U.S. Supreme Court defers action on same-sex marriage cases

People watch from a window in the Senate

People watch from a window in the Senate chamber as senators passed a same-sex marriage bill at the Capitol in Albany. (June 24, 2011) (Credit: AP)

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

The justices, who were scheduled to consider the appeals at a private conference last week, today released a list of orders that made no mention of the gay-marriage cases. The court will have another conference Dec. 7 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.

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