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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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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Rights of same-sex military spouses still vary by state

Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Jessica Huskey
Last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act ensured that federal military benefits extend to same-sex partners and their children. But about two-thirds of active-duty personnel in the U.S. are based in states that don't recognize gay marriages, leaving thousands of military families missing [...]

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U.S. Supreme Court: Which case makes the best case for marriage equality?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Gay rights advocate Vin Testa waves a rainbow flag in front of the Supreme Court in Washington. On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a pair of landmark rulings, one striking down a law that denied federal recognition to same-sex marriages and the other clearing the way for gay couples to wed legally in California.
The U.S. Supreme Court could announce as early as Tuesday (September 30) which marriage equality case – or cases — it will accept for review this session. But, while the Court has seven marriage equality cases to choose from during its private working conference Monday (September 29), it may not [...]

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Texas woman in same-sex marriage denied driver’s license

Monday, September 22, 2014
Connie Wilson (right) with her spouse Aimee (center) and their son Aidyn.
KATY, Texas -- A Houston-area resident who recently relocated to Texas has been refused a driver’s license because her last name was changed following her same-sex marriage. The Texas Observer reports that Connie Wilson, who married her partner of nine years in California last year, took her wife’s last name, [...]

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Judge in Louisiana rules same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional

Monday, September 22, 2014
Source
A judge in Louisiana has ruled the state's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. The ruling by a state judge comes in a case brought by a same-sex couple married out-of-state who are seeking to have their marriage recognized in Louisiana for purposes of adoption. [...]

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Poll suggests Americans’ support for marriage equality may be leveling off

Monday, September 22, 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.
A new survey from the Pew Research Center indicates Americans' support for marriage equality could be leveling off. The study’s authors caution it’s too soon to draw any definitive conclusion. But the new poll released Monday found a 5 percentage point drop since February in Americans who want legal recognition [...]

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Parishioners divided over church’s demand that gay couple get divorced

Monday, September 22, 2014
Paul Huff and Tom Wojtowick
GREAT FALLS, Mont. — A Roman Catholic bishop says a central Montana parish is about evenly divided over a new priest's decision to prohibit a gay couple from receiving Communion unless they divorce, live separately and write a statement affirming that a marriage is between a man and a woman. [...]

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Anti-gay activists say ‘Stop Winston-Salem’ from recognizing gay marriages

Monday, September 22, 2014
Winston-Salem, N.C., City Hall
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — An organization which supported the passage of North Carolina’s anti-LGBT state constitutional amendment on marriage has said it will “Stop Winston-Salem” and and the city’s recent decision to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages. [...]

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan officiates her first same-sex wedding

Monday, September 22, 2014
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan has officiated for the first time at a same-sex wedding, a Maryland ceremony for her former law clerk and his husband. Kagan presided on Sunday over the wedding of former clerk Mitchell Reich and Patrick Pearsall in the Washington suburb of [...]

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