New & Noteworthy:

Marriage Equality

As of November 20, 2014:

In the United States, same-sex marriage is legal in 35 states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, 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, 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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Tennessee breaks ranks, tells Supreme Court to stay out of marriage debate

Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Tennessee
Tennessee argues that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit got it right when it upheld same-sex marriage bans, and that there is no need for Supreme Court Justices to step in now.   [...]

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South Carolina 4th Circuit appeal of same-sex marriage cases

Monday, December 15, 2014
The Lewis F. Powell Jr. Courthouse in Richmond, Va., is home to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
The Fourth Circuit has consolidated the two South Caroling marriage cases and granted the state's motion to put the appeals on hold while they seek relief from the U.S. Supreme Court. [...]

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Florida application to Justice Thomas for stay of same-sex marriage ruling

Monday, December 15, 2014
U.S. Supreme Court
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has filed an emergency petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to keep the state’s ban on same-sex marriage in place past Jan. 5. [...]

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Florida AG Pam Bondi asks Supreme Court to keep gay marriage ban in place

Monday, December 15, 2014
Attorney General Pam Bondi (R-Fla.)
Bondi and attorneys in her office filed the request with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who oversees emergency appeals from Florida, Alabama and Georgia. [...]

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Finland’s parliament approves marriage equality proposal at second reading

Monday, December 15, 2014
Finland
The initiative to legalize same-sex marriage was approved 101–90 by the full session of Parliament at its second reading on December 12. [...]

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Marriage News Watch: Dec. 15, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014
AP
New research shows why marriage equality has been so successful so fast. Plus, a recap of last week's marriage equality developments. [...]

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Ohio asks U.S. Supreme Court to rule on constitutionality of gay marriage bans

Sunday, December 14, 2014
Attorney General Mike DeWine (R-Ohio)
With the Ohio response, there are now four new same-sex marriage cases that are nearly ready for the Justices’ first look. [...]

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Blue Cross extends coverage to married same-sex couples in Alabama

Sunday, December 14, 2014
alabama
Despite Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage, the coverage extends to those married out-of-state in order to comply with a federal rule. [...]

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Lawyers who fought Wisconsin marriage ban seek $1.2 million in legal fees

Sunday, December 14, 2014
Kem Highfill, left, and Richard Rehm fill out their marriage license at county clerks office Saturday, June 7, 2014, in Madison, Wis. after a federal judge struck down the state's gay marriage ban.
Thirteen lawyers and a team of paralegals spent 2,393 hours on the case; they say the large costs are due to the state's vigorous defense of the ban. [...]

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North Carolina GOP leaders to appeal gay marriage ruling to U.S. Supreme Court

Saturday, December 13, 2014
North CarolinaSenate leader Phil Berger (left) and House Speaker Thom Tillis.
The leaders of the two branches of the North Carolina state legislature notified a federal court on Friday that they will ask the Supreme Court to rule promptly on the constitutionality of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. In a filing at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth [...]

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