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Content about LGBT rights in the United States

October 13, 2014

In a brief filed with the Firth Circuit Court of Appeals, Greg Abbott also said that – in relation to legal arguments – the fact such unions may benefit children with same-sex parents ‘doesn’t matter’

At the beginning of the month, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said that part of the reason he was opposed to gay marriage was because he’d been married to his wife for 33 years.

Now, Abbott – a Republican who is currently running for the position of Governor of Texas – has voiced another reason why the Lone Star State should maintain its ban on gay marriage: Maintaining such a ban reduces out-of-wedlock births.

October 11, 2014

'Homo[sexuality] is a problem for us'

Twenty-one years ago, when Bill Clinton was in the White House, the Democratic president formed a military policy called 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'

The code permitted gay, lesbian, and bisexual troops to serve in the US military as long as they were not out. Yesterday, 10 October, the Clinton Library released documents chronicling the debate in creating the plan.

October 9, 2014

Ruling comes after probate judge began issuing licenses to same-sex couples

South Carolina seemed poised to join the growing number of US states with same-sex marriage during a historic week.

But on Thursday (9 October), the state's Supreme Court dashed those hopes - for now - when it ordered probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Charleston County Probate Judge Irvin Condon on Wednesday (8 October) ordered that a license be given to Charleston County Councilwoman Colleen Condon and Nichols Bleckley [pictured].

October 7, 2014

Decision comes a day after marriage equality comes to six additional US states

Same-sex weddings in Las Vegas?

It appears to be just a matter of time now that the Ninth District Court of Appeals has struck down gay marriage bans in the states of Nevada and Idaho.

The ruling comes a day after the US Supreme Court opted not to intervene in gay marriage appeals in Utah, Virginia, Oklahoma, Indiana and Wisconsin making same-sex marriage legal in those states. Colorado also began issuing licenses to same-sex marriages this week.

October 6, 2014

NOM President Brian Brown: 'We are not defeated or dispirited'

Monday was not a good day for the National Organization for Marriage, one of the most vocal opponents of gay marriage in the US.

The US Supreme Court's decision to pass on reviewing any of the seven same-sex marriage cases submitted to them has resulted in same-sex marriage immediately becoming legal in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin and Indiana on the same day.

In addition, Colorado also announced it would begin issuing marriage licenses state-wide to same-sex couples with five more states likely to soon follow suit.

October 6, 2014

Same-sex couples in all 64 Colorado counties are now allowed to get married

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers on Monday (6 October) ordered that all 64 counties in his state begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

His actions came shortly after the US Supreme Court announced that it would let stand a 10th Circuit Court's ruling granting marriage equality.

The high court denied a hearing for cases in both Oklahoma and Utah which, like Colorado, are also in the 10th Circuit.

September 21, 2014

Three couples filed their case against the state's same-sex marriage ban approximately a year ago

A US judge in West Virginia is waiting on the Supreme Court before going on with the gay marriage lawsuit on his docket.

According to WOUB.org, District Judge Robert Chambers points to an 'overlap of issues' with the marriage equality case in neighboring Virginia as the reason for delay.

September 10, 2014

Maura Healey, the 43-year-old former Massachusetts assistant attorney general who was instrumental in challenging DOMA, has secured the Democratic nomination for state attorney general

Maura Healey could become the first openly gay attorney general in the nation after securing the Democratic nomination Tuesday (9 September).

When the polls showed she defeated state lawmaker Warren Tolman for the nomination by 62.4% to 37.6%, she went on to thank those who supported her ‘underdog’ campaign, promising to champion the rights of workers, students and homeowners if elected.

September 9, 2014

HRC President Chad Griffin: 'I am sorry for the times you have been underrepresented or unrepresented by this organization'

The Human Rights Campaign has formally apologized to the transgender community for putting their issues on the back burner in the past.

'I am sorry for the times you have been underrepresented or unrepresented by this organization,' HRC President Chad Griffin said over the weekend at the Southern Comfort Conference in Atlanta.

August 13, 2014

High court intervention last resort after appeals court denies delay in ruling that struck down marriage ban

A federal appeals court on Wednesday (13 August) refused to delay its ruling that struck down Virginia's gay marriage ban earlier this year.

This means that barring the granting of an emergency delay by the US Supreme Court, same-sex couples might start getting married in the state as early as next week.

'No one anticipated we would be this close this quickly to the day when all Virginians have the right to marry the person they love,' Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said in a statement.

August 10, 2014

'It's been remarkable to see the Games thrive over the years'

US President Barack Obama welcomed the participants of the Gay Games with a opening ceremony video.

'Since 1982, the Gay Games have given lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered athletes, and supporters around the world, a chance to come together to compete, celebrate, ad inspire others,' the president said in his 9 August taped comments.

The Games are held every four years, just like the Olympics. Cleveland is this year's host.

Obama noted the progress the Games made since the early 1980s.

August 10, 2014

'It is time to discard these discriminatory bans and to recognize the humanity, dignity, and rights of gay and lesbian Americans seeking to forge life-long bonds'

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is asking the US Supreme Court to review a lower court's decision on his state's marriage ban.

Last month the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled the southern state's marriage equality prohibition is unconstitutional.

On 8 August Herring, a marriage equality supporter, filed a writ of certiorari petition to the country's highest court.

