Supreme Court Declines to Take Up Louisiana Gay Marriage Ban

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a challenge to Louisiana’s ban on gay marriage and took no action on similar cases in four other states.

But the justices could issue a decision to take up the issue in one or more of the four other states — Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee —as early as Friday.

The decision not to hear the Louisiana case wasn’t a shock, as opponents of the ban had sought to let the case play itself out in the lower courts before seeking Supreme Court review.

A federal appeals court in New Orleans heard arguments in the case on Friday and hasn’t issued a ruling. A federal district court judge upheld the state ban in September.

Advocates on both sides of the gay marriage debate are eager for the high court to settle the issue. And after a series of lower court decisions and Supreme Court orders in the fall put the issue on a fast track, there are heightening expectations that a ruling will come before the court’s term ends in early summer.