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Same-sex marriage heading for Supreme Court vote?

BY MARK SHERMAN
ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON -- Both sides in the gay marriage debate agree on one thing: It's time for the Supreme Court to settle the matter.

Even a justice recently said she thinks so, too.

The emerging consensus makes it likely that the justices soon will agree to take up the question of whether the Constitution forbids states from defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. A final ruling isn't likely before June 2015, but a decision to get involved could come as soon as the end of this month.

"I don't see a lot of reasons for them to wait," says Dale Carpenter, a gay rights expert at the University of Minnesota law school. "You have almost no one at this point opposed to certiorari," the legal term for high court review.

Officials in five states in which marriage bans were struck down by federal courts have rushed their appeals to the Supreme Court, in time for consideration by the justices when they meet in private on Sept. 29. Moving at breakneck speed, at least for the legal system, Indiana and Wisconsin filed appeals on Tuesday, just five days after the federal appeals court in Chicago struck down their state bans. The Chicago decision itself came just nine days after judges heard arguments, extremely fast for a process that usually is measured in months. Officials in Oklahoma, Utah and Virginia also have appealed to the Supreme Court.

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It's more than high time for the Anointed Nine to put on their big kid pants, and decide, once and for all, whether they think that marriage is a right of ALL Americans, or just the for angry straight folks.

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