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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 Florida, 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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Report: Marriage equality would add $53 million, new jobs to Mich. economy

| Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Brianne Bowen, The Ann Arbor News (AP)Mark Thiesmeyer and Matt Hook of Ann Arbor get married by Rev. Roger Pohl after more than 12 years together outside the Washtenaw County Administration Building in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, March 22, 2014, the day after a federal court struck down Michigan's ban on gay marriage.
Extending marriage to same-sex couples in Michigan would generate an estimated $53.2 million in spending to the state’s economy and generate over 500 new jobs over three years, according to a new study. Researchers at the Williams Institute, an independent think tank at UCLA’s School of Law, estimates that — based on 2010 U.S. Census data...

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Israel OK’s gay Jews to immigrate with non-Jewish same-sex spouses

| Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Jerusalem-pride
JERUSALEM -- Israel says it will now allow Jews to immigrate to Israel with their non-Jewish same-sex spouses. In a directive publicized Tuesday, Israeli Interior Minister Gideon Saar told immigration authorities not to differentiate between married gay and straight couples. Israeli law grants citizenship to Jews and close non-Jewish relatives who move to Israel.

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Ind. asks federal appeals court to overturn same-sex marriage ruling

| Monday, August 11, 2014
Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS -- Attorneys who want a federal appeals court to overrule a judge who threw out Indiana's same-sex marriage ban say there's no constitutional right to marry a person of the same sex. The Indiana attorney general's office on Monday filed its final brief with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, repeating its argument that traditional marriage is in the interest of the state.

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ON THE BLOG

Marriage News Watch: Sixth Circuit recap, 3 states head to Supreme Court

| Monday, August 11, 2014
Gay marriage supporters march from the Potter Stewart United States Courthouse, rear, Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, to Fountain Square in Cincinnati.
This week’s Marriage News Watch report from Matt Baume at the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) recaps last week's hearings in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in the challenges to four states' same-sex marriage bans, while appeals from three other states land at the U.S. Supreme Court. Plus, Wisconsin organizers have formed a new group called ...

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Nepal’s LGBT community parades for same-sex marriage

| Monday, August 11, 2014
A participant poses as hundreds of Nepal's LGBT citizens parade through the streets during Gaijatra festival in Katmandu, Nepal, Monday, Aug. 11, 2014. The Hindu festival to remember the dead is gleefully overtaken each year by the country's gay community in this socially conservative Hindu-majority nation.
KATMANDU, Nepal -- Hundreds of Nepal's LGBT citizens are parading through Nepal's capital to celebrate Gaijatra, a Hindu festival gleefully overtaken each year by the country's gay community and cheered by onlookers. Thousands of Nepalese lined the cobblestoned streets of Katmandu's old city Monday to catch a glimpse of those parading, some carrying banners...

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Challenge to Mo. same-sex marriage ban heads to trial

| Monday, August 11, 2014
Missouri
ST. LOUIS -- A legal challenge to Missouri's same-sex marriage ban returns to court in St. Louis. The city issued marriage licenses to four same-sex couples in June, setting up a court fight in a state where gay marriage is banned under a 2004 amendment to the Missouri Constitution.

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Neb. holds to one of the nation’s most restrictive same-sex marriage bans

| Saturday, August 9, 2014
Nebraska
OMAHA, Neb. -- As state bans on same-sex marriages fall across the country, some Nebraska officials are holding strong to that state's status of having one of the nation's most restrictive laws, which affects some of the most basic aspects of gay couples' lives - from driver's licenses to parenting rights.

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Va. AG asks U.S. Supreme Court to review same-sex marriage ruling

| Friday, August 8, 2014
Attorney General Mark Herring (D-Va.)
RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring on Friday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision that struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, giving the high court its third such case to choose from when justices return in October. Herring, who declined to defend the ban in federal court and who said he supports the lower court’s decision ...

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Tenn. judge upholds gay marriage ban in same-sex couple’s divorce case

| Friday, August 8, 2014
Tennessee
KINGSTON, Tenn. -- A Tennessee judge has ruled that two men who married in Iowa and later moved to Tennessee cannot be granted a divorce because the state doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage. In his ruling, Roane County, Tenn., Circuit Court Judge Russell E. Simmons Jr., upheld Tennessee’s ban on same-sex marriage and said state laws now in effect ...

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Fla. AG wants U.S. Supreme Court to decide if states can ban gay marriage

| Friday, August 8, 2014
Attorney General Pam Bondi (R-Fla.)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida's attorney general is asking state courts to stop considering same-sex marriage cases until the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether states have the right to ban gay marriage. Attorney General Pam Bondi filed two motions on Friday in a state appeals court, requesting a freeze on appeals of cases concerning the state's constitutional ...

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