New & Noteworthy:

Marriage Equality

As of October 25, 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 on Dec. 31, 2014.) Same-sex marriage in Luxembourg will come into effect Jan. 1, 2015.

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Same-sex marriage appeal won’t go directly to Florida Supreme Court

Sunday, October 26, 2014
Florida Supreme Court in Tallahassee.
MIAMI -- A Florida appeals court has refused to allow Attorney General Pam Bondi take the state's same-sex marriage ban directly to the Florida Supreme Court. The 3rd District Court of Appeal on Friday indicated it will likely rule itself on previous decisions striking down the Miami-Dade and Monroe counties bans.

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A survival guide for Christians who have been fighting against marriage equality

Sunday, October 26, 2014
Members of the Family Foundation and traditional marriage, Barbara Kerns, of Midlothain, Va., left, and Linda Gagliardo, of Chester Va., pray outside the Federal Appeals Court in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, May 13, 2014 as the court considered the constitutionality of Virginia's gay marriage ban.
Many of us have been in the Marriage Equality war for a long, long time. I remember a drag queen host taking the microphone at San Jose Pride about a dozen years ago. She saw a group with “Freedom to Marry” t-shirts, and with a twinge of sadness remarked, “Oh honeys, they are NEVER going to let us get married, ever. You may as well give that one up right now.” She was wrong. As in all wars, there is a foe. In the United States, the foes tend to call themselves “Christians” ...

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Clinton keynotes HRC event: ‘Still barriers that need to be brought down’

Sunday, October 26, 2014
Bill Clinton speaks at the Human Rights Campaign national gala on Saturday, October 25, 2014, in Washington D.C.
WASHINGTON -- Former U.S. president Bill Clinton on Saturday commended LGBT rights activists for a string a victories that have brought marriage equality to a majority of states, and encouraged the LGBT community to continue its push to break down additional barriers. "I’ve never seen a civil rights movement, at least in our country, move as far and as fast ...

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N.C. GOP lawmakers tell officials it’s OK to refuse to marry same-sex couples

Sunday, October 26, 2014
Phil Berger
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Twenty-eight Republicans in the North Carolina Senate are urging state courts administrators not to punish employees who refuse to marry gay couples based on religious objections.

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Wisconsin insurers open enrollment for married same-sex couples

Sunday, October 26, 2014
Wisconsin-1
MILWAUKEE -- Several Wisconsin insurance companies are holding special sign-ups so same-sex couples can add spouses to their health plans. The special enrollment periods are needed because gays and lesbians who got married in Wisconsin last summer were unable to add spouses to their coverage amid the uncertainty ...

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Lambda Legal files suit against SSA over denial of same-sex survivor benefits

Saturday, October 25, 2014
Social-Security
WASHINGTON -- Lambda Legal has filed suit against the Social Security Administration (SSA) on behalf of a Texas widow denied spousal benefits after the death of her wife, arguing that denying Social Security benefits to same-sex spouses because they live in states that discriminate against their marriages violates the U.S. Constitution.

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Holder: U.S. to recognize same-sex marriages in six new states

Saturday, October 25, 2014
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
WASHINGTON -- The federal government is recognizing gay marriage in six more states, extending federal benefits to those couples. Attorney General Eric Holder says the states are: Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming.

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Campaign underway to oust Kansas judge who allowed gay marriage licenses

Saturday, October 25, 2014
Johnson County, Kan., Chief District Judge Kevin Moriarty
LOUISBURG, Kan. -- The husband of a state senator from northeast Kansas has begun a campaign to oust a trial judge who ordered a court clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Brian Baumgardner announced the campaign against Johnson County Chief District Judge Kevin Moriarty on Friday, accusing him in ...

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Judge nixes opposite-sex couple’s bid to intervene in Kansas gay marriage case

Friday, October 24, 2014
Kansas-flag
KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A federal judge has spurned an effort by a heterosexual couple to intervene in a lawsuit challenging the Kansas ban on same-sex marriage. U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree ruled Friday that Harper, Kan., attorney Phillip Unruh and his wife Sandra, have no legal right to join the lawsuit ...

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Florida AG Pam Bondi asks federal court to keep gay marriage ban in place

Friday, October 24, 2014
Attorney General Pam Bondi (R-Fla.)
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi wants a federal judge to keep the state's ban on gay marriage in place despite a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. Bondi on Friday contended in a court filing that there was a "great public interest in stability of the law" and that the ban should remain intact while the legal battles continue.

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