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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Breyer: ‘Plenty of opportunities’ for Supreme Court to consider gay marriage

Monday, November 10, 2014
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer on Sunday signaled that there remain "plenty of opportunities" for the high court to weigh in on same-sex marriage, giving hope that justices would review an appeals court ruling last week upholding gay marriage bans in four states. [...]

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Kansas gay rights advocates watching courts for marriage developments

Monday, November 10, 2014
Kansas-flag
TOPEKA, Kan. -- A Kansas gay rights leader says he expects same-sex couples to seek marriage licenses at county courthouses later this week and have weddings quickly as the courts consider whether the state can enforce its gay-marriage ban. [...]

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Retired Mennonite pastor loses credentials over officiating gay son’s wedding

Monday, November 10, 2014
Chester Wenger (seated, right) and Sara Jane Wenger (seated, left) at the wedding of their son, Phil Wenger, (standing at right), and Steve Dinnocenti.
LANCASTER, Pa. -- A retired Mennonite pastor from Pennsylvania who has lost his credentials after officiating at his gay son's wedding says he hopes the church will someday be more accepting of gays and lesbians. Lancaster Online reports that 96-year-old Chester Wenger of East Lampeter Township wrote in a Mennonite [...]

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What’s next for same-sex marriage after 6th Circuit court ruling?

Monday, November 10, 2014
Ted Richardson, AP (File)
WASHINGTON -- A decision by a panel of federal judges to uphold anti-gay marriage laws in four states has created a split among the nation's appeals courts and made it very likely the Supreme Court will review the same-sex marriage issue. But it is unclear whether the matter will reach [...]

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South Carolina asks federal court to dismiss challenge to gay marriage ban

Monday, November 10, 2014
South-Carolina
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- South Carolina's attorney general is asking a federal judge to toss out a challenge to the state's same-sex marriage ban citing last week's federal appeals court decision upholding such bans in other states. [...]

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Idaho officials encouraged by 6th Circuit ruling to uphold gay marriage bans

Monday, November 10, 2014
Idaho Statehouse in Boise.
BOISE, Idaho -- Idaho officials say a recent ruling upholding same-sex marriage bans in four states could cause the U.S. Supreme Court to take up Idaho's case. Earlier this year, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Idaho's gay marriage ban. But on Thursday, a separate federal appeals court upheld [...]

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Hawaii governor to win award for efforts to legalize same-sex marriage

Monday, November 10, 2014
Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii)
HONOLULU -- Outgoing Gov. Neil Abercrombie will be given an award for his work to legalize same-sex marriage in Hawaii. The Equality Hawaii Foundation will present Abercrombie with the Steven H. Levinson Trailblazer Award at its annual gala on Nov. 22. [...]

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The Christian Right’s version of religious liberty is equality you can’t access

Sunday, November 9, 2014
Religious-freedom
The Christian Right’s fight against LGBTQ rights is different from their fight against abortion in many ways — but there are also striking similarities. The Christian Right is already seeking to redefine religious liberty as a way of allowing LGBTQ rights to remain intact, but to obstruct — and sometimes [...]

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Same-sex couples begin marrying in Kansas City, Missouri

Saturday, November 8, 2014
Vernon Scoville, officiates during Robert Gann, left, and John Kenny Rodricks, right, wedding at the Jackson County Courthouse Legislative Chambers, Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, in Kansas City, Mo. Scoville is retired associate circuit judge for Jackson County. Same-sex marriages began occurring Friday in the Kansas City area after a federal judge declared that Missouri's ban on gay marriage violates the U.S. Constitution.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- More than a dozen same-sex couples were married Friday in the Kansas City area after a federal judge declared that Missouri's ban on gay marriage violates the U.S. Constitution. The decision, which follows a similar one earlier this week in St. Louis, means that same-sex marriage [...]

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Kansas to appeal same-sex marriage ruling to U.S. Supreme Court

Saturday, November 8, 2014
U.S. Supreme Court
TOPEKA, Kan. -- A federal appeals court Friday cleared the way for gay marriages in Kansas next week, but the state's attorney general promised to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to preserve a ban on same-sex marriage while lower courts consider its constitutionality. [...]

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