The U.S. Supreme Court agreed today to review Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage, according to a court spokeswoman.
The high court action means there won't be a decision on the constitutionality of the 2008 voter-approved measure until next year, possibly not until the end of June. In the meantime, Proposition 8 will remain in effect and same-sex marriages will not resume for the time being.
The court agreed to hear the initiative's sponsors' appeal of a decision in which a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this year found Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court is expected to schedule a hearing at which it will hear appeal arguments sometime this spring. Its normal deadline for issuing rulings from the current term is June 30.
If the high court had declined to take up the case, the 9th Circuit ruling would have become the final decision in the case, clearing the way for an expected resumption of same-sex marriages within a few days.
The court also agreed to hear a case concerning the federal Defense of Marriage Act.