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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Rubio: Gay marriage advocates often show ‘intolerance’ toward opponents

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., wipes his face as he speaks at the Catholic University of America, in Washington, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. Rubio is rushing to woo social conservatives ahead of a potential 2016 White House run.
WASHINGTON -- Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida says supporters of same-sex marriage often show "intolerance" toward people like him who support heterosexual marriages. Rubio on Wednesday also told an audience at Catholic University that those who support abortion rights ignore the rights of "the unborn." [...]

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Takano introduces bill to close Social Security, Medicare LGBT loopholes

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
U.S. Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.)
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) on Tuesday introduced the Social Security and Medicare Parity Act in the U.S. House, a bill to close loopholes in the Social Security Act and guarantee that all married couples, including same-sex couples, receive the Social Security and Medicare spouse and survivor benefits [...]

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Wis. AG tells appeals court same-sex marriage isn’t a fundamental right

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen (R-Wis.)
MILWAUKEE -- Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says the U.S. constitution's equal protection clause doesn't apply in cases involving sexual orientation and there's no fundamental right for same-sex couples to marry. Van Hollen made his arguments in a brief filed Wednesday with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals [...]

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Colo. judge again refuses to stop Boulder same-sex marriages

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Boulder-CO
BOULDER, Colo. -- A Colorado state judge has again refused to stop Boulder's clerk from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. In an order issued Wednesday and included in the file of a pending federal lawsuit on same-sex marriage, Boulder District Judge Andrew Hartman denied Attorney General John Suthers’ request [...]

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Marriage Equality USA: Interview with Edith Windsor (Part 2)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Richard Drew, APEdith Windsor at the offices of the New York Civil Liberties Union, in New York. When it comes to things like estate taxes, the federal recognition of same-sex marriage will help legally married gay and lesbian couples. That was the issue in the Supreme Court decision in the case of Windsor, who had to pay estate taxes after her lesbian spouse died.
Just over one year ago, Windsor v. United States became one of the most important court cases for the LGBT community. Since then, every one of more than a dozen court cases striking down same-sex marriage bans has used the Windsor decision at the core of their legal decision. In [...]

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Report: Marriage equality would add $181 million, new jobs to Texas economy

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Texas
Extending marriage to same-sex couples in Texas would generate an estimated $181.6 million in spending to the state’s economy and generate over 1,500 new jobs over three years, according to a new study. Researchers at the Williams Institute, an independent think tank at UCLA’s School of Law, estimates that — [...]

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UPDATE: Fla. appeals court won’t lift stay in same-sex marriage case

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Florida-flag
MIAMI -- A Florida appeals court will not overturn a judge's order that is blocking a Florida Keys gay couple from getting married. The Miami-based 3rd District Court of Appeal on Wednesday refused to invalidate a Monroe County judge's decision preventing a wedding for Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones [...]

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Federal judge in La. same-sex marriage case says no more arguments needed

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman
NEW ORLEANS -- A federal judge in Louisiana says he doesn't need to hear any more arguments in the case of a same-sex couple challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage, and has signaled he is prepared to rule the ban's constitutionality. U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman heard arguments in [...]

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Attorney asks judge to bypass trial and issue ruling in N.D. gay marriage case

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
North-Dakota
BISMARCK, N.D. -- The Minneapolis attorney representing the seven same-sex couples challenging North Dakota's gay marriage ban is asking a judge to bypass a trial and issue a ruling. Attorney Joshua Newville filed a motion for summary judgment late Tuesday while also responding to the state's motion to dismiss the [...]

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Federal judge likely to strike down Colo. gay marriage ban, but considering stay

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Colorado
DENVER -- A federal judge in Denver is expected to rule Wednesday whether Colorado's same-sex marriage ban should be overturned immediately, or if the issue should be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. U.S. District Judge Raymond P. Moore's decision will be in response to a lawsuit by six gay [...]

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