New & Noteworthy:

Marriage Equality

As of November 20, 2014:

In the United States, same-sex marriage is legal in 35 states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming), in the District of Columbia, and in the cities of St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo. Legal challenges are pending in the remaining states.

Since 2000, 15 countries (Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, and Uruguay) have legalized same-sex marriage, as have parts of Mexico and the Untied Kingdom. (In the United Kingdom, same-sex marriage is legal in England and Wales, and will become legal in Scotland on Dec. 31, 2014.) Same-sex marriage in Luxembourg will come into effect Jan. 1, 2015.

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Marriage News Watch: Nov. 24, 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014
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We picked up three states with marriage this week. But in one of those states, some clerks are refusing to issue licenses. Alabama's attorneys are using a discredited anti-gay researcher to build a case for banning marriage. And we have more bad news for what's left of the National Organization for Marriage.

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Three gay rights advocates arrested outside North Carolina LGBT fundraiser

Monday, November 24, 2014
North-Carolina
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Three gay-rights advocates are charged with damaging property after confronting protesters outside a North Carolina fundraiser celebrating same-sex marriage and other social changes.

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Tax filings reveal funding for anti-LGBT NOM has dropped by over 50%

Monday, November 24, 2014
Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, speaks during a rally for the opponents of gay marriage at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City on Jan. 28, 2014.. Faced with a losing streak, some longtime opponents of gay marriage now say that its nationwide legalization via a Supreme Court ruling is inevitable. Others refuse to concede, and some leaders of that cohort will be rallying on Thursday, June 19, at a March for Marriage in Washington.`
WASHINGTON -- The rapid advancement of marriage equality from 19 states to 35 in a matter of weeks has not translated into financial success for an organization whose self-proclaimed sole purpose is to “protect marriage and the faith communities that sustain it.”

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Where Arkansas same-sex marriage cases go from here

Saturday, November 22, 2014
A demonstrator, far left, holds a sign in support of same sex marriage during a Nov. 19, 2014, rally held held by people who want the state's ban on same sex marriage upheld at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark. Judges in two Arkansas courtrooms are reviewing challenges to the state's gay marriage ban.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Challenges to the state's ban on gay marriage are being fought in both federal and state courtrooms in Arkansas, but such unions could come to the state by other means. No decisions were issued after the state Supreme Court and U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker heard arguments in separate but similar lawsuits Thursday.

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Ninth Circuit sets schedule for Montana AG’s appeal of gay marriage ruling

Saturday, November 22, 2014
Attorney General Tim Fox (R-Mont.)
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Opening arguments from Montana's attorney general are due Feb. 27 in his appeal of a federal court order that struck down the state's same-sex marriage ban. Attorney General Tim Fox has said it's his sworn duty to uphold Montana's Constitution, which voters amended in 2004 ...

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Mississippi Supreme Court schedules arguments in same-sex divorce case

Saturday, November 22, 2014
Mississippi resident Lauren Czekala-Chatham (center) is seeking to have her same-sex marriage recognized by the state in order to obtain a divorce.
JACKSON, Miss. -- The Mississippi Supreme Court will hear arguments Jan. 21 from a woman who wants the state to recognize her same-sex marriage in order to grant a divorce.

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ACLU to amend Kansas lawsuit to force state recognition of gay marriages

Friday, November 21, 2014
Kansas
WICHITA, Kan. -- The attorney suing to overturn Kansas' ban on same-sex marriage plans to amend the lawsuit to try to win state benefits for gay couples already married.

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Ninth Circuit rejects Alaska’s appeal for 11-judge review of gay marriage ruling

Friday, November 21, 2014
Alaska
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The state of Alaska has lost another attempt to reinstate a ban on same-sex marriage, and Gov.-elect Bill Walker has changed his stance on the issue.

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Courts make no immediate decisions in Arkansas’ same-sex marriage cases

Friday, November 21, 2014
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas Supreme Court justices questioned Thursday whether banning gay marriage is constitutional just because voters overwhelmingly wanted to a decade ago, even if the restriction conflicts with other fundamental rights. Opponents and supporters of the 2004 constitutional amendment defining marriage as between ...

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Montana same-sex couples exchange vows after gay marriage ban tossed

Thursday, November 20, 2014
Ben Bahnsen, left, puts a wedding ring on husband, Patrick Donnelly, as Unitarian minister Nina Grey officiates their marriage on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014, at the Gallatin County Law and Justice Center in Bozeman, Mont.
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Gay couples are lining up for marriage licenses at county courthouses across Montana on Thursday, a day after a federal judge tossed out the state's ban on same-sex marriage. At least two counties - Missoula and Park - started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Wednesday, while court clerks elsewhere geared up to do so Thursday.

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