New & Noteworthy:

Marriage Equality

As of October 21, 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 in the Fall of 2014.) Same-sex marriage in Luxembourg will come into effect Jan. 1, 2015.

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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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North Carolina magistrates directed to officiate same-sex marriages

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Lee Plume, left, and Dean Lindsey, right, kiss following their marriage ceremony outside the Mecklenburg County and Courts Office building during marriage ceremonies on Monday, Oct. 13, 2014. Monday was the first day that gay couples could marry in Mecklenburg County after a judge's ruling.
RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina magistrates were directed Wednesday to perform civil marriages for same-sex couples or face suspension or dismissal from their state jobs. Pamela Weaver Best, general counsel for the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, sent a letter to state magistrates saying they would be violating their oaths ...

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Federal judge asked to rule on Montana’s same-sex marriage ban

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Jimmy Emerson
HELENA, Mont. -- Four couples challenging Montana's ban on same-sex marriages have asked a federal judge to decide the issue without going to trial. The couples, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, filed the request Wednesday.

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Alaska asks federal appeals court to delay same-sex marriages

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Alaska-flag
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The state of Alaska is asking a federal appeals court for a stay after a judge ruled the state's gay marriage ban is unconstitutional. The state seeks the stay from the 9th Circuit Court while it appeals the lower court's opinion.

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Groups file federal lawsuit to force South Carolina to allow same-sex marriages

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Colleen Condon, left, and her partner Nichols Bleckley appear at a news conference in Charleston, S.C., on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, shortly after filing a federal lawsuit seeking the right to marry in South Carolina.
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- South Carolina Equality and Lambda Legal on Wednesday filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court arguing that South Carolina is obligated to allow same-sex couples to marry, consistent with a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

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Lambda Legal urges federal judge to strike down Arizona gay marriage ban

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Arizona
PHOENIX -- Lambda Legal on Wednesday urged a federal court judge in Phoenix to issue an immediate ruling striking down Arizona’s ban on same-sex marriage. The filing follows last Tuesday’s ruling by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals striking down gay marriage bans in Nevada and Idaho, which came just a day after the announcement...

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Idaho begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Idaho marriage
BOISE, Idaho -- The state of Idaho has begun issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Dozens of couples waiting in line at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise on Wednesday morning cheered as state officials begin issuing the licenses moments ago.

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Alaska’s first same-sex marriages performed in Arctic town of Barrow

Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Alaska's first same-sex couples to marry are (from left) Kristine Hilderbrand and Sarah Ellis, Kelly Cahoon and Bernice Oyagak.
BARROW, Alaska -- A remote outpost on Alaska's Arctic Coast where people are used to doing their own thing has applied that independent streak to gay marriage. A magistrate in Barrow, Alaska - the nation's northernmost community, and one that cannot be reached by road, has performed what is believed to be the state's first gay marriage ceremonies...

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