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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Target joins legal brief supporting marriage equality

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Target
MINNEAPOLIS -- Target Corp. is adding its name to a legal defense of gay marriage, joining other large companies that are taking a stand, just four years after the retailer came under criticism for supporting a strident opponent of same-sex unions. Target said it has signed a court brief backing [...]

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A summary of same-sex marriage cases before the Sixth Circuit appeals court

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Jean Dawell of Delhi joined hundred of others along with the group Why Marriage Matters Ohio at a rally for gay marriage in Lytle Park, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014 in Cincinnati.
The Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in six gay marriage fights from Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee on Wednesday, setting the stage for one ruling. Each case deals with whether statewide gay marriage bans violate the Constitution. A look at the cases: [...]

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Sixth Circuit hearing same-sex marriage arguments from four states

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Duane Lewis, left and his partner Rex Van Alstine, both of Finneytown, Ohio, join hundreds of others along with the group Why Marriage Matters Ohio at a rally for gay marriage in Lytle Park, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014 in Cincinnati.
CINCINNATI — A federal appeals court began to hear arguments Wednesday in six gay marriage fights from four states – Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee – in the biggest such session on the issue so far, and hundreds of supporters rallied near the courthouse. Three judges of the 6th [...]

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Challenges to same-sex marriage bans: Where they stand, state-by state

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Corey Crawford, right, and Jessica Samph smile to each other before their wedding Friday, May 23, 2014, at City Hall in Philadelphia.
State bans on same-sex marriages have been falling around the country since last summer, when the Supreme Court ordered the federal government to recognize state-sanctioned gay marriages. The remaining state bans all face legal challenges to overturn them, and a federal Court of Appeals in Cincinnati will hear arguments Wednesday [...]

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Wyo. group submits 2,300 pro-marriage equality signatures to governor, AG

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Members of Wyoming Equality
CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Marriage equality proponents in Wyoming say they've delivered more than 2,300 signatures asking Gov. Matt Mead to quit defending a law that says marriage can only unite a man and a woman. Jeran Artery with the gay-rights advocacy group Wyoming Equality says he hopes Mead and Attorney [...]

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Virginia AG to seek U.S. Supreme Court review of same-sex marriage ruling

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Bob Brown, Richmond Times-DispatchVirginia Attorney General Mark Herring speaks during a news conference at his office in Richmond, Va., Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 where he applauded the overnight decision by a federal judge to strike down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage.
RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said Tuesday he would ask the Supreme Court to review a decision that struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage, although he supports the lower court's decision. The Democrat has chosen not to defend the state's law, but has also asked [...]

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Palm Beach becomes 4th Fla. county to declare marriage ban unconstitutional

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Palm Beach, Fla,
A Palm Beach County, Fla., Circuit Court judge on Tuesday issued a ruling declaring Florida’s ban on same sex marriage unconstitutional, the fourth such ruling in under three weeks. Circuit Judge Diana Lewis’ opinion was tied to a probate case surrounding the death of Frank Bangor, a man who owned [...]

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More than 100 first responders file brief supporting marriage equality in Indiana

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Indiana State Police, firefighters and EMS workers at the scene of a fatal accident on an Indiana highway in 2011.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Dozens of Indiana firefighters, police officers and emergency medical workers say a federal appeals court should uphold same-sex marriage in Indiana and Wisconsin for the sake of the families of gay first responders, a spokeswoman said Monday. More than 100 first responders have signed a legal brief that [...]

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Utah files same-sex marriage appeal to U.S. Supreme Court

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
U.S. Supreme Court
SALT LAKE CITY -- The state of Utah filed its appeal of a gay marriage ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, becoming the first state to ask the justices to review a state same-sex marriage ban since the high court struck down part of the federal Defense of [...]

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Plaintiffs ask appeals court to reject stay of Va. same-sex marriage ruling

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Virginia plaintiffs
RICHMOND, Va. -- The plaintiffs in a court case challenging Virginia's same-sex marriage ban want a federal appeals court to allow gay marriages to occur before the U.S. Supreme Court can rule on the issue. "The right to marry is fundamental, and thus Virginia's marriage prohibition irreparably harms plaintiffs-appellees - [...]

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