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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Ethics committee: Ariz. judges cannot turn away gay couples who want to marry

Monday, March 16, 2015
Kevin Patterson, left, and David Larance, plaintiffs in one of two challenges to Arizona's same-sex marriage ban, kiss after exchanging vows, as Rev. John Dorhaer, who performed the ceremony, stands at right, Friday, Oct. 17, 2014, in Phoenix. Gay marriage has become legal in Arizona after the state's conservative attorney general said Friday that he wouldn't challenge a federal court decision that cleared the way for same-sex unions in the state.
The opinion issued by a state judiciary ethics advisory committee said rejecting same-sex couples would violate a judicial-conduct rule against bias or prejudice based on sexual orientation. [...]

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VIDEO

Marriage News Watch: March 16, 2015

Monday, March 16, 2015
Ted Ribey with the Clerk of District Court's office in Yellowstone County attaches a seal to the wedding license of Jill Houk and Randi Paul, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014, in Billings, Mont. At least 5 other clerks in the county are refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Texas is pushing a proposed law that would let the state overrule the Supreme Court. There's just one problem: they can't actually do that. [...]

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Wisconsin poll: Marriage equality has had no adverse affect

Monday, March 16, 2015
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Even among Republican voters, 74 percent responded that granting marriage rights to same-sex couples hadn't had an adverse impact on their life. [...]

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Few top GOP officials back same-sex marriage at high court

Sunday, March 15, 2015
J. Scott Applewhite, AP
The list of Republicans who are supporting same-sex marriage, in a case set for arguments March 28 at the Supreme Court, is conspicuously short of sitting members of Congress and governors. [...]

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In far-flung U.S. territories, marriage equality has yet to arrive

Saturday, March 14, 2015
Puerto-Rico
While more than 70 percent of U.S. states now allow same-sex marriage, the waves of change have yet to reach America's far-flung and socially conservative territories in the Caribbean and Pacific. [...]

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Alabama judge grants divorce to gay couple amid halt to same-sex marriages

Friday, March 13, 2015
Judge Karen Hall
Madison County, Ala., Circuit Judge Karen Hall granted a divorce to a same-sex couple on Thursday, a year after denying the same request. [...]

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Ala. House approves bill allowing judges, ministers to refuse to marry gay couples

Thursday, March 12, 2015
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The bill does not mention same-sex marriage, but says judges, ministers and others don't have to conduct weddings contrary to their religious beliefs. [...]

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Okla. Senate approves bill allowing clergy to refuse to officiate gay weddings

Thursday, March 12, 2015
Oklahoma state capitol in Oklahoma City.
Critics say the bill was a waste of lawmakers time because religious institutions are already protected under federal law from having to solemnize same-sex unions. [...]

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Utah lawmakers approve bill allowing clerks to opt-out of marrying gay couples

Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Utah state capitol in Salt Lake City.
The bill requires a county clerk's office to designate someone who will marry all couples, including same-sex couples, if the clerk opts out. [...]

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Alabama probate judge faces conflicting orders on same-sex marriage

Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Mobile County, Ala., Probate Judge Don Davis
The Alabama Supreme Court issued an order Tuesday telling a Mobile County judge he could - and must - refuse a federal order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. [...]

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