New & Noteworthy:

Marriage Equality

As of October 21, 2014:

In the United States, same-sex marriage is legal in 31 states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming), and in the District of Columbia. 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 in the Fall of 2014.) Same-sex marriage in Luxembourg will come into effect Jan. 1, 2015.

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Grammy winning singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge gets married

| Sunday, June 1, 2014
Melissa Etheridge, left, and Linda Wallem.
NEW YORK — Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and gay rights activist Melissa Etheridge has gotten married. People magazine says the 53-year-old Etheridge married partner Linda Wallem at the San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, California, on Saturday.

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The wait ends: Marriage equality in Illinois takes effect statewide on Sunday

| Saturday, May 31, 2014
M. Spencer Green, APIllinois Gov. Pat Quinn acknowledges the applause after signing the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act into law, making Illinois the 16th state in the nation to embrace full marriage equality for same sex couples, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, in Chicago.
The waiting ends Sunday, when Illinois' 102 counties may begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Gay couples and gay-rights advocates across the state will mark the date with blessing ceremonies and group weddings, and several county clerks offices will make an exception and offer office hours that day for license-seekers unwilling to wait until Monday morning.

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ACLU urges judge to reject stay request in Wis. same-sex marriage case

| Saturday, May 31, 2014
MADISON, Wis. — The American Civil Liberties Union is urging a federal judge to reject Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen’s request to stay any future ruling striking down Wisconsin’s gay marriage ban.

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Fla. attorney general: Same-sex marriage would ‘impose significant public harm’

| Friday, May 30, 2014
Attorney General Pam Bondi (R-Fla.)
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The attorney general of Florida says in court documents that recognizing same sex marriages performed in other states would disrupt existing marriage laws and "impose significant public harm."

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ACLU asks judge to order Michigan to recognize same-sex marriages

| Thursday, May 29, 2014
Brianne Bowen, The Ann Arbor News (AP)Mark Thiesmeyer and Matt Hook of Ann Arbor get married by Rev. Roger Pohl after more than 12 years together outside the Washtenaw County Administration Building in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, March 22, 2014, the day after a federal court struck down Michigan's ban on gay marriage.
DETROIT -- The American Civil Liberties Union is asking a judge to order Michigan to recognize more than 300 same-sex marriages performed in March.

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Kennedy asks for briefs on NOM request to halt same-sex marriage in Oregon

| Wednesday, May 28, 2014
PORTLAND, Ore. -- A U.S. Supreme Court justice is asking for more information before any ruling on an effort by the National Organization for Marriage to halt same-sex marriages in Oregon.

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Va. GOP leader blocks attempt to impeach AG over gay marriage support

| Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Bob Marshall
RICHMOND, Va. -- Republican leaders in the Virginia state legislate have blocked an effort begin an impeachment inquiry process against Attorney General Mark Herring over his support for marriage equality.

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Orrin Hatch: Same-sex marriage will soon become law of the land

| Wednesday, May 28, 2014
U.S. Sen. Orin Hatch (R-Utah)
SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch says it's obvious that gay marriage will become legal across the country sooner or later.

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GOP congressman says he supports marriage equality: ‘Life is too short’

| Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Rep. Charlie Dent
A Republican congressman from Pennsylvania says he now supports marriage equality for same-sex couples.

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Nebraska Supreme Court hears arguments in same-sex divorce case

| Wednesday, May 28, 2014
LINCOLN, Neb. -- The case of a woman who wants to divorce her same-sex partner after legally marrying in Iowa is now in the hands of the Nebraska Supreme Court.

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