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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U.S. appeals court rules Okla. same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

Friday, July 18, 2014
Oklahoma
DENVER -- A federal appeals court ruling Friday that Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional spurred celebration among gay rights activists but sparked sharp anger among Republican leaders in a conservative state that prides itself on being the buckle of the nation's Bible Belt. The decision by a three-judge [...]

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Pa. clerk seeks ‘en banc’ hearing in bid to overturn same-sex marriage ruling

Friday, July 18, 2014
Theresa Santai-Gaffney
POTTSVILLE, Pa. — A Pennsylvania county clerk seeking to overturn a federal judge’s ruling allowing same-sex couples to marry in the state, is now asking that the entire U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit consider her bid to defend the state's ban on same-sex marriage. Theresa Santai-Gaffney, the [...]

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Montana AG asks federal court to uphold same-sex marriage ban

Thursday, July 17, 2014
Attorney General Tim Fox (R-Mont.)
HELENA, Mont. -- Montana's attorney general asked a federal court Thursday to uphold the state's constitutional same-sex marriage ban in response to a lawsuit that seeks to overturn it. Republican Attorney General Tim Fox said in documents filed in federal court in Great Falls that the people of Montana spoke [...]

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Florida judge overturns gay marriage ban; ruling applies only to Florida Keys

Thursday, July 17, 2014
Key West plaintiffs Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones
KEY WEST, Fla -- . A judge in the Florida Keys has overturned the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage after a legal challenge by six gay couples said it effectively made them second-class citizens. The ruling was issued Thursday by Circuit Judge Luis M. Garcia and applies only to [...]

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Catholic worker fired after her same-sex marriage became public sues diocese

Thursday, July 17, 2014
In this April 22, 2014 photo Colleen Simon fills an order for a family of seven at the food pantry of St. Francis Xavier in Kansas City, Mo.
A parish food pantry worker who was fired over her marriage to another woman sued the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph on Thursday, the latest in a growing number of clashes over gay rights between Roman Catholic leaders and their employees nationwide. Colleen Simon, 57, said the diocese and the [...]

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Conn. Supreme Court affirms pre-gay marriage rights in landmark ruling

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Margaret-Mueller-Charlotte-Stacey
HARTFORD, Conn. -- Connecticut's highest court ruled Wednesday that some legal rights of same-sex couples predate the state's approvals of civil unions in 2005 and same-sex marriage in 2008, a decision that gay rights supporters call the first of its kind in the country. The state Supreme Court issued a [...]

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Utah asks U.S. Supreme Court to delay benefits to married same-sex couples

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Utah state capitol in Salt Lake City
SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to extend a stay that's preventing more than 1,000 same-sex couples from getting state benefits. Utah filed its appeal Wednesday, arguing that benefits should be delayed while the larger issue of the marriage ban makes its way through the [...]

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Ohio AG tells appeals court gay marriage decision should be left to voters

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Attorney General Mike DeWine (R-Ohio)
CINCINNATI -- The Ohio Attorney General's Office urged a federal appeals court to reject arguments that the state should have to recognize same-sex marriage, saying the decision should be left to voters. The arguments, filed Tuesday in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, are a preview of [...]

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First Mississippi mayor announces his support for marriage equality

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
David Garcia
WAVELAND, Miss. -- Waveland mayor David Garcia has announced his support for same-sex marriage, marking the first time a sitting mayor in the state of Mississippi has publicly supported marriage equality. Garcia has added his name to "Mayors for the Freedom to Marry," a nationwide effort consisting of more than [...]

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Couples ask federal judge to strike down Ark. same-sex marriage ban

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Arkansas
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Attorneys for two same-sex couples in Arkansas are asking a federal judge to issue an order striking down the state's same-sex marriage ban. Attorneys for the couples filed a motion Wednesday for summary judgment, asking U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker to issue an order striking down [...]

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