New & Noteworthy:

Marriage Equality

As of January 6, 2015:

In the United States, same-sex marriage is legal in 36 states (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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Federal appeals court weighs four states’ same-sex marriage cases

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Gay marriage supporters rally outside a federal courthouse in Concinatti on Wednesday, Aug. 6, where judges were hearing the appeals of six same-sex marriage cases from four states.
CINCINNATI --A federal appeals court judge hearing arguments in six gay marriage fights in a landmark hearing Wednesday expressed deep skepticism about whether the courts are the ideal setting for such major change, saying that the best way to win the hearts and minds of Americans on the issue would [...]

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AUDIO: Tennessee same-sex marriage ban faces federal appeals court

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Tennessee plaintiffs
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A three-judge panel is now considering whether Tennessee's law barring recognition of same-sex marriages is constitutional. Attorneys representing multiple gay couples told judges from the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati on Wednesday that's there's no rational reason for barring same-sex marriage. Lawyers from the... [...]

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AUDIO: Ohio same-sex marriage ban faces federal appeals court

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Ohio plaintiffs and attorneys.
CINCINNATI — A state official says that Ohio has traditionally defined marriage as between a man and woman, and that same-sex marriage is too new to be considered a deeply rooted, fundamental right. State solicitor Eric Murphy argued Wednesday in favor of the ban on same-sex marriage passed by Ohio [...]

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AUDIO: Kentucky same-sex marriage ban faces federal appeals court

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Kentucky plaintiffs
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A three-judge panel is now considering whether Kentucky's laws barring same-sex marriage are constitutional. Attorneys representing multiple gay couples told judges from the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati on Wednesday that's there's no rational reason for barring same-sex couples from getting married. Lawyers hired [...]

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AUDIO: Michigan same-sex marriage ban faces federal appeals court

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Michigan plaintiffs
A three-judge panel is now considering whether Michigan's laws barring same-sex marriage are constitutional. Attorneys representing multiple same-sex couples from four states told judges from the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati on Wednesday that's there's no rational reason for barring same-sex couples from getting married. The afternoon [...]

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Oklahoma same-sex marriage appeal lands at U.S. Supreme Court

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
U.S. Supreme Court
TULSA, Okla. -- Voters should decide how to define marriage, not federal judges, said attorneys who filed an appeal Wednesday asking the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage is constitutional. The 47-page appeal was filed by lawyers for Alliance Defending Freedom, an organization representing Tulsa [...]

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Same-sex marriage cases in Ohio draw hundreds of gay rights supporters

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Marriage rally
CINCINNATI -- Hundreds of gay marriage supporters rallied Wednesday in downtown Cincinnati near the federal courthouse where judges were hearing arguments about the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans in four states. Advocates held up banners and signs urging freedom to marry or other messages in favor of legal challenges to [...]

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Texas’ claim of a rational, vested state interest in procreation is a step too far

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Attorney General Greg   Abbott (R-Texas)
Attorney General Greg Abbott often makes the point that government should tread lightly in matters of personal liberty. Yet in a legal brief defending Texas' ban on same-sex marriage, the GOP candidate for governor treads heavily. Abbott is appealing a federal judge's ruling that found Texas' voter-approved ban in 2005 [...]

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Ark. officials ask courts to suspend same-sex marriage cases

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Arkansas-flag
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas officials asked a federal judge and the state Supreme Court Wednesday to suspend lawsuits challenging the state's gay marriage ban while a similar case is pending before the nation's highest court. The attorney general's office filed a motion asking U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker to [...]

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63 Texas lawmakers compare same-sex marriage to incest, pedophilia, polygamy

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Texas state capitol in Austin
AUSTIN, Texas -- More than 60 Texas lawmakers have signed on to a legal brief comparing same-sex marriage to incest, pedophilia, and polygamy. Lone Star Q reports that 63 legislators — members of the Texas Conservative Coalition — signed the brief urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Firth [...]

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