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Gay marriage waiting game as Supreme Court mulls Prop. 8

TIMELINE: Gay marriage since 2000

Gay marriage supporters and opponents were still awaiting word from the U.S. Supreme Court on whether it would take up the issue of gay marriage in California -- a decision that could come Friday.

Justices are expected to decide whether to review a case concerning Proposition 8, a 2008 state ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage.

Q&A: Prop. 8, gay marriage and the Supreme Court

If the high court does not choose to hear the case, a federal appeals court ruling that found Proposition 8 unconstitutional would stand, clearing the way for same-sex marriages to begin in California. If the court decides to hear the case, gay marriage would remain on hold until a later ruling.

The justices are discussing the pending appeals at their private conference on Friday, the last such meeting before the long holiday recess. It is not uncommon for the justices to discuss an appeal for two weeks or more before voting on whether to grant it.

Map: How gay marriage has progressed in the U.S.

Waiting for the Supreme Court to announce its decision has been difficult for same-sex couples trying to plan wedding ceremonies, said Lisa Phillian, owner of Rainbow Weddings in Rosemead.

Her chapel and wedding services business handles about 40 weddings a year. Every couple she meets has several contingency plans, depending on what legal options they believe will be available. And every year since she opened her business in 2008 there have been more options that couples have to consider, Phillian said.

"The businessperson in me would love to see them not hear the case and we could have the marriages immediately," Phillian said. "The activist in me really wants to fight it all over the country."

UPDATED: Supreme Court to rule on Prop. 8 

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Photo: Gay activists Ivy Bottini and Dottie Wine hold each other at a news conference in West Hollywood on Feb. 7 where officials praised a federal appeals court decision to strike down California's same-sex marriage ban. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

 
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