Showing posts with label Gay Marriage for Americans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Marriage for Americans. Show all posts

May 29, 2019

Mayor Pete Could be Influencing Fellow Millennials to Take The Plunge


Jeanette Settembre (Market Watch)
The 37-year-old from South Bend, Indiana is the first openly gay person to make a serious bid for presidency, bringing greater representation to the LGBTQ community.
Like many young people, Buttigieg met his husband, Chasten Glezman, on the dating app Hinge. And his success story seems to have inspired others in the LGBTQ community to sign up. Hinge has seen a 30% increase in dating profiles created by gay men since April 1, around the same time Buttigieg had been making national news, Fortune reports. 
“We’re proud of all of the relationships we’ve helped set up — including Mayor Pete and Chasten!” Hinge founder and CEO Justin McLeod told the magazine. “We’re happy to see that their love story has inspired even more members of the LGBTQ community to find their person on Hinge.” (Hinge did not immediately return a MarketWatch request for comment). 
Buttigieg, who came out in an essay he wrote for The South Bend Tribune in May 2015, told the New York Times he joined Hinge in hopes of finding a long term partner. Hinge makes users select and answer three questions about themselves for their dating profile, a more personal touch that can allow singles to get to know someone before they swipe.  
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“I wanted a platform where you’re not necessarily inundated with hookup culture and sex,” he told the paper in 2018. Buttigieg met Glezman in 2015.
More than 60% of same-sex couples meet online, studies show. And dating experts say having a prominent figure like Buttigieg share his success story brings visibility to underrepresented groups. 
‘The more we see diversity in every way, and prominently displayed at the highest levels, the more it makes people feel more like ‘wow I can just be myself and that’s okay’
—Bela Gandhi, a Chicago-based dating coach
“The more we see diversity in every way, and prominently displayed at the highest levels, the more it makes people feel more like ‘wow I can just be myself and that’s okay,’” Bela Gandhi, a Chicago-based dating coach and founder of Smart Dating Academy, tells MarketWatch. 
More than 1 million LGBTQ people in the U.S. are married in the U.S. to someone of the same sex. There were more than 547,000 same-sex marriages nationwide in 2917, up from around 491,000 in 2016, data from The Williams Instituteshows. Since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide in June 2015, same sex couples have spent more than $1.3 billion on their weddings.
Buttigieg vowed to pass federal legislation in April that would make it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation. And he often expresses his favor for the Equality Act, a bill that would ban discrimination in the workplace, education, housing, federal financing and jury service, and protect people from being fired or harassed because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. 
For those who are coming out or have recently come out, online dating can serve as a buffer before going public, Gandhi says. “Dating is challenging if you’re a small minority of the population, online is easier when you’re looking for somebody specific,” explains Gandhi, who says she’s had clients come out to her. “Online dating is great for people who might not be sure [about their sexual orientation].” 
Same-sex marriage and relationships have increasingly garnered more visibility in pop culture. Last week, the PBS children’s animated television show “Arthur” was praised for its depiction of a same-sex wedding through its character Mr. Ratburn which aired nationally across the U.S. 
“PBS Kids programs are designed to reflect the diversity of communities across the nation. We believe it is important to represent the wide array of adults in the lives of children who look to PBS Kids every day,” PBS said in a statement. 
Despite big strides, the conversation around equality and gay marriage is still facing backlash and discrimination. Alabama public television refused to air the“Arthur” episode. Alabama is one of several states that has taken issue with the Supreme Court’s 2015 marriage-equality ruling. Several probate judges in Alabama who issue marriage licenses have protested the law. 
While the majority of Americans (63%) continue to say same-sex marriage should be legal, a recent Gallup poll found that number has dropped four points from an all-time high of 68% recorded in 2018. However, support for same-sex marriage is more than twice as high as it was when first polled in 1996. 
Carol Sugar-Burke, a dating expert at Bespoke Matchmaking, a New York City-based gay matchmaking service, says she understands the challenges the LGBTQ community faces when looking for a partner. 
“Finding a safe place to meet a potential partner that shares the same life goals and objectives is hard enough for the heterosexual community, let alone the LGBTQ community,” Sugar-Burke says. “Being able to share and talk about what is most important to you without having to hide who you are is a big step in the right direction.”

