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. On May 22, 2015, Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage by a popular vote of its citizens.

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La. church gives AA group the boot out of fear of having to host gay weddings

Sunday, September 28, 2014
Westwood-Baptist-Church
KEITHVILLE, La. — A local Alcoholics Anonymous group is looking for a new place to meet after being booted from a Louisiana church over the pastor’s fears he might be forced to accommodate same-sex weddings. KSLA-TV reports that Pastor David Venable of the Westwood Baptist Church in Keithville, La., said [...]

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Same-sex marriage ban stalls changes to Dallas pension funds

Sunday, September 28, 2014
Dallas City Hall
DALLAS -- Two Dallas city pension funds have delayed enacting measures passed by the city council aimed at ensuring equal rights for municipal employees. The council earlier this year adopted a non-binding resolution seeking equal treatment for LGBT employees. It followed that vote with another Wednesday that amends... [...]

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La. AG appeals state court ruling that struck down same-sex marriage ban

Saturday, September 27, 2014
Attorney General James "Buddy" Caldwell (R-La.)
NEW ORLEANS -- Louisiana's attorney general is asking the state Supreme Court to overturn a decision by a Lafayette Parish judge who declared Louisiana's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Attorney General James "Buddy" Caldwell's Office filed the appeal Friday. Caldwell asked the court to rule quickly. But that might not [...]

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Alaska defends same-sex marriage ban in federal court filing

Friday, September 26, 2014
Chris Shelden (left) and Matt Hamby are plaintiffs in the federal challenge to Alaska's same-sex marriage ban.
JUNEAU, Alaska -- The state of Alaska says citizens, not the courts, should decide whether the definition of marriage includes same-sex couples. The state is defending its ban on gay marriage in a filing in federal court. Five same-sex couples sued earlier this year to overturn the ban, which was [...]

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Fifth Circuit to hear same-sex marriage appeals from Louisiana, Texas

Friday, September 26, 2014
John Minor Wisdom U.S. Courthouse in New Orleans,   home of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
NEW ORLEANS, La. -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Thursday said it will hear the appeals of same-sex marriage rulings from Texas and Louisiana. Equality on Trial reports that the two cases will be heard on the same date and by the same panel, although [...]

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VIDEO

Freedom to Marry launches national TV ad declaring ‘It’s time’ for marriage

Friday, September 26, 2014
freedom-to-marry-video
A new national television advertisement released by Freedom to Marry will begin airing on Sunday morning network news shows in Washington, D.C. The 30-second spot, which will later be broadcast on cable news programs next week, declares, “It’s time” for the freedom to marry and tells the stories of same-sex [...]

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Arkansas Catholic diocese wants to enter same-sex marriage suit

Friday, September 26, 2014
Bishop Anthony Taylor
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The leader of Arkansas' Roman Catholic diocese wants the state's highest court to consider his thoughts on the voter-approved same-sex marriage ban. Anthony Taylor, the bishop of Little Rock, asked the Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday to accept a friend of the court brief that argues [...]

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Judge hears arguments in challenge to Missouri same-sex marriage ban

Thursday, September 25, 2014
Same-sex couples, plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against the state of Missouri, foreground, watch as Anthony Rothert, an attorney representing them, argues before Circuit Court Judge J. Dale Youngs during a hearing on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, in Kansas City, Mo.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Missouri doesn't allow first cousins to legally marry, but recognizes such marriages if they were legally performed in other states. The same goes for couples who were too young to wed in Missouri but were allowed to do so elsewhere. An attorney for 10 same-sex couples [...]

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ACLU seeks to file brief in Mississippi same-sex couple’s divorce case

Thursday, September 25, 2014
Mississippi
JACKSON, Miss. -- The American Civil Liberties Union wants to file a brief in support of a woman who wants the state of Mississippi to recognize her same-sex marriage in order to grant a divorce. The Mississippi Supreme Court has not ruled on the motion filed Thursday. It's unclear if [...]

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Ark. justice recused from gay marriage case accused of improper exchange

Thursday, September 25, 2014
Cliff-Hoofman
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- An Arkansas Supreme Court justice has been accused of having an inappropriate conversation with a state lawmaker about an issue set to go before the court. The state's judicial oversight committee said it's investigating a complaint against Justice Cliff Hoofman... [...]

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