Gay and lesbian couples could face legal chaos if the Supreme Court rules against same-sex marriage in the next few weeks.
Same-sex weddings could come to a halt in many states, depending on a confusing mix of lower-court decisions and the sometimes-contradictory views of state and local officials.
Among the 36 states in which same-sex couples can now marry are 20 in which federal judges invoked the Constitution to strike down marriage bans.
Those rulings would be in conflict with the nation's highest court if the justices uphold the power of states to limit marriage to heterosexual couples. A decision is expected by late June in cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.