New & Noteworthy:

Marriage Equality

As of February 9, 2015:

In the United States, same-sex marriage is legal in 37 states (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, 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, 16 countries (Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, 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, Scotland, and Wales.) A marriage equality law will come into effect in Finland in 2016.

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Same-sex couple on Guam challenge island’s marriage laws

Monday, April 13, 2015
Loretta M. Pangelinan, left, and Kathleen M. Aguero in front of the U.S. District Court in Hagatna, Guam.
A lesbian couple on Guam has filed a legal challenge to the territory's marriage laws after they were barred from submitting a license to wed. [...]

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Tax Day poses unique challenges for many married, same-sex couples

Saturday, April 11, 2015
Taxes
Straight couples simply copy numbers from one form to another. But that doesn't work for same-sex couples reporting combined incomes, deductions and exemptions on their federal tax returns. These couples must untangle their finances on many state returns, where they are still considered single. [...]

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Wedding expos will be Indiana’s first for same-sex couples

Saturday, April 11, 2015
Wedding-expo
Indiana's first same-sex wedding expo will be held Sunday at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville. The second will be held next month in downtown Indianapolis. [...]

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Judge reduces legal fees claim in Wyoming same-sex marriage case

Saturday, April 11, 2015
wyoming
A federal judge has granted a request from the state of Wyoming to reduce how much the state must pay to lawyers who prevailed in the legal challenge that overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage. [...]

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At least 545 same-sex couples married in Alabama, state reports

Friday, April 10, 2015
Milton Persinger, left, and Robert Povilat, both of Mobile, Ala., get married at Government Plaza as the Rev. Sandy O'Steen from Cornerstone Metropolitan Community Church officiates. They were the first same-sex couple to get married in Mobile, Ala., Thursday Feb. 12, 2015.
The preliminary numbers were compiled by the Alabama Department of Public Health Department. The tally reflects marriages that occurred Feb. 9 to March 3. [...]

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Arkansas governor to move quickly on appointments for same-sex marriage case

Thursday, April 9, 2015
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.)
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he'll quickly appoint three special justices to hear a case a majority of the state Supreme Court says must be addressed before they can rule on whether to legalize same-sex marriage. [...]

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North Carolina AG says he’d veto religious exemption bills if governor

Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Attorney General Roy Cooper (R-N.C.)
North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, who is preparing a run for governor in 2016, says he rejects a proposal allowing public officials to cite religion for declining to serve same-sex couples. [...]

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Guam rejects lesbian couple’s marriage license application

Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Loretta M. Pangelinan, 28, holds the application for a marriage license that she and her fiancee, Kathleen M. Aguero, 28, will turn in at the Office of Vital Statistics in the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services on Wedneday, April 8, 2015.
Guam on Wednesday rejected a marriage license application from the first-same sex couple to apply for the document in the U.S. island territory. [...]

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Ted Cruz threatens to strip federal courts of jurisdiction over marriage equality

Monday, April 6, 2015
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
U.S. Sen. Tex Cruz (R-Texas), so far the only announced GOP candidate for president, on Monday threatened to prod Congress to strip the federal courts of its jurisdiciton of marriage cases if the U.S. Supreme Court rules this summer in favor of marriage equality. [...]

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Handful of holdout Native American tribes stand firm against same-sex marriage

Monday, April 6, 2015
dine-marriage-act-1
Even if a U.S. Supreme Court ruling this spring makes same-sex marriage the law, it would leave pockets of the country where it isn't likely to be recognized any time soon: the reservations of a handful of sovereign Native American tribes, including the two largest. [...]

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