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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Poll: Majority of Utahns say gay marriage will have no impact on their own lives

Monday, September 29, 2014
Utah-flag
A new poll finds that while Utahns remain split on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, a strong majority of respondents say that even if gay couples are allowed to marry, it would have no impact on their own marriage and family. The statewide poll found that a plurality of Utahns – 49 percent in favor versus 48 percent opposed – agree that...

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St. Louis challenge to Mo. same-sex marriage ban in court

Monday, September 29, 2014
Four same-sex couples  who married in St. Louis, Mo., on June 25, 2014 are (from left): Bruce Yampolsky and Terry Garrett;  Karen “Mima” Davis and Miranda Duschack; Richard Eaton and John Durnell;  and Tod Martin and David Gray.
ST. LOUIS -- An assistant Missouri attorney general argued Monday in a St. Louis courtroom that state law, backed by a vote of the people, makes it clear that marriage is defined as between a man and a woman. But St. Louis City Counselor Winston Calvert countered that the state has no business treating same-sex couples as "second-class citizens."

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Marriage News Watch: Supreme Court to conference on same-sex marriage cases

Monday, September 29, 2014
marriage-supreme-court
This is the week when the U.S. Supreme Court meets to decide whether to take a marriage case. After meeting in conference on Monday, the Justices will announce their decision next week, on October 6th. Currently, cases from Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah and Oklahoma are ready for consideration. The court could take one case, or several, or none at all.

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La. church gives AA group the boot out of fear of having to host gay weddings

Sunday, September 28, 2014
Westwood-Baptist-Church
KEITHVILLE, La. — A local Alcoholics Anonymous group is looking for a new place to meet after being booted from a Louisiana church over the pastor’s fears he might be forced to accommodate same-sex weddings. KSLA-TV reports that Pastor David Venable of the Westwood Baptist Church in Keithville, La., said ...

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Same-sex marriage ban stalls changes to Dallas pension funds

Sunday, September 28, 2014
Dallas City Hall
DALLAS -- Two Dallas city pension funds have delayed enacting measures passed by the city council aimed at ensuring equal rights for municipal employees. The council earlier this year adopted a non-binding resolution seeking equal treatment for LGBT employees. It followed that vote with another Wednesday that amends...

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La. AG appeals state court ruling that struck down same-sex marriage ban

Saturday, September 27, 2014
Attorney General James "Buddy" Caldwell (R-La.)
NEW ORLEANS -- Louisiana's attorney general is asking the state Supreme Court to overturn a decision by a Lafayette Parish judge who declared Louisiana's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Attorney General James "Buddy" Caldwell's Office filed the appeal Friday. Caldwell asked the court to rule quickly. But that might not happen...

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Alaska defends same-sex marriage ban in federal court filing

Friday, September 26, 2014
Chris Shelden (left) and Matt Hamby are plaintiffs in the federal challenge to Alaska's same-sex marriage ban.
JUNEAU, Alaska -- The state of Alaska says citizens, not the courts, should decide whether the definition of marriage includes same-sex couples. The state is defending its ban on gay marriage in a filing in federal court. Five same-sex couples sued earlier this year to overturn the ban, which was approved by voters in 1998.

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Fifth Circuit to hear same-sex marriage appeals from Louisiana, Texas

Friday, September 26, 2014
John Minor Wisdom U.S. Courthouse in New Orleans,   home of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
NEW ORLEANS, La. -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Thursday said it will hear the appeals of same-sex marriage rulings from Texas and Louisiana. Equality on Trial reports that the two cases will be heard on the same date and by the same panel, although the date for oral arguments has not yet been scheduled.

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Freedom to Marry launches national TV ad declaring ‘It’s time’ for marriage

Friday, September 26, 2014
freedom-to-marry-video
A new national television advertisement released by Freedom to Marry will begin airing on Sunday morning network news shows in Washington, D.C. The 30-second spot, which will later be broadcast on cable news programs next week, declares, “It’s time” for the freedom to marry and tells the stories of same-sex couples and their families in 31 ...

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Arkansas Catholic diocese wants to enter same-sex marriage suit

Friday, September 26, 2014
Bishop Anthony Taylor
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The leader of Arkansas' Roman Catholic diocese wants the state's highest court to consider his thoughts on the voter-approved same-sex marriage ban. Anthony Taylor, the bishop of Little Rock, asked the Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday to accept a friend of the court brief that argues justices should uphold Arkansas...

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