New & Noteworthy:

Marriage Equality

As of November 20, 2014:

In the United States, same-sex marriage is legal in 35 states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, 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, 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 on Dec. 31, 2014.) Same-sex marriage in Luxembourg will come into effect Jan. 1, 2015.

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Wis. governor says son witnessing gay relative’s wedding not a policy statement

Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.)
OREGON, Wis. -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says his 19-year-old son's decision to act as a witness at the same-sex marriage of a relative is not a policy statement. Walker was asked Tuesday about his son Alex's decision to serve as a witness to the June 9 wedding in Waukesha County. The marriage was between the first cousin of Walker's wife Tonette and her female partner.

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Old Ill. marriage law disappoints many out-of-state same-sex couples

Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Illinois-marriage
A provision in Illinois' marriage law is resulting in disappointment for many same-sex couples in neighboring states hoping to cross the border to obtain a marriage license. Enacted years before same-sex marriage became legal in Illinois, the law states law states that a marriage license is void if that couple is barred from marrying in the state where they live.

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Attorneys ask judge to decide Ariz. same-sex marriage case without trial

Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Arizona
PHOENIX -- Attorneys for the state of Arizona and a group of gay and lesbian couples who sued over the state's ban on same-sex marriage want a judge to decide the case without a trial. The attorneys told U.S. District Court Judge John W. Sedwick on Monday they think he can instead rule based on arguments each side will file in the coming months.

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Attorney requests ruling in South Dakota same-sex marriage case

Monday, July 7, 2014
South-Dakota
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- The attorney representing the six same-sex couples challenging South Dakota's gay marriage ban has asked a judge to bypass a trial and issue a ruling. Minneapolis-based attorney Joshua Newville filed the motion for summary judgment last week. In the same memorandum Newville included a response to the state’s motion to...

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California governor signs bill to update state’s marriage laws

Monday, July 7, 2014
Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.)
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation replacing language in state law that defines marriage as "between a man and a woman." The bill, SB1306, takes effect Jan. 1, reflecting the legality of same-sex marriage after a decade of litigation. Brown announced the signing Monday.

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Missouri county says it will not defend state’s ban on same-sex marriage

Monday, July 7, 2014
Missouri-flag
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jackson County, Mo., will not fight a lawsuit challenging Missouri's ban on same-sex marriage. Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders tells KMBC-TV that he won’t spend taxpayer money to defend the ban, and that “it’s not the county’s obligation to defend State of Missouri actions.”

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Marriage News Watch: Victory in Ky., more hearings from coast-to-coast

Monday, July 7, 2014
Marriage-license
This week’s Marriage News Watch report from Matt Baume at the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), recaps a big victory in Kentucky, and numerous hearings coming up from one side of the country to the other. Plus, a battle of wills and a surprise move in Colorado. And one of the Prop 8 lawyers is headed back to court — this time, as a judge...

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Key West couple’s challenge to Fla. same-sex marriage ban goes to court

Monday, July 7, 2014
Plintiffs Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones
KEY WEST, Fla. — A same-sex couple from Key West, Fla., are in court Monday for a hearing on their challenge to Florida's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Aaron Huntsman, 43, and William Lee Jones, 42, filed suit in April in Monroe County after being refused a marriage license. The couple, bartenders at 801 Bourbon Bar in Key West, wanted to marry...

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Kansas same-sex marriage opponents to revive religious freedom debate

Sunday, July 6, 2014
Kansas
TOPEKA, Kan. -- Kansas legislators will face renewed pressure next year to provide additional legal protections to those who want to avoid accommodating same-sex couples for religious reasons in the wake of federal courts nationwide invalidating state gay marriage bans. A "religious freedom" measure failed in the Legislature earlier this year...

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Colo. gay lawmakers want same-sex marriage ban overturned immediately

Saturday, July 5, 2014
Sen. Pat Steadman is one of five openly gay lawmakers in Colorado.
DENVER -- Saying further delays are pointless, gay lawmakers Thursday called for Colorado's same-sex marriage ban to be declared unconstitutional and for such a ruling to be effective immediately. The lawmakers made the comments a day after Republican Attorney General John Suthers' asked a federal court in Denver for an injunction declaring Colorado's...

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