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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. Legal challenges are pending in the remaining 31 states.

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Gay marriage fight pits Texas attorney general against longtime gay friend

| Friday, February 28, 2014
Greg-Abbott-3
When Greg Abbott was paralyzed by a fallen tree in 1984, Mark Phariss flew 500 miles to his friend's bedside. They were law school pals who swapped stories over dinner, job leads and airport rides, and they still exchange Christmas cards today. Their friendship is now at an extraordinary junction: Phariss, who is gay, filed the Texas lawsuit that a federal judge used this week to strike down the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

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Utah defends freeze on benefits for married, same-sex couples

| Friday, February 28, 2014
Utah
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah officials say in a new court filing that they have no choice but to put a freeze on granting benefits to newly married gay couples until a federal appeals court rules on the state's same-sex marriage ban.

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St. Louis schools to add spousal benefits for married, same-sex couples

| Friday, February 28, 2014
St. Louis, Mo.
ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- The St. Louis public school system has implemented changes to their employment benefits to include coverage for married, same-sex spouses.

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ACLU seeks preliminary block on Wisconsin’s same-sex marriage ban

| Friday, February 28, 2014
John Hart, APPlaintiffs in a federal lawsuit challenging Wisconsin's ban on gay marriage appear during a press conference at the Madison Concourse Hotel in Madison, Wis., Monday, Feb. 03, 2014. The couples, from left, are Judi Trampf and Katy Heyning of Madison, Marie Carlson and Charvonne Kemp of Milwaukee, and Garth Wangemann and Roy Badger of Milwaukee.
MADISON, Wis. -- Civil rights advocates have asked a federal judge to block Wisconsin's gay marriage ban while their lawsuit challenging the prohibition winds its way through court, arguing same-sex couples could suffer harm if the ban remains in place.

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Third Illinois county plans to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples

| Thursday, February 27, 2014
John Dixon, APMarissa Meli, left, and Laura Meli were the first same-sex couple to receive a marriage license at the Champaign County Champaign County Clerks office in Urbana, Ill., on Wednesday Feb. 26, 2014.
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- McLean County, Ill., Clerk Kathy Michael says she hopes to be issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples by the middle of next week, months ahead of the June 1 date when Illinois' marriage equality law is scheduled to take effect.

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Texas files notice to appeal same-sex marriage ruling

| Thursday, February 27, 2014
Jerry Lara, APPlaintiffs (from left) Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetman, and Mark Phariss and Victor Holmes, give a news conference in San Antonio on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 after U.S. Federal Judge Orlando Garcia declared a same-sex marriage ban in deeply conservative Texas unconstitutional.
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas has officially given notice it will appeal a federal judge's decision to lift the state's ban on gay marriage.

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Federal judge issues order requiring Ky. to recognize same-sex marriages

| Thursday, February 27, 2014
U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A federal judge has issued an order requiring the state of Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where it is legal.

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Idaho approves $1 million to defend same-sex marriage ban

| Thursday, February 27, 2014
Idaho state capitol in Boise.
BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Legislature's Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee has approved spending $1 million to defend the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

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Ky. seeks delay in order that it recognize same-sex marriages from other states

| Thursday, February 27, 2014
Attorney General Jack Conway (D-Ky.)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Kentucky's attorney general asked a federal judge on Thursday to delay by 90 days an order requiring the state to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states and countries.

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Expert testimony continues in Day 3 of Mich. same-sex marriage trial

| Thursday, February 27, 2014
Paul Sancya, AP (File)April DeBoer, second from left, sits with her adopted daughter Ryanne, left, 3, and Jayne Rowse, fourth from left, and her adopted sons Jacob, 3, middle, and Nolan, 4, right, at their home in Hazel Park, Mich. On Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman is scheduled to open a trial on the women’s challenge to Michigan’s ban on gay marriage and joint adoptions by same-sex couples.
DETROIT — A California scholar says that same-sex couples give the same reason as their opposite-sex counterparts to why they want to marry. Gary Gates of the Williams Institute at UCLA law school testified Thursday in a trial in Detroit federal court over the future of Michigan's ban on gay marriage.

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