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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Politico poll: Majority in ‘highly competitive midterm contests’ oppose gay marriage

Monday, May 19, 2014
Supporters of traditional marriage and gay marriage demonstrate outside the Federal Appeals Court in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, May 13, 2014.
A new poll conducted for Politico.com finds that overall, 52 percent of those "surveyed" oppose same-sex marriage, the only national poll in more than a year to suggest that Americans still oppose marriage equality.

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Losing battles, winning the war

Monday, May 19, 2014
AP
Dear Opponents of Equality: You can feel it approaching, can’t you? Victory for those of us who seek equality under the law is looming on the horizon. Our shared concepts of marriage, love, sexuality and family are changing. We get that you might be worried or afraid. Change is difficult; especially if you’ve had things go your way for, well, most of history. What you’ve failed to grasp is that the right to define those terms is not YOURS alone. All of us in a free society can contribute to the understanding, the definition, and the reality of what makes a family and what defines a marriage...

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National Organization for Marriage may face $50,000 fine in Maine

Monday, May 19, 2014
NOM president Brian Brown
AUGUSTA, Maine -- The National Organization for Marriage, the anti-gay marriage group that helped defeat Maine's same-sex marriage law in 2009 may be fined more than $50,000 and ordered to reveal its donors, after an ethics investigation released Monday found that it violated the state's campaign finance law.

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Ruling expected today in challenge to Oregon same-sex marriage ban

Monday, May 19, 2014
U.S. District Judge Michael McShane
PORTLAND, Ore. -- A federal judge was expected to make Oregon the latest state to allow gay marriage after state officials refused to defend its constitutional ban in court, and gay couples were poised to tie the knot right after the ruling.

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Utah Supreme Court halts same-sex parent adoption cases

Saturday, May 17, 2014
The Scott M. Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City, home of the Utah Supreme Court.
SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Supreme Court has ordered a temporary halt of several district judges' orders requiring the Utah Department of Health to issue birth certificates in same-sex parent adoptions.

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The fight for equality: Tactics endure after 10 years of same-sex marriage

Saturday, May 17, 2014
In this May 17, 2004 file photo, Marcia Hams, left, and her partner, Susan Shepherd, right, take an oath administered by City Clerk D. Margaret Drury, foreground, during the application process for a marriage license just after midnight at City Hall in Cambridge, Mass. Hams and Shepherd were the first couple to complete the application process as Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in the United States, and were wed later that day.
BOSTON -- Supporters and activists routinely ask gay couples to meet with reluctant lawmakers to put a human face on same-sex marriage. They file lawsuits. They use unexpected allies — in some cases, churches — to spread their message.

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After Massachusetts’ first same-sex marriages, ‘joy spread’

Saturday, May 17, 2014
Irma, left, and her wife, Angela Bauer-Levesque pose on the stairway at Cambridge City Hall in Cambridge, Mass., Friday, May 16, 2014, prior to a renewal of their marriage vows in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the first same-sex weddings in Massachusetts and the nation. The women recalled being swept up in the excitement at they passed by city hall in 2004. Officials had decided to being marrying couples at midnight and the two jumped in line. The Cambridge couple said they got their license at 4:20 in the morning.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Newlyweds and couples celebrated Friday along with the lead lawyer in the landmark case behind the first same-sex marriages in Massachusetts and the nation 10 years ago.

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Only one Alaska gubernatorial candidate supports marriage equality

Saturday, May 17, 2014
Byron Mallott
JUNEAU, Alaska -- Only one of the main candidates for Alaska governor supports same-sex marriage. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallott says he welcomes news of five gay couples suing to overturn Alaska's same-sex marriage ban.

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Ark. Supreme Court issues stay, puts same-sex marriage ruling on hold

Friday, May 16, 2014
Arkansas-flag
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas' whirlwind week of granting of marriage licenses to same-sex couples ended Friday when the state Supreme Court ordered a temporary stop just as a final pair completed their paperwork at a Little Rock courthouse.

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Federal judge to rule Monday on Oregon same-sex marriage ban

Friday, May 16, 2014
Supporters of same-sex marriage hold photos of themselves and their family members or partners on the steps of the Wayne L Morse U.S. Courthouse Wednesday, May 14, 2014, in Eugene, Ore. A federal judge will hear arguments Wednesday about whether a national group can defend Oregon's ban on same-sex marriage because the state's attorney general has refused to do so.
PORTLAND, Ore. -- A federal judge says he'll issue a decision next week on a constitutional challenge to Oregon's same-sex marriage ban.

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