to hear clashes over the U.S. Defense of Marriage Act, which blocks gays from receiving federal marriage benefits, and a California ballot measure that outlawed same-sex nuptials there in 2008.

Advocates on both sides say the court is all but certain to review the Defense of Marriage Act, which two federal appeals courts have said is unconstitutional. Less clear is whether the justices will take up the potentially more sweeping fight over California’s Proposition 8.