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Dec 17, 5:18 PM EST

Justices to discuss Louisiana gay marriage case

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Justices to discuss Louisiana gay marriage case

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court has added the challenge to Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban to the agenda for the justices' closed-door conference on Jan. 9.

The action Wednesday does not mean the court will decide that day to hear a gay-marriage case. But the January meeting will be the first time the justices will have had the issue before them since they opted in October against taking up same-sex marriage.

The Louisiana case is unusual in that it has yet to be heard by a federal appeals court. But same-sex couples challenging an appellate ruling upholding bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee also could be considered by the court next month.

The justices would have time to hear and decide on gay marriage by late June, if they act in January.

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