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.

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Okla. couple asks U.S. Supreme Court to hear same-sex marriage case

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Sharon Baldwin, left, and Mary Bishop are the plaintiffs who successfully challenged Oklahoma's ban on same-sex marriage
TULSA, Okla. -- Attorneys for a same-sex Tulsa couple seeking the right to marry in Oklahoma have filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the court to take up their case. The couple, Sharon Baldwin and Mary Bishop, sued Tulsa County Clerk Sally Howe Smith for failing to [...]

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Fla. Supreme Court asked to rule on same-sex marriage

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Florida Supreme Court in Tallahassee.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida's highest court is being asked to rule on whether the state's ban on gay marriage is constitutional. A majority of judges with the state's 2nd District of Appeal on Wednesday asked the Florida Supreme Court to settle the question due to "great public importance." The ruling [...]

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Fla. Democratic AG nominee promises distinction from Bondi on gay marriage

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
George Sheldon
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- George Sheldon, a one-time top official in the Obama administration, easily defeated state Rep. Perry Thurston on Tuesday in the Democratic primary for attorney general. Sheldon moves on to the November ballot, where he will challenge Republican incumbent Pam Bondi and Libertarian candidate Bill Wohlsifer. [...]

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N.C. governor asked not to defend same-sex marriage ban

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Gov. Pat McCrory (R-N.C.)
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Same-sex couples and their families who want Gov. Pat McCrory to keep out of pending litigation challenging North Carolina's gay marriage ban are bringing names of their allies to his offices. [...]

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Federal appeals court judges bristle at ‘traditional’ marriage argument

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
ACLU attorney Ken Faulk, center, talks to reporters surrounded by plaintiffs and supporters of gay marriage, after Faulk participated in a hearing before the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on the challenges to Indiana and Wisconsin's gay marriage ban Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014, in Chicago.
CHICAGO -- Federal appeals court judges considering whether to uphold gay marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin reserved their toughest questions for the states, asking how the bans help society, especially children of same-sex couples. A three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in [...]

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Wisconsin, Indiana set to defend same-sex marriage bans

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Supporters of gay marriage in Wisconsin and Indiana attend a rally at the federal plaza Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in Chicago. The Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments Tuesday on gay marriage fights from Indiana and Wisconsin, setting the stage for one ruling.
CHICAGO -- The legal skirmish over same-sex marriage shifted Tuesday to a federal appeals court in Chicago as attorneys for Wisconsin and Indiana sought to reinstate bans on gay weddings ruled unconstitutional two months earlier. The outcome of the case also could directly affect hundreds of couples who were married [...]

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For couples challenging Ind., Wis., marriage bans, the fight is about fairness

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Bonnie Everly, left, and Lyn Judkins, from Chesterton, Ind., embrace during a rally in support of gay marriage at the federal plaza Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in Chicago.
The Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments Tuesday on gay marriage fights from Indiana and Wisconsin, setting the stage for one ruling. Each case deals with whether statewide gay marriage bans violate the Constitution. For the couples challenging the bans, the fight is about fairness and [...]

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Wis. rally gives marriage plaintiffs send-off for appeals court hearing

Monday, August 25, 2014
Brandon Herr, right, and Matt Antonczyk blow bubbles at a rally Monday, Aug. 25, 2014 in Milwaukee as gay couples and their supporters board a bus for a trip to Chicago for a key hearing in the fight against same-sex marriage bans. On Tuesday the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago will hear oral arguments in a combined appeal from Wisconsin and Indiana where same-sex marriage were ruled unconstitutional in June.
MILWAUKEE -- Supporters blew bubbles and held up signs in support of same-sex marriage Monday as same-sex couples boarded a bus for Chicago to listen to oral arguments before a federal appeals court. The 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has scheduled arguments for Tuesday in the state's appeal of [...]

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Marriage equality supporters rally in Ind. ahead of appeals court hearing

Monday, August 25, 2014
Henry Greene, left, is joined by his husband Glenn Funkhouser, right, and their son Casey Greene as he spoke at a rally for gay couples in Indianapolis, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014 that are part of a court hearing on the challenge to Indiana's same-sex marriage ban. Nearly 100 supporters gathered at the City Market in downtown Indianapolis to see off some of the plaintiffs as they left to attend legal arguments before a federal appeals court on Tuesday.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Gay couples heading to Chicago to challenge Indiana's same-sex marriage ban told supporters Monday that they believe they are on the right side of history. Nearly 100 supporters at a rally sponsored by Hoosiers Unite for Marriage gathered at the City Market in downtown Indianapolis to wave off [...]

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VIDEO

Marriage News Watch: Victory in Fla., 7th Circuit to hear Ind., Wis., marriage cases

Monday, August 25, 2014
Carmine Caruso holds a rainbow flag during a rally in supports of same sex marriage in front of the Ada County courthouse in Boise, Idaho, on Friday, May 16, 2014. Idaho's gay marriage ban was overturned Tuesday when U.S. District Judge Candy Dale said the law unconstitutionally denied gay and lesbian residents their fundamental right to marry. On May 15, 2014, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay while it considers whether a longer stay is needed.
The anti-gay Governor of Indiana just got caught making some wild claims in court, and now a judge has called him out in a sternly-worded ruling. Marriage equality has picked up another victory, with the first federal judge to rule in Florida. In Arizona, an elderly couple facing a terminal [...]

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