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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Michigan, Kentucky couples take gay marriage cases to U.S. Supreme Court

Monday, November 17, 2014
WJBK-TVJayne Rowse (left) and April DeBoer are plaintiffs in a challenge to Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage.
WASHINGTON -- A same-sex couple from Michigan is putting the question of the right to marry nationwide squarely before the Supreme Court. The couple's plea to be allowed to marry was being filed Monday. It asks the justices to hold that state laws prohibiting same-sex couples from getting married violate "our nation's most cherished and essential guarantees."

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Same-sex couples file suit challenging Nebraska gay marriage ban

Monday, November 17, 2014
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Seven same-sex couples filed a federal lawsuit Monday asking the state of Nebraska to recognize their marriages and challenging the constitutionality of the state's ban. American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska Executive Director Danielle Conrad said it's time for the state to extend the freedom to marry to all of its citizens.

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Couple asks federal court to allow gay marriages to proceed in South Carolina

Monday, November 17, 2014
Nichols Beckley, left and, Colleen Condon after their application for a marriage license was accepted on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 by a probate judge in Charleston. S.C. The couple will receive the license Thursday after a 24-hour waiting period unless the issuance is stayed by the South Carolina Supreme Court or another appropriate court.
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Gay marriages should be allowed to proceed in South Carolina because the state is unlikely to win its appeal to block them and has not shown it would suffer harm if such marriages take place, attorneys for a same-sex couple say.

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Rob Portman’s political future now tied to his support for marriage equality

Monday, November 17, 2014
This family portrait provided by the office of U.S. Sen. Rob Portman shows, from left, his son, Will; wife, Jane; Sen. Portman; daughter, Sally, and son, Jed in Terrace Park, Ohio. Portman, who was on Mitt Romney's running mate short list in 2012 is considering his own 2016 presidential run. But such a plan could be complicated by the fallout from his newfound support for same-sex marriage when he learned his son Will is gay - the reversal upset some conservatives who oppose it.
LEBANON, Ohio -- For better or for worse, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman's political future has become tied to same-sex marriage. The Republican who was on Mitt Romney's running mate short list two years ago is considering his own 2016 presidential run. But such a plan could be complicated by the fallout from Portman's newfound support for same-sex marriage...

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Nicolas Sarkozy: France’s same-sex marriage law should be scrapped

Sunday, November 16, 2014
Nicolas Sarkozy
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, who has embarked on a political comeback and is expected to run again for president in 2017, said Saturday that France's marriage equality law should be scrapped.

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Colin Farrell pleads for marriage equality in Ireland: ‘This is personal to me’

Sunday, November 16, 2014
Colin Farrell (right) with his brother Eamon
Actor Colin Farrell writes in this week’s Sunday World a personal appeal to the people of Ireland to vote in favor of marriage equality. In the heartfelt plea, Farrell recalls how his older brother Eamon was bullied as a child for being gay, and that it is “insane” that his brother had to travel to another country to get married.

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Same-sex couple’s divorce case before Mississippi Supreme Court

Sunday, November 16, 2014
JACKSON, Miss. -- The attorney for a woman who wants the state of Mississippi to recognize her same-sex marriage in order to grant a divorce says his client's case is on a parallel track to the efforts in federal court to overturn the state's ban on gay marriage.

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N.C. county approves non-binding resolution opposing marriage equality

Sunday, November 16, 2014
GASTONIA, N.C. — Commissioners in Gaston County, N.C., have approved a resolution opposing same-sex marriage. The non-binding resolution approved Thursday carries no legal weight, but commissioners said they wanted to let residents know where they stand on the issue now that same-sex marriage is legal in North Carolina.

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Mich. lawyers say appeals court ruling voids more than 300 same-sex marriages

Saturday, November 15, 2014
Marsha Caspar, 51, left, and Glenna DeJong, 53, of Lansing, Mich., sign documents March 22, 2014, before they were married at the Ingham County Courthouse in Mason, Mich.
DETROIT -- Attorneys for the state of Michigan argued on Friday that a federal appeals court ruling last week that upheld the state's ban on same-sex marriage invalidates the unions of 300 same-sex couples who were married earlier this year.

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Judge in South Dakota rejects motion to dismiss challenge to gay marriage ban

Friday, November 14, 2014
PIERRE, S.D. -- South Dakota’s marriage equality lawsuit is moving forward after U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier on Friday rejected the State’s motion for the case to be dismissed.

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