In a brief order issued today, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided not to hear a case challenging the Defense of Marriage Act as planned in September. The decision to delay hearing the case, brought by one Karen Golinski regarding the government's refusal to provide health benefits to her lesbian spouse, is due to the Obama administration's urging that the case be joined with another case out of Massachusetts that makes a similar argument against the law's constitutionality, which the Supreme Court may decide to hear next term. A third case, involving an elderly lesbian in New York and the taxation of her late partner's estate, is also wending its way through appeals, and could also end up being joined with these other two.

The 9th Circuit is waiting to hear the decision by the Supreme Court whether or not the Golinski case will bypass the appeals court and go straight to the Supreme Court, in which case they will need not have bothered with it.

For those just tuning in, many gay rights activists feel that these DOMA cases have a better chance of winning in the Supreme Court than the Prop 8 challenge, which they've not yet agreed to hear either.