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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Eureka Springs, Ark., hosts first ‘mass gay wedding reception in Bible Belt’

Monday, August 4, 2014
Just-married
EUREKA SPRINGS, Ark. -- The city of Eureka Springs hosted the first “mass gay wedding reception in the Bible Belt” on Saturday, welcoming hundreds of guests from across the region to celebrate the more than 500 same-sex couples married in Arkansas in May after a state judge invalidated the state's [...]

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Okla. same-sex marriage decision to be appealed to Supreme Court

Sunday, August 3, 2014
Oklahoma
TULSA, Okla. -- The federal appeals court decision that upheld a district court ruling striking down Oklahoma's same-sex marriage ban will be one of at least three same-sex marriage rulings appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Alliance Defending Freedom, the conservative legal group representing the Tulsa County court clerk, told [...]

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Minn. No. 2 House Republican on ropes over vote for same-sex marriage

Sunday, August 3, 2014
Rep. Jenifer Loon (R), of Eden Prairie canvases her neighborhood as she prepares for the Republican primary in Eden Prairie, Minn. Wednesday, July 30, 2014. Loon faces challenger Shelia Kihne in the Republican primary election on August 12.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- As second-in-command for Minnesota House Republicans, Rep. Jenifer Loon made a big gamble when she broke with her party's prevailing view on gay marriage. Loon's vote to make same-sex legal prompted her former campaign manager to try to take her seat, and Loon now faces a [...]

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Ohio’s same-sex marriage debate goes beyond courtroom

Saturday, August 2, 2014
AP (File)
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The debate over Ohio's ban on same-sex marriage extends beyond the courtroom to libraries, community centers, living rooms and city streets. Supporters of same-sex marriage are holding town hall meetings and house parties to try to sway more Ohioans to their side. Other backers have circulated petitions [...]

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County clerk seeks stay in Va. same-sex marriage ruling

Friday, August 1, 2014
Michele B. McQuigg
RICHMOND, Va. -- A county court clerk in northern Virginia is seeking to delay a federal appeals court ruling striking down the state's same-sex marriage ban. A panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond ruled Monday that Virginia's same-sex marriage ban approved by voters in 2006 [...]

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S.C. gubernatorial candidate: Time to stop defending same-sex marriage ban

Friday, August 1, 2014
Vincent Sheheen
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- — Gov. Nikki Haley's Democratic challenger says South Carolina should "pause" in defending a lawsuit trying to overturn the state's same-sex marriage ban. Camden Sen. Vincent Sheheen's statement comes days after a federal appeals court ruled Virginia's similar ban is unconstitutional. South Carolina is in the same [...]

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Minnesota, Rhode Island celebrate first anniversary of marriage equality

Friday, August 1, 2014
Stacy Bengs, APMargaret Miles, right, celebrates with wife Cathy ten Broeke, left, after they were married at the Minneapolis Freedom to Marry Celebration and Weddings, Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013 at the Minneapolis City Hall.
It's been a year since same-sex couples in Minnesota and Rhode Island gained the right to legally marry. The anniversary of the state allowing same-sex marriage arrived Friday. It was a quieter scene than last year when couples lined up to exchange vows at the stroke of midnight. [...]

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Professional skateboarder Tony Hawk voices support for marriage equality

Friday, August 1, 2014
Tony-Hawk
Professional skateboarder Tony Hawk voices his support for marriage equality in the latest video from the Human Rights Campaign's "Americans For Marriage Equality" campaign. In the video, Hawk states, “We all deserve to follow our hearts, and we need to continue working until every state recognizes marriage as an equal [...]

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Judge asked to lift stay in challenge to W.Va. same-sex marriage ban

Thursday, July 31, 2014
West-Virginia
HUNTINGTON, W.V. -- Attorneys for three same-sex couples challenging West Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage are asking a federal judge to to lift a stay it had entered pending the decision of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in similar challenge in neighboring Virginia. [...]

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Ginsburg: U.S. Supreme Court won’t ‘duck’ same-sex marriage issue

Thursday, July 31, 2014
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
WASHINGTON -- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says the Supreme Court won't duck the issue of same-sex marriage the next time a case comes to the court. The 81-year-old Ginsburg said in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday that she expects a same-sex marriage case to be heard and [...]

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