May 14, 2016

Pew Research: Acceptance and Steady Support for Gay Marriage

Support for same-sex marriage holds steady after 2015 Supreme Court rulingNearly a year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an unprecedented ruling that determined same-sex couples had a constitutional right to marry, a decision that legalized same-sex marriage throughout the country. While the public’s attitudes toward gay marriage remain unchanged from a year ago, they have changed dramatically over the past two decades.
Now, just over half of Americans (55%) say they favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, while 37% remain opposed, according to Pew Research Center’s Marchpoll. A decade ago, the balance of opinion was reversed: 55% were opposed, while 35% were in favor.
Conservative Republicans remain broadly opposed to same-sex marriageAnd as was the case a year ago, there remains a substantial divide between partisans on the issue. Democrats are more than twice as likely as Republicans to favor gay marriage (70% vs. 33%).
Yet there are key differences within the two parties as well. Among Republicans, 71% of conservative Republicans oppose allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, more than twice the share of GOP moderates and liberals (34%). A 55% majority of moderate and liberal Republicans favor allowing same-sex marriage.
Within the GOP, these ideological differences also are notable across voters’ primary preferences for the party’s 2016 presidential nominee. About half (52%) of GOP voters who back Donald Trump (now the party’s presumptive nominee) say they oppose same-sex marriage, compared with 70% who preferred Ted Cruz and just 37% who backed John Kasich.
Democrats across the board are supportive of gay marriage (70% favor, 24% oppose), with slight differences by ideology and candidate preference. Liberal Democrats overwhelmingly support gay marriage (84%), compared with a smaller majority of their conservative and moderate counterparts (59% favor). And a wide 83% majority of Bernie Sanders supporters are supportive of gays and lesbians marrying legally (just 15% are opposed), compared with a smaller majority of Hillary Clinton supporters (68%).
Younger, more educated, less religious more likely to support gay marriageViews on gay marriage also vary by age, education and religious affiliation.
The March survey finds a familiar pattern in views of same-sex marriage across age categories: People younger than 30 are most supportive (73%), followed by those who are ages 30 to 49 (61%), those 50 to 64 (47%) and, finally, those 65 and older (38%).
Among those with higher levels of education, there is widespread support. A large majority of the public with at least a college degree (68%) say same-sex marriage should be legal. By contrast, those with a high school degree or less education are split on the issue: While 45% favor same-sex marriage, 46% are opposed.
Views also differ across religious groups, as well as by frequency of religious service attendance. White evangelical Protestants are far more likely to oppose than to favor same-sex marriage (68% vs. 27%). By contrast, most white mainline Protestants (64%) and Catholics (58%) favor gay marriage. Among the religiously unaffiliated, 80% favor same-sex marriage, while just 12% are opposed.

Views of societal acceptance of homosexuality

Changing views among religious groups on whether homosexuality should be acceptedToday, a 63% majority say homosexuality should be accepted by society, a share that also has grown over the past few decades. Fewer (28%) say homosexuality should be discouraged. But there are differences on the issue among religious and partisan groups.
Some religious groups have become more accepting of homosexuality over time while others remain steady. Ten years ago, a 77% majority of those unaffiliated with a religion said homosexuality should be accepted by society, and still today fully 80% say this.
Protestants overall are more likely than they were 10 years ago to say homosexuality should be accepted by society (52% now vs. 38% then). However, Protestant groups continue to have different views of this issue. Among white evangelical Protestants, a third (34%) say homosexuality should be accepted by society, a share that has increased 12 percentage points from 2006. And half of black Protestants now think that homosexuality should be accepted by society, up just slightly from 44% a decade ago.
By contrast, a large majority of white mainline Protestants hold the view that homosexuality should be accepted by society, and this share also has increased over time: Fully three-quarters say this now (76%), compared with 53% in 2006.
Two-thirds of Catholics now say homosexuality should be accepted by society, compared with 22% who say it should be discouraged. Views among Catholics have shifted modestly over the past decade: The share that says homosexuality should be accepted is up 8 points from 2006 (58% said accepted then, 31% discouraged).
Increasing shares in both parties say homosexuality should be acceptedWhen it comes to differences among partisans on whether homosexuality should be accepted by society, there has been a persistent 26-point gap between Republicans and Democrats over the course of a decade.
About three-quarters of Democrats (74%) hold the view that homosexuality should be accepted, up from 59% in 2006. Though slightly fewer independents say the same, they have closely mirrored Democrats on this question over the past decade. Today, two-thirds of independents say homosexuality should be accepted by society, while 25% say it should be discouraged.
Over the past year, declining share of conservative Republicans say homosexuality should be discouragedJust about half of Republicans (48%) now say homosexuality should be accepted, a number that has ticked up 15 points from its low 10 years ago. Republicans today are somewhat more likely than they were a year ago to say homosexuality should be accepted by society. Up until a year ago, a majority of Republicans thought homosexuality should be discouraged by society, but views have since become more mixed. While 41% of Republicans now say homosexuality should be discouraged, 48% think it should be accepted by society.
Conservative Republicans remain more likely to say homosexuality should be discouraged than say it should be accepted, but just about half say this today (49%) compared with 63% in May 2015.
By contrast, seven-in-ten moderate and liberal Republicans now say homosexuality should be accepted (71%), which is little changed since May 2015.

