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Marriage Equality

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, the United States 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.

In the United States, same-sex marriage is legal in 19 states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington), and in the District of Columbia.

Federal or state judges in Idaho, Oklahoma, Virginia, Michigan, Texas, Utah and Arkansas recently have found state same-sex marriage bans to be unconstitutional. Judges also have ordered Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Indiana to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. All rulings have been stayed pending appeals.

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Catholic worker fired after her same-sex marriage became public sues diocese

| Thursday, July 17, 2014
In this April 22, 2014 photo Colleen Simon fills an order for a family of seven at the food pantry of St. Francis Xavier in Kansas City, Mo.
A parish food pantry worker who was fired over her marriage to another woman sued the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph on Thursday, the latest in a growing number of clashes over gay rights between Roman Catholic leaders and their employees nationwide. Colleen Simon, 57, said the diocese and the parish where she worked knew she was married ...

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Conn. Supreme Court affirms pre-gay marriage rights in landmark ruling

| Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Margaret-Mueller-Charlotte-Stacey
HARTFORD, Conn. -- Connecticut's highest court ruled Wednesday that some legal rights of same-sex couples predate the state's approvals of civil unions in 2005 and same-sex marriage in 2008, a decision that gay rights supporters call the first of its kind in the country. The state Supreme Court issued a 6-0 decision overturning two lower court rulings and allowing ...

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Utah asks U.S. Supreme Court to delay benefits to married same-sex couples

| Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Utah state capitol in Salt Lake City
SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to extend a stay that's preventing more than 1,000 same-sex couples from getting state benefits. Utah filed its appeal Wednesday, arguing that benefits should be delayed while the larger issue of the marriage ban makes its way through the courts.

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Ohio AG tells appeals court gay marriage decision should be left to voters

| Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Attorney General Mike DeWine (R-Ohio)
CINCINNATI -- The Ohio Attorney General's Office urged a federal appeals court to reject arguments that the state should have to recognize same-sex marriage, saying the decision should be left to voters. The arguments, filed Tuesday in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, are a preview of what's to come on Aug. 6, when a three-judge panel...

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First Mississippi mayor announces his support for marriage equality

| Wednesday, July 16, 2014
David Garcia
WAVELAND, Miss. -- Waveland mayor David Garcia has announced his support for same-sex marriage, marking the first time a sitting mayor in the state of Mississippi has publicly supported marriage equality. Garcia has added his name to "Mayors for the Freedom to Marry," a nationwide effort consisting of more than 450 U.S. mayors advocating for marriage equality.

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Couples ask federal judge to strike down Ark. same-sex marriage ban

| Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Arkansas
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Attorneys for two same-sex couples in Arkansas are asking a federal judge to issue an order striking down the state's same-sex marriage ban. Attorneys for the couples filed a motion Wednesday for summary judgment, asking U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker to issue an order striking down the state constitutional amendment ...

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Wis. files new request seeking full court review of same-sex marriage ruling

| Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Wisconsin
MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin attorneys have asked the entire 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to hear their arguments on upholding the state's gay marriage ban. Federal judges have struck down bans in both Wisconsin and Indiana. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals consolidated both states' appeals last week. Ten judges sit on the 7th Circuit but three-judge panels ...

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Immigrant rights group loses Catholic funds over gay marriage affiliation

| Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Voz-volunteers-1
PORTLAND, Ore. -- A Catholic organization has decided to cut off long-standing funding to a Portland, Oregon, immigrant rights group over its affiliation with an organization that supports same-sex marriage. Voz Workers' Rights Education lost a $75,000 grant in June from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. The group is the anti-poverty program of ...

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Wis. Democratic lawmakers ask Walker to drop same-sex marriage appeal

| Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison.
MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin Democrats are asking Gov. Scott Walker and fellow Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to drop their defense of the state's gay marriage ban, arguing it's a waste of money. Fifteen Democratic state senators and 25 Democratic representatives sent letters to Walker and Van Hollen on Wednesday.

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7th Circuit rejects Wis. bid to join Ind. request for full court marriage hearing

| Wednesday, July 16, 2014
courthouse
MADISON, Wis. -- A federal appeals court has rejected Wisconsin's initial bid to join Indiana in seeking a full-court hearing on the two states' bans on same-sex marriage. But the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said Tuesday that Wisconsin could file its own request.

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