The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday is again scheduled to meet behind closed doors to consider whether to review the legal issues surrounding same-sex marriage, including the challenge to California's Proposition 8.

Here are some of the possible outcomes that could be revealed by early afternoon:

The court could refuse to review a lower-court ruling striking down Proposition 8, which would legalize same-sex marriage in California. Gay and lesbian couples could wed as soon as next week.

The court could decide to review the Proposition 8 case, and would rule by the end of the term in June.

The court could put the Proposition 8 case on hold while reviewing one of several challenges to the federal Defense of Marriage Act also on the docket. That would put off a final decision on California's law indefinitely, and preserve for now the status quo on same-sex marriages in the state.

The court may also not release orders until Monday, typical for its weekly conferences, or continue to consider how to proceed on all the same-sex marriage cases at another conference when they return in January.

Howard Mintz covers legal affairs. Contact him at 408-286-0236 or follow him at Twitter.com/hmintz