New & Noteworthy:

Marriage Equality

As of November 20, 2014:

In the United States, same-sex marriage is legal in 35 states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, 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, 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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Alaska has spent over $100K defending same-sex marriage lawsuit

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Alaska
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The state of Alaska has spent more than $103,000 to defend a lawsuit that overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

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Judge issues first same-sex marriage licenses in South Carolina

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
South-Carolina
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- A judge issued the first same-sex marriage licenses in South Carolina on Wednesday, even as the state attorney general asked the U.S. Supreme Court to step in and block the unions. Judge Irvin Condon's office handed out six licenses in the first 90 minutes the Charleston County Probate Court office was open...

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Consumer products giant Procter & Gamble supports marriage equality

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
procter_gamble
CINCINNATI, Ohio -- Procter & Gamble, makers of some of the world's best known brands -- including Charmin, Crest, Gillette, Pampers, and Tide -- said Tuesday it openly supports same-sex marriage.

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Florida AG wants appeals court to extend stay on same-sex marriage ruling

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Attorney General Pam Bondi (R-Fla.)
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is asking to keep intact the state's ban on same-sex marriage until ongoing appeals have finished.

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South Carolina AG to ask U.S. Supreme Court to block same-sex marriages

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Attorney General Alan Wilson (R-S.C.)
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson says he will go to the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent same-sex marriages from beginning in the state on Thursday.

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Springfield, Mo., school district grants benefits to married same-sex couples

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Springfield, Mo.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Married same-sex couples will be eligible for health benefits from the Springfield school district, starting Dec. 1.

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Arkansas same-sex marriage ban heading to state, federal courts this week

Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Arkansas-flag
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas' highest court and a federal judge will hear arguments this week over the state's ban on same-sex marriage, a decade after voters approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Attorneys for the state and a group of gay couples are scheduled to appear before the ...

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Kansas Supreme Court lifts hold on marriage licenses for same-sex couples

Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Kansas
TOPEKA, Kan. -- The Kansas Supreme Court cleared the way Tuesday for additional gay marriages in the state's most populous county while declaring that it would defer to the federal courts on whether Kansas' ban on same-sex marriages is constitutional. The Kansas court also declined to say whether all of the state's 105 counties fall under a...

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Fourth Circuit rejects attempt to delay same-sex marriage in South Carolina

Tuesday, November 18, 2014
The Lewis F. Powell Jr. Courthouse in Richmond, Va., is home to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
RICHMOND, Va. -- A federal appeals court on Tuesday cleared the way for same-sex couples to be married in South Carolina beginning this week - at least for now. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, denied the state's request to block the marriages while it appeals a lower court's ruling overturning South Carolina's ban on gay marriage.

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Florida AG appeals same-sex marriage rulings in state, federal appeals courts

Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Attorney General Pam Bondi (R-Fla.)
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has filed appeals in both state and federal appeals courts, seeking to overturn a number of rulings declaring Florida's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional by declaring that the trial courts' rulings "were wrong."

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