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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Arizona lawmakers consider response to fall of same-sex marriage ban

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
The Arizona state capitol in Phoenix.
PHOENIX -- The end of Arizona's ban on same-sex marriage has legislators staking out a range of positions on what they should and shouldn't do in response. The gay rights issue caused turmoil at the Capitol last spring when lawmakers passed a religious-rights bill allowing businesses to deny service to gays and lesbians. Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed the bill.

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Nevada issues 255 marriage licenses to same-sex couples in first week

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Cathy Grimes kisses her partner Tara Traynor while waiting in line for a same sex marriage license at the Marriage License Bureau in Las Vegas.
LAS VEGAS -- Of the 2,344 couples who lined up at marriage license bureaus across the state in the seven days after courts put an end to the state's gay marriage ban, about 255 were same-sex couples. The figures were based on polling by The Associated Press of each county clerk.

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Ninth Circuit declares Hawaii same-sex marriage lawsuit moot

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Hawaii-flag
HONOLULU -- A 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling has quietly ended a last-ditch court fight against a Hawaii law allowing same-sex marriage. The court issued an opinion earlier this month declaring moot a lawsuit filed by a Hawaii couple seeking to marry before the state legalized gay marriage last year. Natasha Jackson and Janin Kleid ...

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Federal judge in Puerto Rico upholds ban on same-sex marriage

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Puerto-Rico
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- A federal court judge has rejected an attempt to end a ban on same-sex marriages in Puerto Rico, saying political order itself depends on traditional marriage and deriding the logic of courts that have overturned such bans. The five gay couples who filed the suit will appeal, their attorney said Wednesday.

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GOP leader to plans legislation to protect N.C. officials who refuse to marry gays

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Phil Berger
RALEIGH, N.C. -- A top North Carolina Republican said Thursday that he will back a bill protecting state officials who refuse to issue marriage licenses or perform weddings for same-sex couples. Senate Leader Phil Berger Sr. said he will introduce legislation in response to a magistrate in his home county who decided to resign instead of agreeing ...

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Judge sets November hearing in challenge to Montana gay marriage ban

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Montana
HELENA, Mont. -- A judge has set a Nov. 20 hearing in Great Falls for arguments in a lawsuit challenging Montana's ban on gay marriage. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris scheduled the hearing Monday after four gay couples filed a motion for summary judgment that asks the judge to decide the case without a trial.

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Almost everything you’ve been told about the Idaho wedding chapel story is a lie

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Hitching Post wedding chapel, Coeur D Alene, ID
The religious right is spewing hate and lies, claiming that two ministers are being forced to marry same-sex couples -- even claiming the ministers have been arrested. How is this possible? Two ministers, Donald and Evelyn Knapp, own a for-profit wedding chapel in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, but say they cannot marry same-sex couples because of their faith...

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Idaho governor asks 11-judge panel to review same-sex marriage ruling

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter (R-Idaho)
BOISE, Idaho -- Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter is asking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for an 11-judge panel to review the three-judge ruling that overturned Idaho's same-sex marriage ban last week. Otter announced Tuesday in a news release that the federal judges failed to use the correct legal standard to Idaho's Constitutional definition of marriage.

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Wisconsin governor trumpets opposition to abortion, same-sex marriage

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.)
MADISON, Wis. -- Republican Gov. Scott Walker hasn't said much publicly about his positions on abortion or same-sex marriage, but he proudly trumpets his stances on both issues in a letter to a conservative group whose endorsement he wants.

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Marriage equality in the ‘Equality State’ – Wyoming legalizes same-sex marriage

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Wyoming marriage
CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Wyoming stood poised Tuesday to become the latest state to allow gay marriage, bringing the national wave of expanded rights for same-sex couples to a state where the 1998 beating death of Matthew Shepard still influences national perceptions. The state was scheduled to file a legal notice saying it won't defend...

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