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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Estonia becomes first former Soviet nation to legalize gay partnerships

Thursday, October 9, 2014
Tallinn, Estonia
TALLINN, Estonia -- Estonia on Thursday became the first former Soviet nation to legalize gay partnerships, while Kyrgyzstan - another ex-Soviet republic thousands of kilometers east - considers anti-gay legislation. The parallel moves reflect starkly divergent paths taken by the countries that once were parts of the Soviet empire. [...]

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U.S. appeals court in Cincinnati key to how and where gay marriage advances

Thursday, October 9, 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 -- After a series of developments on same-sex marriage this week, there's growing anticipation for a ruling by the federal appeals court based in Cincinnati. A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments two months ago on challenges to gay marriage bans in four [...]

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Wyoming governor: Federal ruling doesn’t end state’s gay marriage ban

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Gov. Matt Mead (R-Wyo.)
CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Wyoming will continue to defend a state law that defines marriage as existing only between a man and a woman despite federal appeals court rulings upholding gay marriage in other states, Gov. Matt Mead said Wednesday. [...]

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Day of legal confusion leaves same-sex couples in limbo in Idaho, Nevada

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Rachael Beierle, left, calls family to tell them she and Amber Beierle, right, will not be able to get married today at the the Ada County Courthouse on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 in Boise, Idaho. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has temporarily blocked an appeals court ruling that declared gay marriage legal in the states of Idaho and Nevada.
Confusion and uncertainty over gay marriage spread Wednesday as couples in Las Vegas wondered whether they'd be allowed to wed, and partners in Idaho dealt with disappointment after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling blocked them moments before they would have picked up marriage licenses. [...]

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Florida issues first death certificate recognizing a same-sex couple

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Arlene Goldberg and Carol Goldwasser
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The state of Florida on Wednesday issued its first death certificate recognizing a same-sex couple. The Florida Department of Health issued an updated death certificate that listed Fort Myers resident Arlene Goldberg as the surviving spouse of Carol Goldwasser. With the death certificate, the couple became [...]

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Some Indiana counties still not issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
John Reams and his longtime partner Patrick Tate, far right, kiss during their marriage ceremony in the Warrick County Clerk’s Office in Boonville, Ind., with clerk Sarah Redman, left, and witnesses Amy Gelinas and Jim Tate.
LEBANON, Ind. -- Some Indiana counties still are balking at issuing same-sex marriage licenses. WISH-TV reported Wednesday that Boone, Crawford, Clay, Lawrence and Jefferson counties were not yet issuing the same-sex licenses. [...]

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South Carolina AG asks state Supreme Court to halt same-sex marriage licenses

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Attorney General Alan Wilson (R-S.C.)
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson is asking the state Supreme Court to stop a Charleston County judge from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Wilson's office filed its petition late Wednesday afternoon. [...]

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Federal judge lifts stays in North Carolina same-sex marriage cases

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
North-Carolina
RALEIGH, N.C. -- A federal judge in North Carolina has lifted stays in two cases challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriages on Wednesday, a possible sign he's preparing to strike down the prohibition as unconstitutional. [...]

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Group asks Supreme Court to reinstate block on Nevada same-sex marriages

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
U.S. Supreme Court
LAS VEGAS -- A group fighting to keep Nevada's state ban on same-sex marriage wants the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate a short-lived ruling that blocked weddings from taking place. [...]

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Judge orders Kansas county to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Kansas
OLATHE, Kan. -- A judge in Kansas' most populous county ordered it Wednesday to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, following actions earlier this week by the U.S. Supreme Court. Johnson County Chief District Judge Kevin Moriarty said his order was meant to avoid confusion about the legal climate surrounding [...]

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