New & Noteworthy:

Marriage Equality

As of February 9, 2015:

In the United States, same-sex marriage is legal in 37 states (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, 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, 16 countries (Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, 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, Scotland, and Wales.) A marriage equality law will come into effect in Finland in 2016.

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Thousands descend on Washington ahead of historic Supreme Court hearing on marriage equality

Sunday, April 26, 2015
Supporters and opponents of marriage equality rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on Saturday, April 25, 2015.
Thousands of supporters and opponents of marriage equality descended on Washington this weekend and met at the steps of the Supreme Court Saturday, but not before those opposed to same-sex unions held what they called their “largest march for marriage yet.” [...]

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Stories of love, life, death mark U.S. Supreme Court marriage equality cases

Sunday, April 26, 2015
Pam Yorksmith, left, and her spouse Nicole Yorksmith, along with their children, Grayden and Orion. A middle-of-the night trip to the emergency room, with her 9-month-old son coughing and laboring to breathe, gave Pam Yorksmith her latest reminder of why she took up the fight for same-sex marriage. Before baby Orion could be treated for croup, the hospital had to call his birth mother, Yorksmith’s wife, Nicole, "to get permission to treat my child," Yorksmith said.
Some sued for the right to marry, while others are fighting to have states recognize a marriage performed elsewhere. They include young parents and grandparents, as well as a couple of grieving men who already have lost their life partners. [...]

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Ohio man, deceased husband: The faces of the marriage equality movement

Sunday, April 26, 2015
In this July 11, 2013 file photo, Jim Obergefell, left and John Arthur, right, are married by officiant Paulette Roberts, in a plane on the tarmac at Baltimore/Washington International Airport in Glen Burnie, Md.
Jim Obergefell hadn't thought about becoming one of the most visible figures in the marriage equality movement. He just wanted to marry the love of his life for 21 years. [...]

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Texas GOP bills denounced by LGBT rights groups stagnant in state legislature

Saturday, April 25, 2015
Texas state capitol in Austin.
Proposals that critics say could be used to discriminate against LGBT individuals have largely gone nowhere in the Texas Legislature, and some LGBT rights activists believe a big reason is because of the backlash over religious objection laws passed in Arkansas and Indiana. [...]

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Adoption struggle leads couple into same-sex marriage fight

Saturday, April 25, 2015
Paul Campion and Randy Johnson with their four children.
On paper, Paul Campion's home seemed perfect for a foster child - and one of the students he worked with as a school counselor was begging to be taken in. His partner was the PTA president, and they had three adopted children already. But they were a gay couple in [...]

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A new baby pulled New York couple into Ohio same-sex marriage lawsuit

Saturday, April 25, 2015
Joseph Vitale, right with Rob Talmas, left, holding their adopted son Cooper in New York City.
Married and living in New York City, Joseph Vitale and Robert Talmas joined the legal battle over Ohio's same-sex marriage law because that's where their adopted son was born. Both fathers want to be listed on Cooper's birth certificate. [...]

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After four decades in secret, Kentucky couple fights for the next generation

Saturday, April 25, 2015
Jimmy Meade and Luke Barlowe
Luke Barlowe and Jimmy Meade never held hands in public. For more than 40 years, they lived together quietly, afraid to out themselves as a couple. [...]

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A long road from high school crush to the fight for marriage equality

Saturday, April 25, 2015
Tammy Boyd, left, and Kimberly Franklin.
Every time Kim Franklin saw Tammy Boyd in their small town of Simpsonville, Kentucky, a Rod Stewart ballad streamed through her head: "Some guys have all the luck." [...]

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Marriage issue complicates immigration, motherhood for Tennessee couple

Saturday, April 25, 2015
Sophy Jesty, left, and Val Tanco, right, with their dog, Biscuit, at their home in Knoxville, Tenn.
When Valeria Tanco and Sophy Jesty began dating during post-graduate veterinary training at Cornell University, their relationship faced more than the usual run of hurdles. [...]

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Faith guides Kentucky minister to protest for same-sex marriage rights

Saturday, April 25, 2015
Dominique James, left, and Maurice Blanchard have been outspoken activists for same-sex marriage in Kentucky for several years, and are among a group of plaintiffs asking the U.S. Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage around the country.
Maurice Blanchard says anti-gay sentiment was rampant where he grew up in South Carolina. Now he's one of a group of plaintiffs in cases seeking to legalize same-sex marriage throughout the country. [...]

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