New & Noteworthy:

Marriage Equality

As of October 25, 2014:

In the United States, same-sex marriage is legal in 32 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 on Dec. 31, 2014.) Same-sex marriage in Luxembourg will come into effect Jan. 1, 2015.

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N.C. GOP platform reasserts some anti-LGBT clauses, softens others

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
North-Carolina-GOP
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Meeting in a statewide convention over the weekend in Cherokee, delegates of the North Carolina Republican Party adopted their new party platform, reasserting some anti-LGBT clauses and softening others. The adopted platform makes no mention of a federal constitutional amendment and softens the party platform’s anti-gay animus.

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Third federal lawsuit filed challenging Alabama same-sex marriage ban

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
April and Ginger Aaron-Brush
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Alabama on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit challenging Alabama’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a same-sex couple from Birmingham who married in Massachusetts but their marriage is not recognized in their home state.

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Federal appeals court wants briefs in Wis. same-sex marriage stay request

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Natalie, left, and Heather Starr, with their daughter Libby, say their vows in front of Rev. Roger Bertschausen on the steps of the Outagamie County administration building on Monday, June 9, 2014 in Appleton, Wis. They are the first same sex couple to be married in the county.
MADISON, Wis. -- It looks like a federal appeals court won't rule on whether to halt same-sex marriages in Wisconsin until at least Wednesday. Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has asked the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to issue an emergency stay to halt same-sex marriages while he appeals.

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More than half of all Wisconsin counties now issuing same-sex marriage licenses

Monday, June 9, 2014
Kem Highfill, left, and Richard Rehm fill out their marriage license at county clerks office Saturday, June 7, 2014, in Madison, Wis. after a federal judge struck down the state's gay marriage ban.
More than half of the counties in Wisconsin are issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. County clerk offices in 41 of the state's 72 counties told The Associated Press on Monday that they were issuing licenses. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb in Madison struck down the ban Friday in an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit challenging the prohibition.

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Judge says he saw no proof that same-sex marriage destroys families

Monday, June 9, 2014
U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III
The federal judge who struck down Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage said Monday he saw no proof that same-sex marriage destroys the strength of families. U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III, responding to criticism of his decision, noted that Gov. Tom Corbett's administration did not even try to establish such a link in the case before him.

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Alaska AG says he plans to fight challenge to same-sex marriage ban

Monday, June 9, 2014
Attorney General Michael Geraghty (R-Alaska)
JUNEAU, Alaska -- Alaska Attorney General Michael Geraghty plans to fight a lawsuit challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage. The Department of Law, in a statement, says the attorney general's office has a duty "to uphold and defend the Alaska Constitution, which it intends to do."

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Judge delays action on AG request to halt same-sex marriages in Wisconsin

Monday, June 9, 2014
Miriam Douglass, left, and Ligia Rivera react Monday, June 9, 2014 to the announcement that marriage licenses would be granted, subject to a five day waiting period, in Outagamie County, Wis. The two were given the first same-sex marriage license in the county.
MILWAUKEE -- Same-sex couples in Wisconsin convinced some county clerks to give them licenses Monday so they could wed before an expected hold on a judge's decision declaring the state's gay marriage ban unconstitutional. Other clerks, however, refused to act without an order from the court or state, which is appealing the judge's decision.

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Utah threatens to ask Supreme Court for help in same-sex marriage suit

Monday, June 9, 2014
Attorney General Sean Reyes (R-Utah)
Utah officials are threatening to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in a lawsuit filed by same-sex couples demanding to have their marriages recognized. Attorneys for Utah say in court filings Monday that they'll appeal to the high court if a federal appeals court lifts the hold on a requirement to move forward with benefits for about 1,000 gay marriages.

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Gay couples convince Appleton, Wis., clerk to issue marriage licenses

Monday, June 9, 2014
Appleton-WI
APPLETON, Wis. -- The county clerk in Appleton is accepting applications for marriage licenses from same-sex couples after nearly 100 people refused to leave her office without completing forms. Outagamie County Clerk Lori O'Bright initially told couples Monday morning that she would wait for direction from the state before issuing licenses to gay couples.

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Wis. AG asks federal appeals court to halt same-sex marriages

Monday, June 9, 2014
Mel Freitag, left, and Amber Sowards, of Madison, Wis., get married by Daniel Floeter, family court commissioner, outside the City-County Building on Friday, June 6, 2014, in Madison after a federal judge struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage. Sowards, who is six months pregnant, has been with Freitag for six years.
MADISON, Wis. -- Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has asked a federal appeals court to halt same-sex marriages in Wisconsin after a judge declared the state's ban on same-sex marriages unconstitutional. The Republican Van Hollen filed the motion Monday in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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