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Content about Same-sex unions in the United States

January 3, 2015

Idaho Governor and Attorney General say marriage is a state's-rights issue and that the state has been consistent in legalizing only hetrosexual marriage

A ruling by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in October legalized same-sex marriage in Idaho after rejecting Idaho Governor CL 'Butch' Otter's argument to uphold the ban. He argued Idaho residents have the right to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

On Friday Otter filed an appeal with the US Supreme Court making good on his promise to take the fight against gay marriage to the highest court.

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has also filed a separate petition to the US Supreme Court.

December 30, 2014

37 American companies have signed onto an amicus brief backing the legalization of same-sex marriage in Florida by a United States District Court which is hearing an appeals case on the issue

Some of America’s best known companies have joined the case against Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage, signing onto an amicus, or ‘friend-of-the-court,’ brief signalling their interest in the case.

US District Judge Robert Hinkle court ruled Florida's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional on 21 August. However that ruling appears to apply to just one Florida county.

December 18, 2014

Butch Otter believes Idaho case is 'best vehicle' for same-sex marriage issue to be decided for the nation

Idaho Governor Butch Otter wants his state's gay marriage case to be decided by the nation's highest court.

On Wednesday (17 December), lawyers for the governor filed what is known as a friend-of-the-court brief with the US Supreme Court.

In it, they ask that the court - which is considering hearing several gay marriages cases this term - hear a case out of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals which includes Idaho.

November 6, 2014

Decision 6th Circuit Court of Appeals opens the doors for US Supreme Court to review cases in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee

Momentum for marriage equality in the US hit a major roadblock on Thursday (6 November) when a federal appeals court upheld gay marriage bans in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

The ruling by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals applies to six cases in the four states where federal judges had struck down same-sex marriage bans.

It comes after more than 30 federal rulings since June 2013 declaring bans on gay marriage to be unconstitutional. The previous legal victories have led to same-sex marriage now being legal in 32 states.

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.

July 31, 2014

Justices rule that registry does not violate the state's ban on gay marriage

Same-sex couples still can't get married in Wisconsin but they can continue to register to have some of the rights heterosexual married couples automatically have.

The state's supreme court ruled Thursday (31 July) that a 2009 that established a registry for same-sex couples in 2009 does not violate the state's ban on gay marriage.

The registry grants same-sex couples such things as insurance benefits under their partner's plan, the right to inherit assets upon the death of their partner as well as hospital visitation and medical leave to care for their partner.

July 10, 2014

C. Scott Crabtree becomes the 16th judge to rule a marriage ban in the US unconstitutional over the past 12 months

A Colorado state judge on Wednesday (9 July) ruled that Colorado's ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional.

But gay marriages still don't have the green light with the ruling because Judge C. Scott Crabtree stayed his ruling pending an expected appeal by the state.

His ruling, the latest in a string of marriage equality victories in the US, did not come as a surprise since Crabtree had not seemed impressed with the state's arguments for upholding the ban approved by voters in 2006.

February 26, 2014

But ban is left in place until appeals process is complete

The Texas ban on gay marriage was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge today.

But same-sex couples must put those wedding plans in hold for now because Judge Orlando Garcia left the ban in place until an appeals court can rule on the case.

The ruling continues a string of legal victories for gay marriage following similar decisions in Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia.

This latest ruling came as the result of a lawsuit filed by two gay couples.

January 17, 2014

John Arthur died in October a married man.

But the state of Ohio this week has filed a notice of appeal to a federal ruling that resulted in Arthur's death certificate recognizing that he was married to Jim Obergefell.

The couple went to great lengths to get married in July because Arthur was dying from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

They were forced to raise $12,700 to charter a private plane and get married in Maryland where same-sex marriage is legal. Their seven-minute ceremony took place on an airport tarmac.

December 19, 2013

Unanimous Supreme Court ruling makes New Mexico 17th US state with marriage equality

New Mexico's Supreme Court has made it unanimously clear: same-sex couples in the state can legally marry.

The justices found that barring couples from marrying based on their sexual orientation violates the Equal Protection Clause of the state's constitution.

'We hold that the State of New Mexico is constitutionally required to allow same-gender couples to marry and must extend to them the rights, protections, and responsibilities that derive from civil marriage under New Mexico law,' the justices wrote in their opinion.

November 9, 2013

Tropical island state close to becoming the next part of the US to legalize gay marriage

Hawaii's House of Representatives has passed a third reading of a same-sex marriage bill. If passed in the Senate next week, the state will become the 15th (or the 16th if the governor of Illinois signs their law first) in the US to legalize gay marriage.

October 11, 2013

Justices will rule on Governor Chris Christie's appeal to stop marriages from beginning this month

The state's highest court will decide if same-sex couples in New Jersey can begin getting married.

The New Jersey Supreme Court announced Friday (11 October) that it will hear an appeal to a state judge's order that New Jersey allow same-sex marriage as of 21 October.

