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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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LGBT community protests U.S. congressman’s anti-gay Facebook post

| Thursday, February 6, 2014
John Fitzhugh, APMembers of the South Mississippi LGBT community march to U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo's office in Gulfport, Miss., on Wednesday Feb. 5, 2014 to protest comments he made after the Grammys.
GULFPORT, Miss. -- Members of the local LGBT community marched through the streets of Gulfport, Miss., on Wednesday, ending with a demonstration outside the office of GOP U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo to protest what they say is are anti-gay remarks.

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Ala. chief justice calls for constitutional convention to ban same-sex marriage

| Thursday, February 6, 2014
Dave Martin, APRoy Moore
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Alabama's chief justice, known on the national stage for fighting to display the Ten Commandments in a judicial building, is jumping into the gay marriage debate with his push for a states-led constitutional amendment defining the institution as a union between one man and one woman.

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Judge in Va. same-sex marriage case difficult to ‘pigeonhole’

| Thursday, February 6, 2014
U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen
McLEAN, Va. -- The judge deciding what could become a landmark marriage equality case in Virginia defies easy characterization: She was a prosecutor, but also a public defender. She was appointed by President Barack Obama, and she also served in the military as a Navy...

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Kan. House panel approves bill allowing discrimination based on religious beliefs

| Thursday, February 6, 2014
Kansas Statehouse in Topeka.
TOPEKA, Kan. -- A Kansas House committee on Wednesday will debate legislation aimed at protecting individuals, groups and businesses that refuse for religious reasons to recognize same-sex unions or provide benefits to gay couples.

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Wis. governor senses ‘no significant movement’ to undo gay marriage ban

| Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.)
MADISON, Wis. -- Gov. Scott Walker, a staunch defender of Wisconsin's same-sex marriage ban, said Wednesday that he senses no "significant movement" to undo the law even though a federal lawsuit filed Monday challenges its constitutionality.

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Josh Duggar, failed Lt. Gov. candidate headline anti-gay rally outside Va. court

| Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Former Republican lieutenant governor candidate E.W. Jackson, front right, speaks to the media during a demonstration outside federal court in Norfolk, Va., Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. Jackson spoke in favor of the law banning same-sex marriage. A federal judge will hear arguments Tuesday on whether Virginia's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. The state's newly elected Democratic attorney general has already decided to side with the plaintiffs and will not defend the ban. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
NORFOLK, Va. -- Josh Duggar, the oldest of the Duggar children from TLC's “19 Kids and Counting,” and E.W. Jackson, the failed candidate for Virginia Lt. Governor, headlined an anti-gay marriage rally in Norfolk on Tuesday while a federal judge heard arguments challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

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Judge hears arguments on whether Va. gay marriage ban should be struck down

| Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Steve Helber,  APSpencer Geiger, left, of Virginia Beach, and Carl Johanson, of Norfolk, hold signs as they demonstrate outside Federal Court in Norfolk, Va., Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. A federal judge heard arguments on whether Virginia's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.
NORFOLK, Va. -- A federal judge in Norfolk, Va., on Tuesday told attorneys in a lawsuit challenging Virginia’s ban on same-sex couples marrying that she will render her decision “soon.”

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Scottish Parliament votes to legalize same-sex marriage

| Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Dan LittauerMarriage equality supporters celebrate the Scottish Parliament vote to legalize same-sex marriage in Scotland.
EDINBURGH, Scotland -- Scotland becomes the 17th country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, after the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday passed the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill by an overwhelming majority.

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Utah defends gay marriage ban: Marriage is ‘principally a child-centered institution’

| Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Rick Bowmer, APOpponents of same-sex marriage show their support during a rally at the Utah State Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, in Salt Lake City.
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah state attorneys filed their opening argument to the federal appeals court reviewing the state's same-sex marriage ban, saying the optimal environment for raising children is with a mother and father.

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Case challenging Va. same-sex marriage ban heard in federal court

| Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Tony London (left) and Timothy Bostic
NORFOLK, Va. -- In a case that could give gay marriage its first foothold in the old Confederacy, a federal judge will hear arguments Tuesday on whether Virginia's ban on gay marriage should be struck down - the position the state's newly elected Democratic attorney general has endorsed, angering many Republican lawmakers.

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