July 21, 2014

Order bans federal government and federal contractors from discriminating against emplyees based on sexual orientation or gender identity

US President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order today that protects employees of the federal government and of federal contractors from being discriminated based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

July 13, 2014

'I think a lot of these measures that ultimately will come before the court will not survive a heightened scrutiny examination'

If a US state's gay marriage ban is argued in front of the Supreme Court, Attorney General Eric Holder promises the Department of Justice will file a friend of the court brief asking for the prohibition to be removed.

Holder was a guest today, 13 July,  on the ABC News show This Week.

July 1, 2014

Judge John G. Heyburn II had already previously ruled that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal

Kentucky's ban on same-sex marriage was struck down today by a federal judge who has ruled that it is unconstitutional.

The ruling, however, was put on hold pending an expected appeal meaning there will be no marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples for now.

The ruling by US District Judge John G. Heyburn II marks the 23rd consecutive ruling in favor of marriage equality since the US Supreme Court gutted the Defense of Marriage Act last June.

The DOMA ruling means the federal government must recognize legal marriages between those of the same sex.

June 30, 2014

Justices decline to review appeal of law prohibiting licensed counselors and therapists from trying to change the sexual orientation or gender expression

The US Supreme Court today passed on reviewing a case challenging California's new law which makes it illegal for licensed therapists and counselors s to try and change the sexual orientation or gender expression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender children.

By declining to get involved, the high court leaves in place a US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruling which upheld the ban on what is known as 'conversion therapy,' 'reparative therapy,' 'ex-gay therapy,' or 'sexual orientation change efforts.'

June 26, 2014

'When I saw the first brief where it said "Edie Windsor vs. The United States of America, I was scared to death'

It was one year ago today that the US Supreme Court gutted key provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Edie Windsor, the 84-year-old widow whose lawsuit led to the landmark ruling, reflects on the enormity of being the plaintiff in such a historic case.

Windsor sued because she was required to pay a $350,000 federal estate tax bill. The government did not recognize her marriage to her late wife Thea Spyer and under DOMA, couples cannot file joint federal tax returns or receive survivor benefits if one spouse dies.

June 24, 2014

A new poll has found that a large majority of Americans wrongly believe that it is already illegal to fire someone over their sexuality under federal law despite the Employment Non-Discrimination Act stalling in Congress

A new YouGov/Huffington Post survey has found that 69% of Americans wrongly believe it is already illegal to fire someone for being gay or lesbian under US federal law – while another 18% were unsure.

Only 13% of Americans surveyed in the poll knew that gays and lesbians are not protected from discrimination in employment under federal law when asked.

June 20, 2014

A group of 25 retired Michigan Republicans has joined the challenge to that state’s ban on same-sex couples marrying, arguing that allowing same-sex couples to marry is consistent with Republican values and the spirit of the US Constitution

Michigan’s Republican Attorney General may have a harder time appealing a court decision to strike down his state’s ban on same-sex marriage after 25 retired lawmakers and leading figures from his own party joined the case in support of marriage equality.

June 18, 2014

A federal appeals court will rule on the constitutionality of bans on same-sex marriage in all four states covered by the US judicial Sixth Circuit in the last step for opponents short of taking the issue to the Supreme Court

A federal appeals court is set to rule on the constitutionality of bans on same-sex marriage across Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee – deciding to hear all of the cases together.

Those four states make up the judicial Sixth Circuit – one of 13 such legal circuits across the United States.

A three judge panel will hear arguments in five cases from the four states from 6 August and is likely to rule on the issue before year’s end.

May 26, 2014

Every remaining state ban on same-sex marriage in America will be tested in court after lawyers announced they would file a case against North Dakota over its ban on gay and lesbian couples marring

North Dakota will officially join 32 other states in having its ban on same-sex couples being allowed to marry challenged in the courts.

May 20, 2014

Coming one day after Oregon ban was lifted, it's the 14th consecutive marriage equality victory in the US

A federal judge today struck down the gay marriage ban in Pennsylvania, the only northeast US state that did not allow gay marriage or civil unions.

The ruling by US District Judge John E. Jones III comes one day after a similar ban was struck down in the state of Oregon which immediately became the 18th US state with marriage equality.

With no stay issued by Jones, Pennsylvania becomes the 19th state where same-sex marriage is legal.

May 19, 2014

Judge Michael McShane believes 'if we can look for a moment past gender and sexuality, we can see in these plaintiffs nothing more or less than our own families'

A federal court judge today struck down Oregon's ban on same-sex marriage after finding it to be unconstitutional.

The ruling by US District Judge Michael McShane came in the case of Rummell and West v. Kitzhaber.

The judge did not stay his ruling which means same-sex marriages in Oregon can begin immediately and makes it the 18th US state to have marriage equality.

May 19, 2014

Governor Gary Herbert had said the unions were 'on hold' and eligible for state benefits

A federal judge ruled Monday (19 May) that the state of Utah must legally recognize the more than 1,200 same-sex marriages that took place in late December and early January.

The marriages took place during a 17 day period which began when a federal judge struck down the state's same-sex marriage and ended when the US Supreme Court ordered a halt to the marriages while the case in being appealed.

US District Judge Dale A. Kimball ruled that the marriages already performed cannot be made illegal after the fact.