New & Noteworthy:

Marriage Equality

As of October 21, 2014:

In the United States, same-sex marriage is legal in 31 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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Federal judge strikes down Arizona same-sex marriage ban

| Friday, October 17, 2014
Arizona
PHOENIX -- Same-sex marriage has become legal in Arizona after the state's conservative attorney general said Friday that he wouldn't challenge a federal court decision that cleared the way for same-sex unions in the state. The announcement prompted gay couples in Phoenix to immediately begin lining up at the downtown courthouse to apply for...

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Federal government to recognize same-sex marriages in 7 new states

| Friday, October 17, 2014
Fresh from being married by the Denver mayor at the city clerk office on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014, Fran, left, and Anna Simon hold a sign during a rally staged by Why Marriage Matters Colorado on the steps of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.
WASHINGTON -- The federal government is recognizing same-sex marriages in seven more states. The states are Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Colorado and Nevada. The Justice Department says it will ensure that same-sex couples in those states are given federal benefits as soon as possible.

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Wyoming governor says state shouldn’t appeal gay marriage loss

| Thursday, October 16, 2014
Gov. Matt Mead (R-Wyo.)
RIVERTON, Wyo. -- Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead says the state shouldn't appeal if a federal judge rules against it in a federal lawsuit challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage. Mead addressed the issue Thursday night in a Wyoming Public Television debate in Riverton.

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Challenge to South Dakota same-sex marriage ban heads to federal court

| Thursday, October 16, 2014
South-Dakota
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- A federal judge could decide Friday whether to dismiss a lawsuit challenging South Dakota's ban on gay marriage, with attorneys for both sides expected to argue their case as similar fights play out across the nation.

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Arizona: Judge should delay gay marriage because 9th Circuit hasn’t issued mandate

| Thursday, October 16, 2014
Arizona
PHOENIX -- Lawyers for the state of Arizona agree that the state's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional because of an appeals court ruling. But attorneys for Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne urged a federal judge to delay overturning the ban because last week's order from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is not yet final.

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Alaska officials ask U.S. Supreme Court to stay same-sex marriage ruling

| Thursday, October 16, 2014
Alaska-sign
The state of Alaska is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a stay of a District Court's ruling earlier this week striking down the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

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Judge to rule by Monday in challenge to Wyoming same-sex marriage ban

| Thursday, October 16, 2014
Bonnie Robinson, left, and her partner, Anne Guzzo, give a thumbs-up to a passing motorist while speaking with Carl Oleson and his partner, Rob Johnston, right, before a hearing on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, at the Ewing T. Kerr Federal Building in Casper, Wyo. U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl will hear arguments in Guzzo v. Mead, a case brought forth by four same-sex couples alleging the state's refusal to acknowledge their right to marry or legally recognize their out-of-state marriages.
CASPER, Wyo. -- A federal judge says he will rule by Monday on whether Wyoming must allow same-sex couples to wed. U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl heard arguments Thursday in Casper on a lawsuit filed by four same-sex couples seeking to force Wyoming to allow gay marriage in response to federal court rulings that apply to the state.

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South Carolina AG says same-sex marriage decision may take months

| Thursday, October 16, 2014
Attorney General Alan Wilson (R-S.C.)
BLUFFTON, S.C. -- South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson says any final decision on the legality of same-sex marriage in the state could be months away. Area media outlets report Wilson made the comment during a campaign stop at Sun City near Hilton Head Island on Wednesday when he was confronted by a same-sex couple who...

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Same-sex marriage battle moves to federal court in Wyoming

| Thursday, October 16, 2014
wyoming
CASPER, Wyo. -- The legal battle to allow same-sex couples to wed moves to a federal court in Wyoming, one of the dwindling number of states still fighting to keep state gay marriage bans in place. U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl scheduled a hearing Thursday on a lawsuit filed by four same-sex couples seeking to force Wyoming to allow...

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9th Circuit grants temporary stay of Alaska same-sex marriages

| Wednesday, October 15, 2014
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO -- The federal appeals court for the West on Wednesday issued a temporary halt to gay marriages in Alaska, just hours before most couples would be allowed to tie the knot. A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco granted a temporary halt until late Friday morning to allow the state to take its case...

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