Marriage Equality

Since 2000, 16 countries (Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom, Uruguay) have legalized same-sex marriage, as have parts of Mexico. In the United Kingdom, the law legalizing same-sex marriage in England and Wales takes effect March 29, 2014.

In the United States, same-sex marriage is legal in 17 states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois*, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington), and in the District of Columbia. (*Illinois same-sex marriage law takes effect on June 1, 2014. Same-sex marriage was legal in Utah for 17 days following federal court ruling striking down that state’s gay marriage ban. Marriage equality in Utah is on hold pending appeal.)

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Manuel Balce Ceneta, APAttorney General Eric Holder

Holder to state attorneys general: You don’t have to defend marriage bans

Monday, February 24, 2014
WASHINGTON — State attorneys general are not obligated to defend laws in their states banning same-sex marriage if the laws discriminate in a way forbidden by the Constitution, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told his state counterparts Tuesday. [ Read more → ]

Lawyers in Okla. challenge say same-sex marriage is a detriment to children

Monday, February 24, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY — Lawyers for an Oklahoma clerk who refused to grant a marriage license to a same-sex couple say a federal judge was wrong to overturn the state's voter-approved ban on gay marriages. [ Read more → ]
WJBK-TVJayne Rowse (left) and April DeBoer  are plaintiffs in a challenge to Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage.

Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban goes on trial in federal court Tuesday

Monday, February 24, 2014
DETROIT -- Michigan's nearly decade-old ban on gay marriage is going to trial Tuesday, with two weeks set aside for testimony from experts about whether there's a legitimate state interest in restricting marriage to a man and a woman. [ Read more → ]
Hollis French

State senator proposes striking same-sex marriage ban in Alaska

Monday, February 24, 2014
JUNEAU, Alaska — The minority leader of the Alaska Senate on Monday proposed to strike the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in Alaska. [ Read more → ]

Ohio poll finds voters closely divided in support for same-sex marriage

Monday, February 24, 2014
A new poll finds that Ohioans are closely split when it comes to same-sex marriage. [ Read more → ]

Freedom to Marry launches $1 million marriage equality campaign in U.S. South

Monday, February 24, 2014
NEW YORK – Freedom to Marry, the advocacy campaign to win marriage equality nationwide, on Monday launched a $1 million multi-state campaign to build majority support for marriage in the South. [ Read more → ]
Mark Regnerus

Marriage ban on trial in Mich. this week, defendants to argue gay parents inferior

Sunday, February 23, 2014
DETROIT -- The trial that could overturn Michigan's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage ban begins Tuesday in a federal court in Detroit. [ Read more → ]
Colin Murphy for LGBTQ NationMetro East Pride festival in Belleville, Ill., in June 2012.

Illinois’ same-sex couples look forward to pride month, celebrating their big day

Saturday, February 22, 2014
BELLEVILLE, Ill. -- While same-sex couples began marrying in Chicago and Illinois' Cook County as a result of a court ruling on Friday, more than a dozen gay and lesbian couples downstate are preparing to celebrate their big day at the 7th annual Metro East PrideFest in Belleville, Ill., on June 21, 2014. [ Read more → ]
Cook County Clerk David Orr, left, performs a marriage ceremony for Theresa Volpe, second from left, and Mercedes Santos on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in Chicago.

Wedding bells ring early for same-sex couples in Illinois’ Cook County

Friday, February 21, 2014
CHICAGO — Jubilant same-sex couples began lining up for marriage licenses in Chicago on Friday after a federal judge ruled there was no reason for residents of Illinois' largest county to wait until the state's new gay marriage law takes effect, a decision some hope will prompt county clerks statewide to begin issuing the documents. [ Read more → ]
David Long

Ind. GOP leader sanctions Senator amid intraparty fight over gay marriage ban

Friday, February 21, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS — The top Republicans in the Indiana Senate removed a conservative senator from a leadership position this week in the wake of an intraparty fight over amending the state's constitution to ban gay marriage. [ Read more → ]
M. Spencer Green, APIllinois Gov. Pat Quinn, center, signs the state's Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act into law, making Illinois the 16th state in the nation to embrace full marriage equality for same sex couples, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, in Chicago.

