SCOTUS meets to consider taking gay marriage cases

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court met behind closed doors on Monday to consider whether they should take up the hotly contested question of whether states can ban gay marriage.

The court has seven cases pending before it concerning bans in five states: Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Indiana. If the court agrees to take one or more of the cases it has the chance to rule when, if ever, gay men and women in the 31 states that now bar them from marrying could get marriage licenses.

An announcement on whether the court will hear the same-sex marriage dispute could come later this week. But given the weight of the controversy and that the justices only in recent weeks received the petitions, an announcement could come at a later point. The court officially reconvenes next Monday for its new term, which runs until the end of June.

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