New & Noteworthy:

Marriage Equality

As of January 6, 2015:

In the United States, same-sex marriage is legal in 36 states (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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Report: Marriage equality would add $78 million, new jobs to Georgia economy

Thursday, August 28, 2014
Georgia
Extending marriage to same-sex couples in Georgia would generate an estimated $78.8 million in spending to the state’s economy and could generate more than 900 new jobs over three years, according to a new study. Researchers at the Williams Institute, an independent think tank at UCLA’s School of Law, estimates [...]

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Mo. fire department blocked from granting same-sex spousal benefits

Thursday, August 28, 2014
Ozark-Fire-Dept
OZARK, Mo. -- A southwest Missouri fire department that was considering extending benefits to an employee who is in a same-sex marriage has been told that the state constitution won't allow it. Last week, the Ozark Fire Department's board appeared ready to change its policy so that it could offer [...]

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Orange County, Fla., Catholic GOP mayor supports marriage equality

Thursday, August 28, 2014
Teresa Jacobs
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Orange County, Fla., mayor Teresa Jacobs has voiced her support for marriage equality. "I support it," said Jacobs, who is both a Republican and Catholic. "People should be able to share their lives with the person they love. Government should treat these couples the same. Once you [...]

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Fla. court rejects Bondi’s request to delay same-sex marriage appeals

Thursday, August 28, 2014
Marriage equality supports gather outside a Florida courthouse on July 2, 2014.
MIAMI -- A Miami-based appeals court has rejected Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's request that two same-sex marriage cases be delayed until the U.S. Supreme Court decides the issue nationally. The 3rd District Court of Appeal ruled Thursday that the cases from Miami-Dade and Monroe counties will move forward. [...]

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Court: NOM lacks standing to appeal Oregon same-sex marriage ruling

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco
PORTLAND, Ore. -- A federal appeals court has dismissed the National Organization for Marriage's effort to appeal an Oregon court ruling that allows same sex marriage. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision on Wednesday. Several same-sex couples sued the state of Oregon last year arguing the ban on [...]

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Okla. couple asks U.S. Supreme Court to hear same-sex marriage case

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Sharon Baldwin, left, and Mary Bishop are the plaintiffs who successfully challenged Oklahoma's ban on same-sex marriage
TULSA, Okla. -- Attorneys for a same-sex Tulsa couple seeking the right to marry in Oklahoma have filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the court to take up their case. The couple, Sharon Baldwin and Mary Bishop, sued Tulsa County Clerk Sally Howe Smith for failing to [...]

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Fla. Supreme Court asked to rule on same-sex marriage

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Florida Supreme Court in Tallahassee.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida's highest court is being asked to rule on whether the state's ban on gay marriage is constitutional. A majority of judges with the state's 2nd District of Appeal on Wednesday asked the Florida Supreme Court to settle the question due to "great public importance." The ruling [...]

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Fla. Democratic AG nominee promises distinction from Bondi on gay marriage

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
George Sheldon
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- George Sheldon, a one-time top official in the Obama administration, easily defeated state Rep. Perry Thurston on Tuesday in the Democratic primary for attorney general. Sheldon moves on to the November ballot, where he will challenge Republican incumbent Pam Bondi and Libertarian candidate Bill Wohlsifer. [...]

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N.C. governor asked not to defend same-sex marriage ban

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Gov. Pat McCrory (R-N.C.)
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Same-sex couples and their families who want Gov. Pat McCrory to keep out of pending litigation challenging North Carolina's gay marriage ban are bringing names of their allies to his offices. [...]

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Federal appeals court judges bristle at ‘traditional’ marriage argument

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
ACLU attorney Ken Faulk, center, talks to reporters surrounded by plaintiffs and supporters of gay marriage, after Faulk participated in a hearing before the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on the challenges to Indiana and Wisconsin's gay marriage ban Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014, in Chicago.
CHICAGO -- Federal appeals court judges considering whether to uphold gay marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin reserved their toughest questions for the states, asking how the bans help society, especially children of same-sex couples. A three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in [...]

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