New & Noteworthy:

Marriage Equality

As of November 20, 2014:

In the United States, same-sex marriage is legal in 35 states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, 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, 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 and the Untied Kingdom. (In the United Kingdom, same-sex marriage is legal in England and Wales, and will become legal in Scotland on Dec. 31, 2014.) Same-sex marriage in Luxembourg will come into effect Jan. 1, 2015.

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More than half of all Wisconsin counties now issuing same-sex marriage licenses

Monday, June 9, 2014
Kem Highfill, left, and Richard Rehm fill out their marriage license at county clerks office Saturday, June 7, 2014, in Madison, Wis. after a federal judge struck down the state's gay marriage ban.
More than half of the counties in Wisconsin are issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. County clerk offices in 41 of the state's 72 counties told The Associated Press on Monday that they were issuing licenses. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb in Madison struck down the ban Friday in an [...]

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Judge says he saw no proof that same-sex marriage destroys families

Monday, June 9, 2014
U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III
The federal judge who struck down Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage said Monday he saw no proof that same-sex marriage destroys the strength of families. U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III, responding to criticism of his decision, noted that Gov. Tom Corbett's administration did not even try to establish [...]

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Alaska AG says he plans to fight challenge to same-sex marriage ban

Monday, June 9, 2014
Attorney General Michael Geraghty (R-Alaska)
JUNEAU, Alaska -- Alaska Attorney General Michael Geraghty plans to fight a lawsuit challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage. The Department of Law, in a statement, says the attorney general's office has a duty "to uphold and defend the Alaska Constitution, which it intends to do." [...]

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Judge delays action on AG request to halt same-sex marriages in Wisconsin

Monday, June 9, 2014
Miriam Douglass, left, and Ligia Rivera react Monday, June 9, 2014 to the announcement that marriage licenses would be granted, subject to a five day waiting period, in Outagamie County, Wis. The two were given the first same-sex marriage license in the county.
MILWAUKEE -- Same-sex couples in Wisconsin convinced some county clerks to give them licenses Monday so they could wed before an expected hold on a judge's decision declaring the state's gay marriage ban unconstitutional. Other clerks, however, refused to act without an order from the court or state, which is [...]

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Utah threatens to ask Supreme Court for help in same-sex marriage suit

Monday, June 9, 2014
Attorney General Sean Reyes (R-Utah)
Utah officials are threatening to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in a lawsuit filed by same-sex couples demanding to have their marriages recognized. Attorneys for Utah say in court filings Monday that they'll appeal to the high court if a federal appeals court lifts the hold on a [...]

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Gay couples convince Appleton, Wis., clerk to issue marriage licenses

Monday, June 9, 2014
Appleton-WI
APPLETON, Wis. -- The county clerk in Appleton is accepting applications for marriage licenses from same-sex couples after nearly 100 people refused to leave her office without completing forms. Outagamie County Clerk Lori O'Bright initially told couples Monday morning that she would wait for direction from the state before issuing [...]

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Wis. AG asks federal appeals court to halt same-sex marriages

Monday, June 9, 2014
Mel Freitag, left, and Amber Sowards, of Madison, Wis., get married by Daniel Floeter, family court commissioner, outside the City-County Building on Friday, June 6, 2014, in Madison after a federal judge struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage. Sowards, who is six months pregnant, has been with Freitag for six years.
MADISON, Wis. -- Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has asked a federal appeals court to halt same-sex marriages in Wisconsin after a judge declared the state's ban on same-sex marriages unconstitutional. The Republican Van Hollen filed the motion Monday in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. [...]

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Quinn, Emanuel attend Illinois same-sex marriage celebration

Sunday, June 8, 2014
Gov. Pat Quinn (D-Ill.) pays tribute to marriage equality advocates at a celebration in Chicago on June 8, 2014.
A swanky brunch paying tribute Sunday to those who helped pass Illinois' new same-sex marriage law wasn't free from election-year politics as organizers deemed Gov. Pat Quinn "the most pro-gay governor in the history of Illinois" and knocked his Republican re-election challenger. [...]

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Brian and Toby: A same-sex couple’s wedding story

Sunday, June 8, 2014
In this Jan. 1, 2013 photo, Toby Sowers, right, hugs Brian Rubin as they pose for a photo during a New Year's party in New York. In the late 1990s, Brian said his father was dismayed to learn that his son was gay. Now, he enthusiastically hosted a dinner for members of the wedding's inner circle.
From their first date, it took Brian Rubin and Toby Sowers only days to fall in love and barely seven months to get engaged. Then the pace of their love story slowed. They spent 20 more months planning their wedding, a three-day flurry of celebrations and ceremonies in New York [...]

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County executive: 146 same-sex couples married in Milwaukee

Saturday, June 7, 2014
Cody Huston, left, and Tina Cady, both of Madison, embrace after getting married Saturday, June 7, 2014, in Madison, Wis. On Friday a federal judge struck down the state's gay marriage ban.
MILWAUKEE -- Nearly 150 gay couples have married in Milwaukee after a federal judge overturned Wisconsin's ban on same-sex marriage. Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said Saturday afternoon that 146 couples married there before the courthouse closed at 1 p.m. [...]

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