Court by court, judges are ushering California's ban on same-sex marriage toward the U.S. Supreme Court for a final decision on whether Proposition 8 violates the rights of gay men and lesbian women.
For Utah and the nation, this is another huge step toward full civil rights for the LGBT community.
A federal appeals court has struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and President Barack Obama defused the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. More importantly, Obama has finally declared his support for gay marriage.
But should the Prop 8 case come before the Supreme Court, and indications are that it will, the big question is how the justices, particularly Anthony Kennedy, might rule.
A little history: Kennedy wrote the 6-3 decision in Lawrence v. Texas that struck down laws forbidding same-sex sex. He also was with the court's majority when it said a public law school could insist that student organizations admit any student, regardless of status or orientation.
Nearly two decades ago, Kennedy wrote the decision striking down an amendment to the Colorado Constitution that would have prohibited all branches of state government from having any anti-discrimination statutes.
I've been told that the conventional wisdom in the legal trade is that Kennedy probably will decide the issue, not least because of his demonstrated concern for the dignity and autonomy of all people, regardless of orientation.
"It's a consistent theme in his jurisprudence," one attorney said.
There's also a legal issue in the fact that the California Supreme Court had held that same-sex marriage was a constitutional right in that state, meaning that Prop 8 took away a right already granted.
Utah, of course, is one of 28 states with a constitutional amendment strictly defining marriage as between a man and a woman.
Still, nine states have legalized gay marriage, although two of those laws aren't yet in effect. Six others have endorsed civil unions.
Change nearly always is a slow, wearisome process. But inch by inch, more Americans are coming to realize that the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment's guarantees, among other things, equal protection under the law.
With his regard for human dignity, Kennedy could be the linchpin that affords all marginalized Americans another shot at full equality.
"It's impossible to predict," as the lawyer said, "but the justice who wrote Romer and Lawrence will see the inherent unfairness in a law like Proposition 8."
Peg McEntee is a news columnist. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, facebook.com/pegmcentee and Twitter, @Peg McEntee.