September 30, 2015

In Michigan Gay Marriage gets more than Marriage it got No Fault Spousal Benefits


When the US Supreme Court ruled that states could not ban gay marriage earlier this year, it did more than just given them access to marriage certificates. The legal designation of "spouse" opens LGBT couples up to rights and benefits in many areas of the law. That includes Michigan no-fault auto law and third-party negligence actions.

The Resident Relative Provision

Michigan law provides for no fault auto insurance coverage for passengers even if they do not carry individual auto insurance policies. While the first recourse is always a person's own insurance, if she is uninsured, she can look to her immediate family. Pursuant to MCL 500.3114, an auto insurance policy "applies to accidental bodily injury to the person named in the policy, the person's spouse, and a relative of either domiciled in the same household, if the injury arises from a motor vehicle accident."

Before the decision in Obergefell v Hodges, if a gay man was injured he would not be able to turn to his partner's insurance policy for help. Even if they had been married in one of the many states that had legalized same-sex marriage prior to the court ruling, Michigan would not recognize his partner as his legal spouse.

This result was particularly harsh when it came to the children of those uninsured gay residents. Under Michigan law, if two men or two women wanted to raise a child together, only one of them could be the legal parent. Whether this was by way of natural child birth using a donor or adoption, Michigan would only grant parental rights to, and therefore the child could only benefit from, one legal mother or father within the couple.

Imagine a case where Joe and Tom are raising Lily, who is Joe's biological daughter. Until Obergefell, there was no way for Tom to become a legal father to Lily. Now imagine that Joe is not insured but Tom is. If Lily were in a car accident, she would not be able to receive benefits from Tom's insurance policy as a resident relative. Instead the claim would progress down the order of priority to the owner of the vehicle in which she was riding.

Now that the court has required states to grant marriage certificates to gay couples and recognize the same-sex marriages celebrated elsewhere, the Joes and Lilys in Michigan can take advantage of spousal benefits and resident relative benefits of their loved ones' insurance policies. All they need to do to cement protection for their family is get married.

The Legal Significance of a Spouse

A person's spouse has a lot more rights than just auto insurance benefits, though. Under negligence law, a spouse can be the next friend of an incapacitated individual and file suit on his or her behalf. This means that, continuing with the same example, if Tom were to suffer a traumatic brain injury and be unable to file a lawsuit on his own, under Obergefell, Joe is now authorized to file it for him.

Before, as a legal stranger, Joe would have had to turn to Tom's family members for help. Because of the social stigma and the beliefs of certain religions, many members of the LGBT community are not able to rely on their biological family to help them. For this very reason, gay and lesbian couples will often go through added burden and expense to name their partners as health care decision makers. But that does not affect the partner's legal standing to bring suit on behalf of the injured person. The partners need to be legally married to do that.

