So, this isn't quite news, as it was announced a few months ago, but the hearings are due next week where the US Supreme Court will decide whether to uphold the ruling that the California prohibition on gay marriage violates the US Constitution, and also to decide on whether the Defence of Marriage Act is constitutional.
This has the potential to be as historic in US jurisprudence as Brown v Board of Education - the case that decided that racial equality wasn't just an issue for the States but was a matter of federal law, and requirements under the Federal constitution. If the SC rules that Prop 8 was unconstitutional, then, effectively, they will pave the way for marriage equality right across the US regardless of State views.
What's interesting is that Vaughan Walker's judgement striking down Prop 8 was very carefully crafted, with many legal scholars thinking that he'd crafted his judgement in a way designed to appeal, in particular, to Anthony Kennedy. He made a number findings of fact, which SCOTUS cannot overturn - they must accept his findings of fact and decide whether, based on those facts, he was correct in law to decide that a prohibition on gay marriage violates the US Constitution.
This is all in the context of major evolution in US attitudes to marriage equality. When Obama said that he favoured gay marriage, and people were saying on here that it didn't matter, I pointed out that if he won re-election, he would send the message that being pro-marriage equality was no longer an electoral liability. And since then, we've seen a flurry of politicians also come out in favour of marriage equality, including some Republicans (Steve Schmidt, Jon Huntsman, Rob Portman).
More recently, only yesterday, Hilary Clinton posted a six minute video explaining her support for gay marriage. And a poll released, also yesterday, showed 58% of people supporting gay marriage. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...post-abc-poll/
This is relevant - what we know about John Roberts is that as much as he is a conservative, he is also a legacy-hunter who will be, I believe, reluctant to place the SC on the wrong side of history. We saw that in his contortions on the Affordable Care Act. While I doubt that Roberts will be one of the votes supporting gay marriage, I do think we could be in for a majority overturning Prop 8. It's difficult to overstate the impact that would have on marriage equality around the world - certainly in western nations, like Australia, or Germany or Ireland it will be difficult to resist marriage equality when the most powerful cultural influence in the western world allows it.