New & Noteworthy:

Marriage Equality

As of October 21, 2014:

In the United States, same-sex marriage is legal in 31 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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Texas lawmaker pens letter to lesbian daughter pledging support for gay rights

| Sunday, June 15, 2014
Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa
In an open letter to his lesbian daughter, a Texas state lawmaker is using Father's Day to come out in support of gay rights. "It saddens me to know that you live your life in a society that views you as "different," or as someone who should not enjoy the same basic rights as a straight person does," writes Texas State Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa (D-McAllen).

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For marriage equality opponents, the losing streak continues to grow

| Sunday, June 15, 2014
Christine Weick protests outside a federal courthouse on March 3, 2014, before a trial that could overturn Michigan's ban on gay marriage in Detroit. Faced with a losing streak, some longtime opponents of gay marriage now say that its nationwide legalization via a Supreme Court ruling is inevitable. Others refuse to concede, and some leaders of that cohort will be rallying on Thursday, June 19, at a March for Marriage in Washington.
For foes of same-sex marriage, their losing streak keeps growing. Some sense a lost cause, others vow to fight on. On Election Day in 2012, they went 0-for-4 on state ballot measures. A year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal government must recognize same-sex marriages. And over the past seven months, more than a dozen...

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More than 500 married, same-sex couples in Wisconsin left in legal limbo

| Saturday, June 14, 2014
Rev. Tony Larsen and his partner Craig Matheus are refused a marriage license by Racine County Clerk Wendy Christensen in the clerk's office inside the Racine County Courthouse on Friday, June 13, 2014.
MILWAUKEE -- A federal judge's order for Wisconsin officials to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses didn't address the legal status of the more than 550 gay marriages conducted in the last week, and subsequent statements by state officials have not removed the uncertainty.

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Broader decision on Indiana same-sex marriage ban could be coming

| Saturday, June 14, 2014
Niki Quasney (left) and Amy Sandler.
INDIANAPOLIS -- A federal judge's lengthy deliberations on whether to stay his ruling recognizing a same-sex Indiana couple's marriage could signal that a broader decision is coming, legal experts say. The state asked a federal judge for the stay on May 8, and a marriage law expert says it is "absolutely unusual" for a judge to take so much time to grant a stay.

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Federal judge puts same-sex marriages in Wisconsin on hold pending appeal

| Friday, June 13, 2014
Sun Prairie, Wis., residents David Tyer, left, and Wesley Radtke exchange rings as Dane County Circuit Court Judge Rhonda Lanford presides over a marriage ceremony on the steps of the City County Building in Madison, Wis. Friday, June 6, 2014.
MADISON, Wis. -- Same-sex marriages have been put on hold in Wisconsin by a federal judge who last week struck down the state's gay marriage ban as unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb's ruling Friday means that same-sex marriages, which have been taking place across the state for a week, will end while the case is pending.

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Nebraska Supreme Court dismisses same-sex divorce appeal

| Friday, June 13, 2014
gavel
OMAHA, Neb. — Nebraska's Supreme Court dismissed an appeal Friday by woman legally wed to another woman in Iowa who is now seeking a divorce in the state where they live, saying it didn't have jurisdiction and therefore could not address the constitutional arguments raised about same-sex marriage and divorce in Nebraska.

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Judge suggests she will put same-sex marriages in Wisconsin on hold

| Friday, June 13, 2014
U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb
MADISON, Wis. -- The federal judge who struck down Wisconsin's ban on same sex marriage a week ago strongly suggested Friday she would put that ruling on hold, but said she likely would issue a clear order by the end of the day. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb didn't immediately rule after Friday's hearing, but hinted that she is likely to halt further marriages.

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Judge to hold hearing on Wisconsin same-sex marriages

| Friday, June 13, 2014
Rev. Tony Larsen and his partner Craig Matheus are refused a marriage license by Racine County Clerk Wendy Christensen in the clerk's office inside the Racine County Courthouse on Friday, June 13, 2014, in Racine, Wis. Racine County is one of a minority of counties in Wisconsin currently continuing to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
MADISON, Wis. -- Both sides of the fight over same-sex marriages in Wisconsin are headed back to federal court for a hearing that could determine whether the weddings can continue. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb scheduled the hearing for 1 p.m. on Friday.

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Hillary Clinton defends her support of same-sex marriage

| Thursday, June 12, 2014
Hillary Clinton participates in a conversation about her career in government and her new book, "Hard Choices.," at the Council on Foreign Relations, in New York, Thursday, June 12, 2014.
NEW YORK -- Hillary Rodham Clinton tersely defended her initial opposition to gay marriage, denying in a radio interview that political reasons were behind her shift last year to supporting same-sex marriage. She accused the host of the show of "playing with my words."

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Local resident to file lawsuit to stop Milwaukee County same-sex weddings

| Thursday, June 12, 2014
Bob Braun
MILWAUKEE — A Wisconsin man says the the legal process is moving too slowly so he’s filing a lawsuit to stop same-sex weddings in Milwaukee County, claiming that his civil rights are being violated because gay couples are marrying.

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