If the range of possible Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage this month requires a scorecard, the potential confusion arising from those decisions may demand a manual. It's not as simple as whether gays and lesbians can marry, and whether they become eligible for federal benefits. The two decisions are likely to create new questions for couples in civil unions and those who move between states, as well as for employers.
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.
Over the past few weeks, the war on marriage has turned into a blitzkrieg. It's all designed to sway the Supreme Court, which will be hearing arguments Tuesday and Wednesday on California's voter-approved constitutional marriage amendment and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.