The Supreme Court has suggested it could find a way out of the case challenging California’s ban on same-sex marriage without issuing a major national ruling on whether gays have a right to marry. The California case is one of two challenges to laws barring gay marriage that the country’s top court is hearing this week. Justice Samuel Alito appeared to advocate a cautious approach to the issue on Tuesday, describing gay marriage as newer than such rapidly changing technological advances as cellphones and the Internet. “You want us to assess the effect of same-sex marriage,” Alito said. “It may turn out to be a good thing. It may turn out to be not a good thing.” ustice Anthony Kennedy, the potentially decisive vote on a closely divided court, suggested that the court could dismiss the case with no ruling at all. Kennedy said he feared the court would go into “uncharted waters” if it embraced arguments advanced by gay marriage supporters. But lawyer Theodore Olson, representing two same-sex couples, said that the court similarly ventured into the unknown in 1967 when it struck down bans on interracial marriage in 16 states. There was no majority apparent for any particular outcome and many doubts expressed about the arguments advanced by lawyers for the opponents of gay marriage in California, by the supporters and by the Obama administration, which is in favor of same-sex marriage rights.