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Supreme Court puts off decision on same-sex marriages

The U.S. Supreme Court deferred action until at least the end of this week on four appeals that seek to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide.

The court Monday issued a list of orders in other cases without mentioning the appeals, which challenge a federal appeals court decision upholding state bans on gay marriage.

The justices are scheduled to revisit the appeals at their private conference on Friday. They could act later that day or the following week.

The appeals ask the Supreme Court to say whether the Constitution guarantees same-sex marriage rights. The cases are being pressed by couples in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

The court Monday rejected a separate appeal that represented a long shot because it asked the justices to take the unusual step of bypassing the appellate court level. Rejection of the appeal, filed by same-sex couples in Louisiana, doesn’t affect the other cases.

Supreme Court review would potentially cap a transformation in the rights of gay Americans by threatening bans that remain in effect in 14 states. The case would come 11 years after Massachusetts became the first gay-marriage state.

The case acted on Monday is Robicheaux v. George, 14-596.