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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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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Kentucky couple hopes marriage case will lift obstacles to raising children

Saturday, April 25, 2015
Pam Yorksmith, left, and her spouse Nicole Yorksmith, along with their children, Grayden and Orion. The couple are Ohio plaintiffs in a same-sex marriage case to be argued before the Supreme Court on April 28.
Raising two young children in states that don't recognize that their parents are married has confronted Nicole and Pam Yorksmith with a range of problems. [...]

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Army Reserve sergeant is legally married while at work, but not at home

Saturday, April 25, 2015
Thomas Kostura, left, and Sgt. 1st Class Ijpe DeKoe at their Memphis, Tenn. apartment.
Thom Kostura and his husband take lots of road trips, and each time they cross a state line they make a game of declaring "We're married!" or "We're not married!" - depending on whether the state recognizes same-sex marriage. [...]

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Lack of legal rights makes raising teens more stressful for same-sex couple

Saturday, April 25, 2015
Michael De Leon and Greg Bourke protest outside the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati in November 2014.
Like many dads, when his spouse is traveling out of town, Greg Bourke takes on the role of single parent, shuttling their two teenagers to basketball practice and other activities while working a full-time job. But Bourke has an extra worry when his husband, Michael DeLeon, is away. [...]

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Ted Cruz introduces bills to block marriage equality for same-sex couples

Friday, April 24, 2015
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
Just days before the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has filed two bills to protect states that prohibit same-sex couples from marrying. [...]

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Navigating same-sex marriage debate a difficult issue for GOP White House hopefuls

Friday, April 24, 2015
GOP presidential hopefuls Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio
For Democratic politicians, same-sex marriage has become an easy issue: They're for it. Many Republican VIPs - notably the presidential hopefuls - face a far more complicated landscape. [...]

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The surprising religious breakdown of same-sex marriage support

Friday, April 24, 2015
marriage-religion
A new poll released this week found that the majority of most major religious groups now fully embrace marriage equality, and that even groups who oppose the right to marry are abandoning anti-LGBT views at a surprising rate. [...]

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