Spousal Benefits in Third Party Cases

If the injuries resulting from a car accident are serious enough to allow a Third Party lawsuit against the at-fault driver, being the legal spouse of that injured person becomes even more important. That is because spouses have access to a special class of non-economic damages: loss of consortium (or companionship). This damage claim legitimizes the lost emotional and physical support that couples provide one another.

Before Obergefell, if a woman in a same-sex partnership was severely injured, the support she provided to her partner would go unrecognized and uncompensated. The couple would be treated as legal strangers. Once that lesbian couple is legally allowed to marry, however, they are also allowed all of the litigation awards traditionally available to spouses.

Spousal Benefits in Wrongful Death Cases

The most tragic of auto accident cases involve estates, not injured parties. Just like in incapacity cases, the natural person to bring a wrongful death action on behalf of a person's estate is his or her spouse (unless a different personal representative is identified in estate planning documents). No matter how many assets a gay couple owns jointly—homes, cars, boats, even bank accounts—the surviving partner will not have any authority to file a wrongful death action without either a personal representative designation or the legal identity of "spouse."

If a same-sex couple does marry (or their out-of-state marriage is recognized under Obergefell), and an accident later takes one partner's life, the surviving spouse can move forward with a wrongful death action to recover his or her spouse's medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, and non-economic pain and suffering awards. The spouse is also entitled to certain survivor benefits including loss of financial support in the form of lost wages. All of these rights are connected to the word "spouse" and were not available to same-sex couples in Michigan just a few months ago.

Protecting the Family Under Obergefell

The Plaintiffs in Obergefell, and its Michigan counterpart DeBoer v Snyder (which was consolidated into the Supreme Court case), were not just suing for dignity and equality. The lawsuit that changed the way this nation defines marriage was not just about a label. It was about the thousands of state and federal rights that connect to the word "spouse." The Obergefell decision said the state law protections for families and children were "material." Justice Kennedy wrote:
"By giving recognition and legal structure to their parents' relationship, marriage allows children 'to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community and in their daily lives.' Marriage also affords the permanency and stability important to children’s best interests."
Under Michigan auto law, that stability comes in part from a child’s ability to collect benefits from both parents and for the child's surviving parent to be able to go to court to recover damages available only to a spouse.

As family lawyers, magistrates and ministers across the Michigan do the hard work of legalizing and legitimizing the committed relationships of thousands of LGBT couples living in Michigan, auto accident attorneys need to be aware of the effect of this decision on the lives of their clients. By being clear on the rights of same-sex spouses and inquiring into the details of their clients' marital history, car accident lawyers can better protect clients and their families from missing out on important spousal benefits and survivor damage claims based on legal marital or parental status.

David Christensen is an experienced personal injury attorney with Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan. He specializes in helping victims with traumatic brain injury from motor vehicle accidents.

Suggested Citation: David Christensen Gay Marriage and Michigan No-Fault Spousal Benefits, JURIST - Professional Commentary, September 29, 2015,

JURIST Guest Columnist David Christensen froChristensen Law discusses the impact of spousal benefits on the LGBT community. 

June 27, 2015

US Supreme Court Rules ‘Same Sex Marriage is a Civil Right’ Not to be Denied- [Why?]

 On june 26, 2015 the United States Supreme Court Ruled for Gay Marriages as a Civil  Right
and determined that to deny them is to discriminate against the individuals
With the expected decision of the Supreme Court which occurred this morning, every
 gay/lesbian person in this United States, wether they would ever get married or not, they
 are able to have a government that is color,sex blind. Everyone is the same on the eyes of
 the government. 

This will now start the epoch in which all americans citizens are not discriminated because someone disagree with the way they have sex in private, 

 which should be private(except on TV, just like is ok to have straights do it). Congrats on people that are not getting married but still we fought for this injustice to end. Don’t tell me Im equal when you get more than I do. The ones Not getting married fought for this so we could also be seen as just regular citizens. That is one of the many reasons I supported it. 

