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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Fifth Circuit to hear same-sex marriage appeals from Louisiana, Texas

Friday, September 26, 2014
John Minor Wisdom U.S. Courthouse in New Orleans,   home of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
NEW ORLEANS, La. -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Thursday said it will hear the appeals of same-sex marriage rulings from Texas and Louisiana. Equality on Trial reports that the two cases will be heard on the same date and by the same panel, although [...]

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Freedom to Marry launches national TV ad declaring ‘It’s time’ for marriage

Friday, September 26, 2014
A new national television advertisement released by Freedom to Marry will begin airing on Sunday morning network news shows in Washington, D.C. The 30-second spot, which will later be broadcast on cable news programs next week, declares, “It’s time” for the freedom to marry and tells the stories of same-sex [...]

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Arkansas Catholic diocese wants to enter same-sex marriage suit

Friday, September 26, 2014
Bishop Anthony Taylor
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The leader of Arkansas' Roman Catholic diocese wants the state's highest court to consider his thoughts on the voter-approved same-sex marriage ban. Anthony Taylor, the bishop of Little Rock, asked the Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday to accept a friend of the court brief that argues [...]

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Judge hears arguments in challenge to Missouri same-sex marriage ban

Thursday, September 25, 2014
Same-sex couples, plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against the state of Missouri, foreground, watch as Anthony Rothert, an attorney representing them, argues before Circuit Court Judge J. Dale Youngs during a hearing on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, in Kansas City, Mo.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Missouri doesn't allow first cousins to legally marry, but recognizes such marriages if they were legally performed in other states. The same goes for couples who were too young to wed in Missouri but were allowed to do so elsewhere. An attorney for 10 same-sex couples [...]

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ACLU seeks to file brief in Mississippi same-sex couple’s divorce case

Thursday, September 25, 2014
JACKSON, Miss. -- The American Civil Liberties Union wants to file a brief in support of a woman who wants the state of Mississippi to recognize her same-sex marriage in order to grant a divorce. The Mississippi Supreme Court has not ruled on the motion filed Thursday. It's unclear if [...]

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Ark. justice recused from gay marriage case accused of improper exchange

Thursday, September 25, 2014
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- An Arkansas Supreme Court justice has been accused of having an inappropriate conversation with a state lawmaker about an issue set to go before the court. The state's judicial oversight committee said it's investigating a complaint against Justice Cliff Hoofman... [...]

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White House: Eric Holder resigning as U.S. Attorney General

Thursday, September 25, 2014
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
WASHINGTON -- Eric Holder, who served as the public face of the Obama administration's legal fight against terrorism and pushed to make the criminal justice system more even-handed, is resigning after six years on the job. He is the nation's first black attorney general. [...]

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Oral arguments to begin in Missouri same-sex marriage challenge

Thursday, September 25, 2014
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Kansas City judge is scheduled to hear oral arguments Thursday in a case challenging Missouri's refusal to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. The lawsuit in Jackson County Circuit Court, filed by 10 same-sex couples who were legally married elsewhere, mirrors dozens of others [...]

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Columbia, S.C., mayor becomes 500th to join marriage equality coalition

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Steve Benjamin
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Mayor Steve Benjamin of Columbia, S.C., has signed on to Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, becoming the 500th U.S. mayor to join the nationwide effort of municipal leaders advocating for marriage equality. [...]

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Same-sex marriage ruling heading to Louisiana Supreme Court

Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Louisiana Supreme Court building in New Orleans.
NEW ORLEANS — One day after a Lafayette Parish judge declared Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, the state’s top lawyer announced plans to challenge that decision before the state Supreme Court. Attorney General Buddy Caldwell’s Office will ask the high court to overturn Judge Edward Rubin’s ruling, spokeswoman Laura [...]

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