Gay Marriage

Majority of Americans now support gay marriage, survey finds

Majority of Americans now support gay marriage, survey finds

Support for gay marriage has surged in the United States in the decade since it first became legal in Massachusetts, with just over half of Americans now supporting the idea, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

The survey on attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people comes as U.S. lawmakers and courts are increasingly allowing same-sex couples to wed.

Some 53 percent of the 4,509 Americans surveyed by the Public Religion Research Institute said they supported gay marriage, up from 32 percent in 2003, when Massachusetts became the first state to legalize it.

PRRI Chief Executive Robert Jones said the poll joined a raft of other surveys showing that a majority of Americans back gay marriage. Read more »

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Nevada Withdraws Efforts To Uphold Gay Marriage Ban

Nevada Withdraws Efforts To Uphold Gay Marriage Ban

Nevada's attorney general and governor said Monday that they won't defend the state's gay marriage ban when it goes before a federal appeals court, saying that a recent court decision makes the state's arguments supporting its constitutional amendment "no longer defensible."

Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, in a motion filed with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said Nevada's legal arguments defending the voter-approved prohibition aren't viable after the court's recent ruling that potential jurors cannot be removed from a trial during jury selection solely because of sexual orientation. Read more »

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Gay-rights movement in uncharted territory

Gay-rights movement in uncharted territory

No one ever accused Stephen Reinhardt of being timid.

The 82-year-old Ninth Circuit judge – often called the most liberal judge on the nation’s most liberal federal appeals court – has made a career of pushing the envelope. He has ruled, for example, that assisted suicide is a constitutional right and that the Second Amendment doesn’t give individuals the right to own guns. And his rulings in those cases, and many others, have been reversed by the Supreme Court. Indeed, a news article called him “one of the most overturned judges in history” – and that was in 1997, 17 years and dozens of reversals ago. Read more »

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Virginia AG's office: Gay marriage ban unconstitutional

Virginia AG's office: Gay marriage ban unconstitutional

The office of Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring says he's concluded that the state's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional and he will no longer defend it in federal lawsuits challenging it.

In an email to The Associated Press early Thursday, Herring spokesman Michael Kelly says the state will instead side with the plaintiffs who are seeking to have the ban struck down.

Kelly says the attorney general decided the ban was unconstitutional after a thorough legal review of the matter.

Virginia has emerged as a critical state in the nationwide fight for gay marriage. The state's shift comes on the heels of recent court rulings in which federal judges struck down gay marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma.

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U.S. District Judge Rules Oklahoma Ban on Marriage Equality Unconstitutional

Today U.S. District Judge Terence Kern ruled that Oklahoma’s ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional.  His ruling is stayed pending appeal, meaning marriages will not occur immediately in the Sooner State.  Read more »

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GOP Congressman Introduces Bill Limiting Recognition Of Gay Marriage

Despite the growing number of states allowing gay marriage, one Republican congressman filed legislation Thursday to limit the federal government's power to recognize gay marriages in states.

Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas) introduced the "State Marriage Defense Act Of 2014," which would require federal agencies to look into a person's "legal residence" when determining marital status and how federal law would be applied. Read more »

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Gay and lesbian weddings to boost the local economy, experts say

Gay and lesbian weddings to boost the local economy, experts say

In the three years following legalized same-sex marriage, about half of the 103,000 same-sex couples living in California will get married, a UCLA study estimated.

The weddings will generate about $64 million in revenue, reported the Williams Institute, a think tank that supports LGBT equality.

Regardless of the social debate, legalized same-sex marriage is good business, said Angeliki Kastanis, a public policy research fellow at the UCLA School of Law. Read more »

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U.S. to Recognize Utah Gay Marriages Despite State Stance

U.S. to Recognize Utah Gay Marriages Despite State Stance

The Obama administration on Friday said that it would recognize as lawful the marriages of 1,300 same-sex couples in Utah, even though the state government is refusing to do so.

Wading into the fast-moving legal battle over same-sex marriage rights in one of America’s most socially conservative states, the administration posted a video on the Justice Department’s website making the announcement. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said that the federal government would grant federal marriage benefits to the same-sex couples who rushed to obtain marriage licenses after a federal judge last month unexpectedly struck down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage. Read more »

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As Wedding Bells Ring, So Do Cash Registers

As Wedding Bells Ring, So Do Cash Registers

While couples, and courts, in Utah await a decision on the issue of gay marriage there, businesses and state treasurers across the nation are taking note of the wedding windfall that same-sex unions have brought to the state of Washington, which recently marked its one-year anniversary of gay matrimony.

During Washington's initial year of marriage equality, same-sex unions took place at a rate of 25 a day, according to the state's Department of Health, which recorded more than 7,000 gay-marriage licenses issued between December 2012 and the end of September last year. The ceremonies represented nearly a fifth of all weddings performed in the state, and included more than 1,600 couples who came from outside Washington to marry. Read more »

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Utah Tells Clerks To Finish Gay Marriage Documentation, Without Guarantee Of Validity Later

Local clerks in Utah can finish paperwork for same-sex marriages completed before the U.S. Supreme Court issued a temporary halt on Monday, the state's attorney general said Thursday.

Attorney General Sean Reyes' office issued the legal advice to county clerks Thursday afternoon.

The directive comes as Utah officials struggle with the knotty legal mess that gay marriage created in the state in recent weeks.

More than 1,000 gay and lesbian couples took home marriage licenses from local clerks after a federal judge overturned Utah's same-sex marriage ban on Dec. 20. Utah voters approved the ban in 2004. Read more »

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