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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Lambda Legal joins appeal of Louisiana marriage ruling to 5th Circuit

Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Louisiana
NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Lambda Legal said Tuesday it is joining the legal team representing seven Louisiana same-sex couples and the Forum for Equality Louisiana, the state’s LGBT rights organization, in their appeal to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals of last month’s U.S. District Court ruling upholding Louisiana’s [...]

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South Dakota AG says state’s defense of gay marriage ban unchanged

Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Attorney General Marty Jackley (R-S.D.)
PIERRE, S.D. -- The state attorney general says South Dakota will continue to defend its constitutional ban on same-sex marriage despite a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to not hear the issue. Marty Jackley says the state still believes marriage should be defined by South Dakota voters and not [...]

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Couples ask Arkansas Supreme Court court to strike down gay marriage ban

Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Arkansas-flag
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Attorneys for gay couples challenging Arkansas' same-sex marriage ban told the state's highest court on Tuesday that the U.S. Supreme Court signaled it agrees with their argument that such prohibitions are unconstitutional by declining to take up similar cases. [...]

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Brownback: Kansas should defend same-sex marriage ban

Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Gov. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.)
TOPEKA, Kan. -- Republican Gov. Sam Brownback says Kansas should defend the state constitution's ban on same-sex marriage in court because the people have spoken on the issue. A spokesman for Brownback's Democratic challenger, Paul Davis, said Tuesday that Davis is focused on issues that unite Kansas residents... [...]

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Ninth Circuit strikes down same-sex marriage bans in Idaho, Nevada

Tuesday, October 7, 2014
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld gay marriage in Idaho and Nevada, saying bans on the practice in those states violate same-sex couples' equal protection rights. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said in its ruling that laws that treat people differently based [...]

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Federal judge wants briefs in South Carolina same-sex marriage challenge

Tuesday, October 7, 2014
South-Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- A federal judge is asking lawyers for a couple that want South Carolina to recognize their same-sex marriage and attorneys for the state to submit briefs next week after a federal appeals court ruling appeared to clear the way for gay marriage in the state. [...]

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ACLU asks federal judge to allow same-sex couples to marry in Florida

Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Marriage equality supports gather outside a Florida courthouse on July 2, 2014.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A federal judge is being asked to allow same sex couples to marry in Florida in the wake of a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida filed a motion Tuesday with U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle. Hinkle previously ruled Florida's [...]

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Federal judge lifts hold on West Virginia same-sex marriage challenge

Tuesday, October 7, 2014
West-Virginia
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- A federal judge has lifted his hold on a lawsuit challenging West Virginia's ban on same-sex marriages. U.S. District Judge Robert Chambers on Tuesday ordered the state and two county clerks to respond to a motion by plaintiffs by Oct. 21. [...]

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Virginia governor orders state agencies to comply with marriage ruling

Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-Va.)
RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia's governor has signed an order directing state agencies to comply with the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state. That includes allowing gay and lesbian state employees to add spouses and dependents to their health insurance. [...]

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Ted Cruz is furious, wants federal ban to undo all same-sex marriages

Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Ted Cruz
WASHINGTON – Lost in Monday's dramatic progress for marriage equality was an equally dramatic rage spasm by Texas Senator and conservative heavy-hitter Ted Cruz, reports the Human Rights Campaign. After the Supreme Court announced Monday that it would not hear any of the pending marriage equality cases... [...]

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