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 Florida, 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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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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Sens. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee want to deny recognition of gay marriages in 33 states

| Friday, February 14, 2014
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
WASHINGTON -- Two GOP Senate lawmakers on Thursday introduced a bill that would require federal agencies to use a person’s state of residence to determine federal recognition of marital status.

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Couple sues Ky. to force it to issue same-sex marriage licenses

| Friday, February 14, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A Kentucky couple sued the state Friday, seeking to force it to issue same-sex marriage licenses after a federal judge ruled earlier this week that unions performed legally in other places must be recognized by the Bluegrass State.

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Plaintiffs celebrate overturned Va. same-sex marriage ban

| Friday, February 14, 2014
NORFOLK, Va. -- The two couples at the center of a fight over the legality of same-sex marriage in Virginia are celebrating a federal judge's ruling overturning the state's ban.

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Gay rights advocates launch ‘Freedom Nevada’ push to repeal gay marriage ban

| Friday, February 14, 2014
Samantha Clemens, Las Vegas Review-Journal (AP)Tod Story, executive director of American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, gives remarks at the podium during the launch of Freedom Nevada on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 in Las Vegas. The campaign aims to ensure passage of an expected 2016 ballot measure that would amend the Nevada Constitution to recognize all marriages.
LAS VEGAS -- Several same-sex couples helped a coalition of advocacy groups in Nevada put a face on what they called marriage equality on Thursday, launching a push to get the Legislature in 2015 and voters in 2016 to change the state constitution to allow same-sex unions.

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Indiana same-sex marriage fight delayed (at least 2 years)… but not over

| Friday, February 14, 2014
Charlie Nye, The Indianapolis Star (AP)Citizens for Community Values of Indiana representatives hold up a large banner outside the Statehouse in Indianapolis on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. From left are Ross Byrne, South Bend; Pamm Thomas, Osceola; and Tom Uebbing, South Bend.
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Senate's decision to advance a proposed ban on same-sex marriage without also blocking civil unions has reset the clock on the issue getting to voters, setting the stage for continuing fights for at least two years.

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Federal judge rules Va. ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional

| Thursday, February 13, 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. -- Virginia on Thursday became the first state in the South to have its same-sex marriage ban overturned, with a late-night federal court ruling that declared the voter-approved amendment unconstitutional.

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Missouri governor supports repealing state’s same-sex marriage ban

| Thursday, February 13, 2014
Gov. Jay Nixon (D-Mo.)
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Gov. Jay Nixon said Thursday that he supports ending Missouri's same-sex marriage ban and thinks voters should have a chance to repeal an amendment to the state constitution that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

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