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Marriage Equality

Since 2000, 15 countries (Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, and Uruguay) have legalized same-sex marriage, as have parts of Mexico, the United States and the Untied Kingdom. (In the United Kingdom, same-sex marriage is legal in England and Wales, and will become legal in Scotland in the Fall of 2014.) Same-sex marriage in Luxembourg will come into effect Jan. 1, 2015.

In the United States, same-sex marriage is legal in 19 states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington), and in the District of Columbia.

Federal or state judges in Idaho, Oklahoma, Virginia, Michigan, Texas, Utah and Arkansas recently have found state same-sex marriage bans to be unconstitutional. Judges also have ordered Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Indiana to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. All rulings have been stayed pending appeals.

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Washington state to convert same-sex domestic partnerships to marriage

| Monday, February 17, 2014
marriage-license
SEATTLE — Washington state plans to convert thousands of same-sex domestic partners into married couples on June 30, if they haven't gotten married on their own or dissolved their union by then.

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Pope opens big week with sex, divorce, homosexuality, gay marriage on agenda

| Monday, February 17, 2014
Andrew Medichini, APPope Francis delivers his blessing to the crowd gathered in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican to attend the Angelus noon prayer he celebrated from the window of his studio, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014.
VATICAN CITY -- Meetings this week between Pope Francis and his cardinals will deal with some of the thorniest issues facing the church, including the rejection by most Catholics of some of its core teaching on premarital sex, contraception, gays and divorce.

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Ind. Senate prepares for vote on House version of gay marriage ban

| Monday, February 17, 2014
WFIU (File)Indiana Senate chamber
INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana State senators are scheduled to take a final vote on a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage after approving a version last week which would put off a public referendum until at least 2016.

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VIDEO

Plaintiffs in Utah same-sex marriage case get engaged

| Sunday, February 16, 2014
Derek Kitchen (left) and his partner Moudi Sbeity are lead plaintiffs in the challenge to Utah's ban on same-sex marriage.
Derek Kitchen, the lead plaintiff in Kitchen v. Herbert, the federal court challenge to Utah's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, made a Valentine's Day proposal to his partner and co-plaintiff, Moudi Sbeity, at the Equality Ball in Salt Lake City on Friday evening.

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VIDEO

‘Gay rights evolve on a global level’

| Sunday, February 16, 2014
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NBC's Harry Smith looks at the global evolution on gay rights for "Meet the Press" on Sunday, including interviews with Andy Cohen and Brian Boitano.

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The Hoosier same-sex marriage debate occurred mostly in private

| Sunday, February 16, 2014
Indiana-same-sex-marriage
INDIANAPOLIS -- Over the past week, Indiana's senators debated a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage extensively, going over the merits for hours at a time, before deciding a ban shouldn't appear on the ballot in November.

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Ohio advocacy groups split on support for marriage equality amendment

| Saturday, February 15, 2014
Ohio
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- As it works to educate Ohioans on the need for marriage equality, a coalition of state and national advocacy groups says it opposes another organization’s effort to win Ohioans marriage equality at the ballot box this fall.

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Battle over same-sex marriage moving rapidly to federal appeals courts

| Saturday, February 15, 2014
J. Scott Applewhite, APVin Testa of Washington waves a rainbow flag in support of gay rights outside the Supreme Court on Tuesday hoping to hear the court announce decisions in the gay marriage cases.
WASHINGTON -- The overturning of Virginia's same-sex marriage ban places the legal fight over same-sex unions increasingly in the hands of federal appeals courts shaped by President Barack Obama's two election victories.

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Growing number of attorneys general refusing to defend gay marriage bans

| Friday, February 14, 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.
NORFOLK, Va. — The day after a federal judge struck down Virginia's gay-marriage ban, state Attorney General Mark Herring wasn't vowing to appeal or insisting his state's law was sound.

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