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. On May 22, 2015, Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage by a popular vote of its citizens.

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Michigan plaintiffs to appeal same-sex marriage ruling to U.S. Supreme Court

Thursday, November 6, 2014
WJBK-TVJayne Rowse (left) and April DeBoer are plaintiffs in a challenge to Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage.
DETROIT -- An attorney for two Detroit-area nurses who challenged Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage says they'll next go to the U.S. Supreme Court. Carole Stanyar spoke to The Associated Press after an appeals court reinstated the ban Thursday. In a 2-1 decision, the court overturned a ruling that found [...]

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6th Circuit Court upholds same-sex marriage bans in four states

Thursday, November 6, 2014
The Potter Stewart U.S. Courthouse in Cincinnati is the home of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The court heard arguments in six same-sex marriage cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. A ruling in those cases is pending.
CINCINNATI -- A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld same-sex marriage bans in four states, breaking ranks with other courts that have considered the issue and setting up the prospect of Supreme Court review. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel that heard arguments on gay marriage bans or [...]

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N. Ireland bakery threatened with legal action over refusing gay rights cake

Thursday, November 6, 2014
The requested cake, as provided by another bakery.
A Christian-owned bakery in Northern Ireland that earlier this year refused to make a cake for a local gay rights organization’s event, has been ordered to apologize and pay compensation or face legal action. In July, Ashers Baking Co., in Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland, refused to bake a novelty cake featuring [...]

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Court official defends directive that N.C. magistrates officiate gay weddings

Thursday, November 6, 2014
Judge John W. Smith
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The chief administrator of North Carolina's courts says magistrates are duty-bound to marry gay couples and says he finds no federal law or rulings that would exempt them based on religious beliefs opposing same-sex marriage. [...]

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Many Missouri counties not granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Thursday, November 6, 2014
Missouri
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Many local officials across Missouri were declining to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples Thursday, saying a court ruling invalidating the state's gay marriage ban applies only to St. Louis. [...]

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Judge orders end to Houston same-sex spouse benefits; city says they’ll remain

Thursday, November 6, 2014
Jared Woodfill
HOUSTON -- A state court judge in Texas on Wednesday ordered the city of Houston to stop providing benefits to the same-sex spouses of city employees, but city officials say a federal court has already ruled that the benefits can continue. [...]

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Kansas Supreme Court puts off marriage hearing until federal case resolved

Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Kansas Judicial Center in Topeka is home to the Kansas Supreme Court.
TOPEKA, Kan. -- The Kansas Supreme Court has indefinitely postponed a hearing on a same-sex marriage case because of a federal judge's order in a separate lawsuit barring the state from enforcing its ban on same-sex marriage. [...]

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Federal judge won’t lift stay in Florida same-sex marriage ruling

Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Marriage equality supports gather outside a Florida courthouse on July 2, 2014.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A Florida federal judge will not lift a stay of his ruling in a lawsuit challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage, meaning state officials can continue to pursue an appeal. [...]

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Judge in St. Louis rules Missouri same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

Wednesday, November 5, 2014
April Dawn Breeden, left, places a ring on the finger of her long-time partner Crystal Peairs, right, as they are married by Rev. Katie Hotze-Wilton, Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014, at City Hall in St. Louis.
ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- A judge in St. Louis on Wednesday ruled that Missouri's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, setting off a rush among some same-sex couples to apply for marriage licenses. [...]

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Kansas files notice of appeal in same-sex marriage ruling

Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Kansas
KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- The state of Kansas is appealing a federal judge's order that the state must allow same-sex couples to marry pending the outcome of a lawsuit challenging the state's ban. [...]

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