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Challenges to same-sex marriage bans: Where they stand, state-by state

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Corey Crawford, right, and Jessica Samph smile to each other before their wedding Friday, May 23, 2014, at City Hall in Philadelphia.Matt Rourke, AP

Corey Crawford, right, and Jessica Samph smile to each other before their wedding Friday, May 23, 2014, at City Hall in Philadelphia.

Updated: Aug. 7, 2014

State bans on same-sex marriages have been falling around the country since last summer, when the Supreme Court ordered the federal government to recognize state-sanctioned gay marriages. The remaining state bans all face legal challenges to overturn them, and a federal Court of Appeals in Cincinnati will hear arguments Wednesday on cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.

Gay couples can marry in 19 states and the District of Columbia. A look at where cases pending in other states stand:


A state judge in Arkansas‘ largest county struck down the state’s gay marriage ban, saying it has “no rational reason” for preventing gay couples from marrying. The state Supreme Court brought the marriages to a halt and is weighing state officials’ appeal. The state has until Sept. 8 to file its argument.


A state judge struck down the state’s gay marriage ban July 9 but put the ruling on hold pending the outcome of a state appeal. Despite that order, several county clerks began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Colorado’s Republican attorney general, John Struthers, who is appealing, has said he knows it’s only a matter of time until gay marriage is legal there, but that he’ll continue to defend the law. All documents in the case must be turned over by Oct. 20.


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Judges in Monroe, Miami-Dade and Broward counties have overturned the state’s gay marriage ban, but all stayed their rulings, meaning no marriage licenses will be issued for gay couples pending appeals. A fourth ruling in Palm Beach County applied only to the parties in a probate case. A separate lawsuit is pending in federal court seeking to overturn the gay-marriage ban statewide.


State officials have vowed to appeal a decision from a federal magistrate overturning the state’s same-sex marriage ban. A federal appeals court is scheduled to hear arguments Sept. 8.

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