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.

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The week in review: The latest developments in marriage equality…

Saturday, October 18, 2014
Kevin Patterson, left, and David Larance, plaintiffs in one of two challenges to Arizona's same-sex marriage ban, kiss after exchanging vows, as Rev. John Dorhaer, who performed the ceremony, stands at right, Friday, Oct. 17, 2014, in Phoenix. Gay marriage has become legal in Arizona after the state's conservative attorney general said Friday that he wouldn't challenge a federal court decision that cleared the way for same-sex unions in the state.
Same-sex couples won the right to wed in Alaska and Arizona on Friday, after separate court decisions ended bans in those states. And a third ruling in Wyoming means marriages there could begin within a week. The rulings bookend two weeks of legal wrangling, triggered by a U.S. Supreme Court [...]

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Arizona governor Jan Brewer: Same-sex marriage ruling ‘deeply troubling’

Friday, October 17, 2014
Gov. Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.)
PHOENIX -- Arizona governor Jan Brewer on Friday said in a statement that federal courts have thwarted the will of voters and eroded the state’s power to regulate laws. Same-sex marriage become legal in Arizona after the state’s conservative attorney general said Friday that he wouldn’t challenge a federal court [...]

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Federal judge won’t delay challenge to Arkansas same-sex marriage ban

Friday, October 17, 2014
Arkansas
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- A federal judge has denied Arkansas' request to delay proceedings in a lawsuit challenging the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage. Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel earlier this year asked the court to put the case on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a [...]

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Federal judge strikes down Wyoming same-sex marriage ban

Friday, October 17, 2014
Wyoming
CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- A federal judge has ordered Wyoming to allow same-sex marriage but has stayed his decision so that the state can appeal if it wants. U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl ruled Friday that the state must comply with a ruling by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals that [...]

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U.S. Supreme Court allows same-sex marriages to go forward in Alaska

Friday, October 17, 2014
Vincent Huang
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday denied the state of Alaska's request to put a stop to gay marriages pending an appeal. Justice Anthony Kennedy denied the request in a written order Friday morning. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess on Sunday ruled the state's ban on same-sex marriage was [...]

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Judge hears arguments in challenge to South Dakota gay marriage ban

Friday, October 17, 2014
South Dakota plaintiffs Jennie and Nancy Rosenbrahn, were married in Minnesota in April 2014. They are among six couples seeking to overturn South Dakota's same-sex marriage ban.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- A lawsuit challenging South Dakota's ban on same-sex marriage should be dismissed because a regional appeals court already ruled on the issue eight years ago, a lawyer for the state argued Friday at the first hearing in the case. [...]

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North Carolina’s top GOP lawmakers plan to appeal same-sex marriage ruling

Friday, October 17, 2014
North CarolinaSenate leader Phil Berger (left) and House Speaker Thom Tillis.
RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina's Republican legislative leaders plan to appeal a ruling that struck down the state's gay marriage ban. Legal experts say any appeal would face an uphill battle. House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate leader Phil Berger's appeal would go to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of [...]

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Federal judge strikes down Arizona same-sex marriage ban

Friday, October 17, 2014
Arizona
PHOENIX -- Same-sex marriage has become legal in Arizona after the state's conservative attorney general said Friday that he wouldn't challenge a federal court decision that cleared the way for same-sex unions in the state. The announcement prompted gay couples in Phoenix to immediately begin lining up at the downtown [...]

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Federal government to recognize same-sex marriages in 7 new states

Friday, October 17, 2014
Fresh from being married by the Denver mayor at the city clerk office on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014, Fran, left, and Anna Simon hold a sign during a rally staged by Why Marriage Matters Colorado on the steps of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.
WASHINGTON -- The federal government is recognizing same-sex marriages in seven more states. The states are Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Colorado and Nevada. The Justice Department says it will ensure that same-sex couples in those states are given federal benefits as soon as possible. [...]

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Wyoming governor says state shouldn’t appeal gay marriage loss

Thursday, October 16, 2014
Gov. Matt Mead (R-Wyo.)
RIVERTON, Wyo. -- Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead says the state shouldn't appeal if a federal judge rules against it in a federal lawsuit challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage. Mead addressed the issue Thursday night in a Wyoming Public Television debate in Riverton. [...]

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