WASHINGTON — Houston lawyer Mitchell Katine came to the Supreme Court 10 years ago for the final chapter of Lawrence v. Texas, the landmark gay rights case in which the justices struck down state sodomy laws.
Neither Katine nor the other lawyers working for John Lawrence and Tyron Garner in their battle against Texas’ sodomy law imagined the length and breadth of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority decision, which struck down all remaining state sodomy laws.
As the Supreme Court prepares to issue two historic decisions on gay marriage this month, however, the judges and lawyers who worked on both sides of those earlier cases don’t expect anything quite so eloquent or all-encompassing from a cautious and conservative court.
The consensus view: The justices will limit the expansion of gay marriage rights to California, with few if any implications for the rest of the country. Only on the Defense of Marriage Act, most agree, will the court strike a broad blow against discrimination by striking down the ban on federal benefits for married same-sex couples.
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