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. On May 22, 2015, Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage by a popular vote of its citizens.

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Same-sex marriage opponents hold rally at Utah state capitol

Friday, September 19, 2014
In this Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014 photo, opponents of same-sex marriage hold a rally the Capitol Rotunda in Salt Lake City.
SALT LAKE CITY -- Several hundred people gathered to show their opposition to increasingly widespread acceptance of gay marriage Thursday at the Utah State Capitol, lamenting the harm done to children raised by gay and lesbian parents. They held signs declaring "biology is not bigotry" and "two moms don't equal [...]

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Church denies Communion to married, same-sex couple; suggests they divorce

Friday, September 19, 2014
St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, Lewistown, Mont.
BILLINGS, Mont. -- A gay couple has been told they can no longer receive Communion or participate in church ministry after a new priest at a Roman Catholic church in central Montana learned they had been married in a civil ceremony more than a year ago. The decision set off [...]

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Va. House Republicans aim to hire lawyer to defend same-sex marriage ban

Friday, September 19, 2014
Virginia state capitol in Richmond.
RICHMOND, Va. -- The GOP-controlled Virginia House of Delegates on Thursday approved a resolution that includes language that would allow the branch to hire legal counsel to defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, something Attorney General Mark Herring has chosen not to do. [...]

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Ind. conservatives honor lawmaker who fought against same-sex marriage

Friday, September 19, 2014
Mike Delph
INDIANAPOLIS -- An Indiana state senator at the center of this year's legislative same-sex marriage battle is being honored by the conservative Indiana Family Institute. Republican Sen. Mike Delph of Carmel was named lawmaker of the year by the group Thursday night at a fundraiser in Carmel. [...]

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Arizona Latino leaders announce support for marriage equality

Friday, September 19, 2014
arizona
Latino leaders from across the state kicked off National Hispanic Heritage Month by announcing their support for marriage equality, reports the Phoenix New Times. “There’s a perception out there that the Latino community does not support marriage equality, but that’s not the case,” says Jeremy Zegas, a project director for [...]

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Federal judge in W.Va. delays same-sex marriage ruling

Thursday, September 18, 2014
West-Virginia
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- A federal judge in West Virginia has delayed ruling on a lawsuit challenging the state's same-sex marriage ban. U.S. District Judge Robert Chambers in Huntington says due to the "overlap of issues" presented in the West Virginia case and a similar one in Virginia, he put the [...]

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Miss. governor intervenes in same-sex couple’s divorce case

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Gov. Phil Bryant (R-Miss.)
JACKSON, Miss. -- Gov. Phil Bryant is intervening in a case involving a Mississippi woman who wants the state to recognize her same-sex marriage in order to grant a divorce. Bryant, represented by Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, is opposing the woman's appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court. [...]

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ACLU files new lawsuit seeking recognition of Wis. same-sex marriages

Wednesday, September 17, 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.
MADISON, Wis. -- The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking recognition of Wisconsin gay couples who married in June after a judge temporarily blocked the state's ban on same-sex marriage. The ACLU filed a federal lawsuit in February challenging the ban. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb found [...]

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Federal appeals court stays Wisconsin same-sex marriage ruling

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Wisconsin-3
MADISON, Wis. -- A federal appeals court on Wednesday stayed a ruling that Wisconsin's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this month upheld U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb's June ruling that the ban violated gay couples' equal protection rights. [...]

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GLAD’s Mary Bonauto receives MacArthur Foundation ‘genius grant’

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Mary Bonauto
CHICAGO -- Mary L. Bonauto, the Civil Rights Project Director for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), has been awarded a 2014 MacArthur Fellowship, sometimes referred to as a “genius grant.” The Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced on Wednesday this year's recipients of the grants [...]

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