Supreme Court Weighs Same-Sex Marriage Debate

Need for ruling as lawsuits progress


A decade after Massachusetts allowed same-sex couples to marry, the Supreme Court is on the verge of a historic step that could determine whether other states must grant that option.

Justices are considering petitions in five states that stem from challenges to same-sex marriage bans. The cases would force the court to rule on a fundamental question: whether the Constitution protects the right to same-sex marriage.

A ruling could impact Massachusetts because its gay and lesbian couples, after years of uncertainty, may find their unions more widely recognized. Many in the state, the first to legalize same-sex marriage, are keeping close watch.