The case that will decide marriage equality in the state is a lawsuit filed in July by group of couples and Garden State Equality seeking to get New Jersey to recognize gay marriages in light of a US Supreme Court ruling in June that struck down key provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act.

September 29, 2013

The gay couples claim the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act was written to discriminate and is unconstitutional

A judge in Illinois has ruled a case against the Midwestern state's anti-gay marriage ban can proceed.

Cook County Circuit Judge Sophia Hall did not agree with gay marriage opponents who wanted the trial to be dismissed.

'The court finds that the marriage ban is not facially neutral,' Hall said in her decision, as reported by Bloomberg.

September 27, 2013

In her decision Judge Mary Jacobson writes 'the current inequality visited upon same-sex civil union couples offends the New Jersey Constitution...'

A New Jersey judge has ruled that the state must permit same-sex marriages.

According to an Associated Press report, New Jersey Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson's decision noted that because the federal government recognizes gay marriages, the US Northeastern state violates its own constitution by not doing the same.

August 16, 2013

New Jersey Superior Court judge notes she will not hand down a decision in the state's same-sex marriage case until September

Marriage advocates in the US state New Jersey argued to a judge the state's laws for gay couples and families are no longer sufficient after the Supreme Court's decision on the Defense of Marriage Act.

July 12, 2013

Pennsylvania's Tom Corbett, up for reelection next year, now must decide whether or not to step in

The attorney general of  Pennsylvania's decision this week  not to defend the state's gay marriage ban in court is not going over so well with the state's governor.

Governor Tom Corbett, a Republican who is up for reelection next year, must now make the politically tricky decision of wether to have his office take up defense of the 1996 law which is being challenged in federal court.

July 11, 2013

Kathleen Kane: 'I believe it to be wholly unconstitutional'

The attorney general of the state of Pennsylvania said today that she will not defend the state's gay marriage ban in court.

'I cannot ethically defend the constitutionality of Pennsylvania's (law banning same-sex marriage) where I believe it to be wholly unconstitutional,' Kathleen Kane told reporters today.

Kane, a Democrat who supports same-sex marriage, will instead leave the defense up to the office of the state's Republican Governor Tom Corbett who has not yet commented on her decision.

June 8, 2013

Starting 1 September 2013, same-sex domestic partners of US troops will be eligible for some benefits

The US military has made a groundbreaking move to offer some benefits to the partners of gay and lesbian troops.

The Army and National Guard posted online this week that same-sex domestic partners (SSDO) of serving troops will receive an ID card entitling them to a number of benefits.

This move comes after former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced in February his intentions to extend benefits to same-sex partners.

February 21, 2013

President Obama is considering to weigh in on a supreme court case challenging California's gay marriage ban

President Obama is considering urging the US supreme court to overturn California's ban on gay marriage.

Proposition 8 was voted by Californians in 2008 and overturned a state supreme court decision allowing gay marriage.

Twenty-nine other states have constitutional amendments banning gay marriage, while nine states and Washington, D.C., recognize same-sex marriage.

Obama told San Francisco’s KGO-TV that the government is considering filing an administration brief against proposition 8 in the supreme court.

February 16, 2013

The social network announced its support of new legislation that would give tax breaks to LGBT employees who pay for their partner's benefits

Facebook is throwing its support behind tax equity legislation for same-sex couples in California.

According to the LGBT@Facebook page: 'Facebook today announced its support of legislation that would provide tax relief for employees who receive reimbursement from their employer for federal taxes they paid on healthcare benefits provided to their same-sex partner and dependents.'

August 7, 2012

The leader of US national campaign group Freedom to Marry told GSN the story of how the fight for marriage equality had begun in the US, where it will be going in the year to come, and why we will win in the end

US civil rights lawyer Evan Wolfson spoke to a packed room at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, on Tuesday night about the progression of the struggle for LGBT marriage rights in the United States, and the lessons that struggle has for other countries around the world.

July 11, 2012

Jan Brewer is requesting the Supreme Court reverse a ruling that gave benefits, including health insurance, to same-sex partners of state employees

Arizona's governor wants to do away with same-sex partner benefits.

Republican lawmaker Jan Brewer filed a petition on 2 July (Monday) to the Supreme Court to reverse a September 2011 ruling that gave health benefits to same-sex partners who are state employees.

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in Diaz vs Brewers that benefits could not be refused based on sexual orientation.

May 15, 2012

GSN speaks to some ex-pats who left the land of opportunity for the chance to marry in the UK

President Obama's historic endorsement of same-sex marriage, though pivotal in the fight for gay civil rights, is just that: an endorsement.

April 7, 2012

New poll shows 58 percent of Maine voters support same sex marriage

A new poll shows that Maine voters are getting behind gay couples getting married. According  to a survey, conducted by the Maine People's Resource Center, 58 percent support same sex marriage being legal in the state.

'This result is slightly higher than but does not represent a statistically significant difference from the results of two other recent public polls,' the center noted in its press release.