Ill. governor applauds ruling allowing same-sex couples to wed in Cook County

Friday, February 21, 2014
CHICAGO — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is applauding a federal judge's ruling to allow same-sex couples in Cook County to immediately wed. [ Read more → ]
TwitterCharlie Gurion and David Wilk

First same-sex couple in line in Cook County to obtain marriage license

Friday, February 21, 2014
CHICAGO — The first same-sex couple is in line in Cook County to get a license. Clerk David Orr said he would start offering the licenses Friday afternoon after a federal judge's ruling. [ Read more → ]
APRahm Emanuel

Chicago mayor Emanuel praises ruling allowing gay couples to begin marrying

Friday, February 21, 2014
CHICAGO -- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is praising a federal judge's ruling that allows gay couple to marry immediately in Cook County. [ Read more → ]
Timothy D. Easley, APKentucky Republican Senate candidate Matt Bevin is running against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Ky. Senate candidate: Gay marriage will lead to parents marrying their kids for tax benefits

Friday, February 21, 2014
WASHINGTON -- A Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Kentucky said that same-sex marriage could lead to a parent claiming marriage to his or her child to gain tax benefits and other privileges. [ Read more → ]

Federal judge says same-sex marriages can begin in Chicago, Cook County

Friday, February 21, 2014
CHICAGO — A federal judge says same-sex couples in Chicago don't have to wait until June to marry. Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman's Friday order says there is no reason to delay same-sex marriages in Illinois, when the state's law is set to take effect. [ Read more → ]
Gov. Tom Corbett (R-Pa.)

Pa. lawyers defend state’s gay marriage ban, ask court to dismiss lawsuit

Thursday, February 20, 2014
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Lawyers for Gov. Tom Corbett's administration are urging a state judge to uphold Pennsylvania's ban on gay marriage by throwing out a lawsuit brought by more than two dozen same-sex couples that challenges its constitutionality. [ Read more → ]
The Arizona state capitol in Phoenix.

Ariz. legislature approves bill allowing religious discrimination against gays

Thursday, February 20, 2014
PHOENIX -- The GOP-dominated Arizona House has approved a bill that would expand people's rights to claim their religious beliefs as a basis for refusing service to gays and others. [ Read more → ]
Ellen Rosenblum

Oregon AG says she will not defend state’s gay marriage ban in court

Thursday, February 20, 2014
SALEM, Ore. -- Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said Thursday that she will not defend the state's ban on same-sex marriage, saying it "cannot withstand a federal constitutional challenge under any standard of review." [ Read more → ]
New Mexico

Judges in 2 N.M. counties stop officiating weddings following gay marriage ruling

Thursday, February 20, 2014
CARLSBAD, N.M. -- Judges in two southeastern New Mexico counties recently announced they will no longer officiate weddings after the state's high court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal. [ Read more → ]

Finland parliament begins debate on bill to legalize same-sex marriage

Thursday, February 20, 2014
HELSINKI, Finland -- The Finnish parliament began debate Thursday on a proposal that would legalize same-sex marriage. Should the legislation become law, Finland would become the final Nordic country to pass a law on gender-neutral marriage. [ Read more → ]

Nine same-sex couples launch challenge to Colo. gay marriage ban

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
DENVER -- Several same-sex Colorado couples have filed suit in Denver challenging the state constitution's ban on gay marriage, saying it makes them second-class citizens. [ Read more → ]

Couple challenging Ohio gay marriage ban due to denial of family health plan

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A married same-sex couple has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit asking a judge to declare Ohio's statewide ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. [ Read more → ]
Idaho gay marriage

Plaintiffs in Idaho gay marriage challenge ask court to declare ban unconstitutional

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
BOISE, Idaho -- Four same-sex couples who are challenging Idaho's ban on same-sex marriage, filed a motion in the case Tuesday seeking a summary judgement asking the court to declare unconstitutional Idaho’s refusal to permit same-sex couples to marry or to recognize their existing marriages. [ Read more → ]
Opponents of Indiana's proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage rally at the state capitol.

Conservatives angry at Ind. GOP leadership over fall of gay marriage ban

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS -- Religious conservatives who lost a surprising battle over same-sex marriage in Indiana this year are placing some of the blame with the state's Republican legislative leaders. Opponents of amending the Indiana Constitution to add the state's current gay marriage ban won a surprising... [ Read more → ]

Tenn. bill allowing discrimination against gay couples dead this session

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A proposal to protect wedding-related businesses from lawsuits if they refuse to provide services to same-sex couples is dead for the session after being withdrawn from a Senate committee on Tuesday. [ Read more → ]
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