same-sex couples

9th Circuit gets 3 cases on same-sex marriage

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit will hear arguments today in three cases challenging restrictions on same-sex marriage.

And while none of the cases are from Arizona, the court's ruling on those cases will apply to the state.

The odds are stacked against an Arizona law that defines marriage as between only one man and one woman.

Arizona is among 31 states that prohibit same-sex couples from marrying.

Judges in more than a dozen of those states, including three federal appeals-court circuits, have struck down bans like Arizona's.

The 9th Circuit is widely considered the most liberal in the nation. Read more »

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9th Circuit asks tough questions of gay-marriage bans

9th Circuit asks tough questions of gay-marriage bans

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit today pummeled the defenders of three state laws that forbid same-sex couples from marrying.

The cases being heard by a three-judge panel were filed in Idaho, Nevada and Hawaii. Arizona is part of the San Francisco-based 9th circuit, so any ruling will apply to this state as well. The laws being challenged are similar to Arizona's, which defines marriage as between only one man and one woman.

Attorney Monte Stewart, with the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage, defended the Idaho and Nevada laws before the court. He focused on the argument that allowing "genderless marriage" would lead to an increase in fatherless children and undermine what he called the child's "bonding right." Read more »

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Four Top 50 Companies Sign Amicus Brief Supporting Marriage Equality

Four Top 50 Companies Sign Amicus Brief Supporting Marriage Equality

Four DiversityInc Top 50 companies are among 23 employers that have signed on to an amicus brief in support of same-gender marriage.

The four are Cummins (No. 15), Marriott International (No. 16),Target (No. 22) and WellPoint (No. 29). In addition, Pfizer, one ofDiversityInc’s 25 Noteworthy Companies, also joined.

The brief has been submitted as part of an appeal that will be heard on Aug. 26 in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago regarding the legality of same-gender-marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin. The court initially was scheduled to hear separate cases when federal judges overturned bans in both states, but it combined the two cases into one. Read more »

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Big businesses still fighting for same-sex marriage

Big businesses still fighting for same-sex marriage

For many of the nation's largest businesses, the fight for same-sex marriage didn't end when the Supreme Court decided to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act last year.

While the federal government now recognizes same-sex marriage, individual states still get to make their own rules. And since many states continue to prohibit it, navigating through this patchwork of laws can be extremely complicated for national companies. Read more »

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Ruling Sparks Debate on Retroactive Gay Rights

A new Connecticut Supreme Court ruling is adding to the debate on whether gay marriage rights should be applied retroactively and qualify same-sex couples for rights and benefits for which they weren't entitled before state laws allowed them to marry.

Although no states that allow gay marriage have made their laws retroactive, many same-sex partners believe they should have received Social Security survivor payments, tax breaks, inheritances and other benefits that were afforded only to heterosexual married couples before gay marriage laws were passed. Read more »

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California Just Got Rid Of Its Last Barrier To Same-Sex Marriage

California Just Got Rid Of Its Last Barrier To Same-Sex Marriage

California’s same-sex couples may now be pronounced spouse and spouse after Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill Monday eliminating outdated “husband and wife” references from state laws.

Senate Bill 1306 was introduced by state Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) to eliminate confusion and correct discriminatory phrasing in the California Constitution that contradicts state law. While the adjustment has no effect on the legality of same-sex marriage in California, it’s an important capstone for couples who’ve watched their state rise, fall and rise again as a champion of marriage equality before ultimately declaring Prop 8’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional in 2013. Read more »

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Children raised by same-sex couples have better health and well-being in comparison to their peers, according to a groundbreaking new study which isbeing billed as the largest of its kind.

Conducted by Australia's University of Melbourne, the new research aimed to "describe the physical, mental and social well-being" of children with gay and lesbian parents, and "the impact that stigma has on them." On average, children raised by same-sex couples scored six percent higher than the general population when it came to general health and family cohesion.

Meanwhile, in other categories -- such as behavior, mental health and self-esteem -- those children reportedly scored the same as those raised by heterosexual parents. Read more »

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Legalizing same-sex marriage could pump $62M into Arizona economy via wedding rush

Legalizing same-sex marriage could pump $62M into Arizona economy via wedding rush

Legalizing same-sex marriages would immediately pump nearly $40 million into Arizona’s economy, according to a UCLA research group friendly toward LGBT rights.

A study by the University of California at Los Angeles’ Williams Institute estimates more than 7,900 same-sex couples would wed in the first three years if they were allowed to in Arizona. That would translate into as much as $61.9 million in total same-sex wedding spending over three years.

The first year alone could see $39.6 million worth of LGBT spending on weddings. Read more »

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Colorado Civil Rights Panel: Baker Must Make Cakes For Gay Weddings

Colorado Civil Rights Panel: Baker Must Make Cakes For Gay Weddings

 Colorado's Civil Rights Commission on Friday ordered a baker to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples, finding his religious objections to the practice did not trump the state's anti-discrimination statutes.

The unanimous ruling from the seven-member commission upheld an administrative law judge's finding in December that Jack Phillips violated civil rights law when he refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple in 2012. The couple sued.

"I can believe anything I want, but if I'm going to do business here, I'd ought to not discriminate against people," Commissioner Raju Jaram said. Read more »

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Yay for same-sex marriage, but ...

Yay for same-sex marriage, but ...

There's plenty of gay-rights news to celebrate this week:

-- On Monday, a federal judge threw out Oregon's ban on same-sex marriages, writing that his decision was one in support of "families committed to the common purpose of love, devotion and service to the greater community."

-- On Tuesday, the same thing, more or less, happened in Pennsylvania, with a judge in that case writing that "we are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history." (I mean, wow, right?) Read more »

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