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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 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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Methodists in crisis over same-sex marriage, church law

| Sunday, February 9, 2014
Matt Rourke, APFormer United Methodist pastor Frank Schaefer was defrocked by church officials after he officiated his gay son's wedding in Massachusetts.
NEW YORK — The dispute among United Methodists over recognition of same-sex couples has lapsed into a doctrinal donnybrook, pitting clergy who are presiding at gay weddings in defiance of church law against proponents of traditional marriage who are trying to stop them.

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Indiana gay marriage opponents press forward, even as tides shift

| Saturday, February 8, 2014
AJ Mast, APIndiana state Rep. Eric Turner speaks during debate on a proposed amendment to the state's constitution to ban same-sex marriage in the House of Representatives at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
INDIANAPOLIS — Opponents of same-sex marriage have spent more than a decade working to ensure that Indiana stayed true to its conservative roots by strengthening its stance against gay unions. But in a year that was expected to bring a crucial victory, they find themselves facing a strong headwind.

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Citing DOMA ruling, Holder applies same-sex marriage rights to Justice Dept.

| Saturday, February 8, 2014
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
WASHINGTON -- In an assertion of same-sex marriage rights, Attorney General Eric Holder is applying a landmark Supreme Court ruling to the Justice Department, announcing Saturday that same-sex spouses cannot be compelled to testify against each other, should be eligible to file for bankruptcy jointly and are entitled to the same rights and privileges as federal prison inmates in opposite-sex marriages.

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Ind. governor sticking to his support for constitutional ban on gay marriage

| Friday, February 7, 2014
Gov. Mike Pence (R-Ind.)
INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is sticking to his support for a proposed state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

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Plaintiffs in gay marriage suit seek to exclude ‘expert’ witness Mark Regnerus

| Thursday, February 6, 2014
Mark Regnerus
DETROIT -- Plaintiffs in a federal court challenge of Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage have filed a brief seeking to ban the author of a discredited study on gay parenting from testifying as an expert witness on behalf of the state.

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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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