New & Noteworthy:

Marriage Equality

As of October 21, 2014:

In the United States, same-sex marriage is legal in 32 states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming), and in the District of Columbia. 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 in the Fall of 2014.) Same-sex marriage in Luxembourg will come into effect Jan. 1, 2015.

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Federal court sets hearing to consider Wyoming same-sex marriage challenge

Thursday, October 9, 2014
Wyoming-flag
CASPER, Wyo. -- A federal court hearing next week could enable same-sex couples to begin getting marriage licenses in Wyoming. Four same-sex couples and a gay-rights advocacy group filed suit Tuesday seeking the right to marry in Wyoming. U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl will consider their request to decide immediately on gay marriage...

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Nevada lawmaker, partner become first same-sex couple married in Las Vegas

Thursday, October 9, 2014
Sherwood Howard, left, kisses partner Nevada State Sen. Kelvin Atkinson after they got a marriage license at the Marriage License Bureau, Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014, in Las Vegas.
LAS VEGAS -- A Nevada state lawmaker has married his partner, becoming the first same-sex couple married in Las Vegas. State Sen. Kelvin Atkinson wed Sherwood Howard shortly after gay couples began receiving marriage licenses in the wedding capital of the world.

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Nevada begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Thursday, October 9, 2014
Las-Vegas
LAS VEGAS -- A dizzying legal wrangle is over in the wedding capital of the world as same-sex couples began receiving marriage licenses in Las Vegas and other Nevada cities on Thursday afternoon. Same-sex couples cheered at the marriage license bureau in Las Vegas as frustration gave way to elation and the first licenses were issued.

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Idaho couples ask U.S. Supreme Court to lift stay, allow same-sex marriages

Thursday, October 9, 2014
After the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Idaho's gay marriage ban, the attorneys and plaintiffs in Idaho's case gathered for a news conference in front of the James A McClure Federal Building and United States Courthouse on Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014 in Boise, Idaho. In front are attorneys Deborah Ferguson and Craig Durham, and from left to right behind them are three of the four couples in the case: Sue Latta and Traci Ehlers, Sharene and Lori Watsen and Rachael and Amber Beierle.
BOISE, Idaho -- Four Idaho couples who sued over the state's gay marriage ban are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to allow same-sex marriages to begin in accordance with a lower court's ruling earlier this week. Attorneys for the couples filed the opposition to an emergency stay with the high court Wednesday afternoon.

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Federal appeals court again declares same-sex couples can marry in Nevada

Thursday, October 9, 2014
Nevada
SAN FRANCISCO -- A group that fought to keep Nevada's state ban on same-sex marriage is dropping its appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court and a lower court, clearing the way for gay couples to marry.

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West Virginia begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Thursday, October 9, 2014
West-Virginia
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- County clerks in West Virginia were told to begin accepting marriage applications from same-sex couples Thursday after Attorney General Patrick Morrisey dropped his fight to a court challenge on the state's gay marriage ban.

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North Carolina GOP leaders hire NOM chairman to help block gay marriages

Thursday, October 9, 2014
John Eastman
RALEIGH, N.C. -- As same-sex couples in North Carolina await federal court rulings they hope will allow them to get married, Republican legislative leaders are making a last-minute move to block or delay the nuptials....

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Missouri state workers’ health plan expanded to include same-sex spouses

Thursday, October 9, 2014
Missouri state capitol in Jefferson City.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri's health care and retirement plans are expanding coverage to same-sex spouses following a recent court ruling. The Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan says it will enroll same-sex spouses of state employees and retirees who have valid marriage licenses from other states.

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Arkansas Supreme Court rejects AG’s request to delay gay marriage case

Thursday, October 9, 2014
Arkansas-Supreme-Court
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The Arkansas Supreme Court has refused to delay proceedings in a lawsuit challenging the legality of the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Earlier this year, Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel asked the court to put the case on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court rules in challenges involving other states...

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North Carolina couples eager for judge to rule on same-sex marriages

Thursday, October 9, 2014
North-carolina
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Same-sex couples in North Carolina are eagerly awaiting federal court rulings they hope will allow them to get married. Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina filed a request late Wednesday asking Chief U.S. District Court Judge William L. Osteen, Jr. to strike down the state's gay marriage ban.

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