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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One man’s quest to undermine his cousin’s marriage to a transgender man

Sunday, October 12, 2014
Nick and Jessica
Once upon a time there were two cousins, Jessica and Robby. They grew up together in the warm and wet Mississippi back lands. They swam, they fished and Jessica loved and respected her cousin. He gave her the sense of understanding family and loyalty. That sense of family and loyalty [...]

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Beyond marriage, the battle for LGBT equality marches on

Saturday, October 11, 2014
Pamela Thiele, left, and her spouse, Lauren Fortmiller, of Lakewood, Colo., take part in a rally on the steps of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver on October 8, 2014. For many activists, the top priority after marriage is federal legislation that would outlaw a broad range of discrimination against LGBT people. There's no such federal law now, and more than half the states do not ban discrimination by employers or public accommodations based on sexual orientation.
NEW YORK -- Even as they celebrate epic victories in the push for marriage equality, gay-rights activists acknowledge that other difficult issues remain on their agenda. There's the persistent high rate of HIV infections, the struggles to expand transgender rights, and the striking fact that even in some states allowing [...]

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First same-sex couple legally married in Idaho eager to see others wed

Saturday, October 11, 2014
Tabitha Simmons, left, and Katherine Sprague, right, are married by Rev. Elizabeth Stevens, from the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Palouse, outside the Latah County Courthouse in Moscow, Idaho, on Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. Sprague and Simmons were the first couple to be issued a same-sex marriage license in Latah County.
MOSCOW, Idaho -- A day after becoming one of Idaho's first legally wed gay couples, Tabitha Simmons and Katherine Sprague were back at work at the comics store they own Saturday, relieved to finally have their union recognized by the state but eager for other counties to begin issuing the [...]

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Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe officiates at lesbian couple’s wedding

Saturday, October 11, 2014
Gov. Terry McAuliffe  (D-Va.) presides over the wedding ceremony of Renee Bradley (right) and Katherine Bradley-Black, on Friday, October 10, 2014.
RICHMOND, Va. -- Gov. Terry McAuliffe has become the first Virginia governor to preside over a same-sex wedding ceremony. McAuliffe officiated Friday at the wedding of a lesbian couple, Renee Bradley and Katherine Bradley-Black of Northern Virginia, and said he feels honored to be part of the "important occasion." [...]

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Kansas Supreme Court blocks marriage licenses for same-sex couples

Friday, October 10, 2014
Kelli, left, and Angela pose for a picture after their wedding ceremony at the Johnson County Court House in Olathe, Kan., Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. The Johnson County newlyweds asked to be identified only by their first names to help protect their privacy, but did agree to allow a photograph of them after the ceremony to be used. In a statement released through the gay-rights group Equality Kansas, they said they wanted to celebrate privately.
TOPEKA, Kan. -- Hours after Kansas' most populous county issued a same-sex marriage license to a couple who quickly wed, the state Supreme Court on Friday blocked the granting of any more such licenses. But the victory for supporters of the Kansas Constitution's ban on gay marriage could be short-lived. [...]

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Federal judge considers fate of Alaska same-sex marriage ban

Friday, October 10, 2014
Alaska-sign
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A federal judge in Alaska said Friday he will consider a case seeking to overturn the nation's first gay marriage ban. Five gay couples sued the state of Alaska to overturn a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 1998 that defined marriage as being between one man [...]

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Federal judge strikes down same-sex marriage ban in North Carolina

Friday, October 10, 2014
North-Carolina
RALEIGH, N.C. -- A federal judge in North Carolina struck down the state's gay marriage ban Friday, opening the way for the first same-sex weddings in the state to begin immediately. U.S. District Court Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr., in Asheville issued a ruling shortly after 5 p.m. declaring the [...]

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U.S. Supreme Court lifts stay on Idaho same-sex marriage ruling

Friday, October 10, 2014
Idaho
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court says same-sex marriage can go ahead in Idaho. The court issued an order Friday that appears to remove the last legal obstacle keeping gay and lesbian couples from getting married in the conservative state. [...]

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Judge in North Carolina marriage case sets deadline for additional briefs

Friday, October 10, 2014
gavel
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The judge overseeing a pair of challenges to North Carolina's gay marriage ban has asked for more briefs in the case, setting a new deadline for early next week. Chief U.S. District Court Judge William Osteen Jr. in Greensboro issued a Friday afternoon order asking for answers [...]

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Judge signals Arizona same-sex marriage ban could fall

Friday, October 10, 2014
Arizona
PHOENIX -- The federal judge considering challenges to Arizona's same-sex marriage ban says the outcome appears to be dictated by an appellate court's ruling overturning bans in two other states. U.S. District Judge John Sedwick said in an order issued Thursday that the sides in one of the Arizona cases [...]

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