I quote Justice Kennedy as it appeared on  “The state itself makes marriage all the more precious by the significance it attaches to it, exclusion from that status has the effect of teaching that gays and lesbians are unequal in important respects, he wrote in the ruling joined by the courts liberals, justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.
Later on in the opinion, Kennedy wrote,  specially against a long history of disapproval of their relationships, this denial to same-sex couples of the right to marry works a grave and continuing harm."
Anthony Kennedy Scotur
 The decision signifies a major advance in gay rights. It was just in 2003 that Kennedy wrote a majority opinion striking down Texas' sodomy law. Before 2004 no states recognized gay marriage, and that year many states went as far as banning same-sex marriage
In his opinion, Kennedy also addressed the argument that voters should be allowed to decide gay marriage.
"Of course, the Constitution contemplates that democracy is the appropriate process for change, so long as that process does not abridge fundamental rights," he wrote. 
Kennedy identified four principles that demonstrate why same-sex couples should have the right to marry.
1. The right to "personal choice regarding marriage is inherent in the concept of individual autonomy."
2. "The right to marry is fundamental because it supports a two-person union unlike any other in its importance to the committed individuals."
3. The right to marry "safeguards children and families and thus draws meaning from related rights of childrearing, procreation, and education."
4. Marriage is a keystone of the nation's social order."  

The  public letter sent to my email by the Speaker of the City Council in the City of New York. In a few words Speaker mark makes the case of the meaning and the power behind this decision by the Supreme Court.
Adam Gonzalez


Statement By Speaker Mark-Viverito
Re: Supreme Court Ruling on Marriage Equality

"This is an intensely meaningful, historic and affirming day in our nation's history.

Today, the Supreme Court continued our country's march toward a more perfect union and once again proved we are a nation always striving toward fairness, decency and justice. From this moment on and for generations to come, marriage equality is a civil and human right for LGBTQ couples and no one – no matter where you live in this country or who you love – will be denied that right. 

This decision is a cause for celebration, but it also a cause for reflection. This has been an extended struggle going back decades. For a long and unfortunate time, millions of LGBTQ couples were denied the right to marry. In countless election cycles they were demonized, degraded and used as political pawns in electoral games. But through it all, activists and allies persevered knowing that the cause of marriage equality is not only a moral and human right – it is also a constitutional right.

As we celebrate this momentous decision, we must remind ourselves that the struggle for LGBTQ justice is not over. There are too many LGBTQ people suffering from unjust and pervasive discrimination all over the world and we will not rest until those injustices are made right.  New York has been proud to lead the fight for equal rights for the LGBTQ community. From Stonewall to the Marriage Equality Act of 2011, New York has been helped lead the way. We will continue to fight to ensure our LGBTQ community has the same rights as everyone. This means we must pass the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act in New York State and a comprehensive LGBTQ civil rights law in Washington - because discrimination and bigotry are never the answer.  

This outcome is what happens when people persevere and fight injustices. Obergefell v. Hodges now takes its place in the history books. It’s time to rejoice and I thank the dedicated, organizers, lawyers, community leaders and millions of people from every, state and territory all over the country who made this day possible." 


January 20, 2015

The Supremes are Choosing Two Cases, Is Two better than one?

In announcing Friday it would hear arguments in April on marriage equality, the U.S. Supreme Court said it would address the two fundamental same-sex marriage issues that S.C. federal judges ruled on in November in separate opinions.
Judge Richard Gergel of Charleston ruled that under the 14th Amendment to the constitution, a same-sex couple from Charleston has the same right to be issued a state marriage license and get married as opposite sex couples do.
Judge Michelle Childs of Columbia ruled in the case of a Lexington County couple that the state of South Carolina must recognize valid marriages between same-sex couples who get married in other states.
“It’s like the two cases we have exactly,” said Malissa Burnette, who was one of a team of lawyers who won the historic Charleston decision from Gergel.
“The fact that the Supreme Court will address both those issues underscores why it was important to have two different cases in South Carolina,” Burnette said. “This will resolve the issue for the entire nation, stop all appeals, and there will be consistency.”
John Nichols, one of the lawyers who convinced Childs to rule that South Carolina should recognize the valid out-of-state marriage of a Lexington County couple, said the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Friday makes sense.
“I’m not surprised the court feels the need to settle the issue, now that there’s a conflict,” said Nichols, who represented Katherine Bradacs and Tracie Goodwin.
Nichols also pointed out that the 6th Circuit Court’s recent decision has been cited by S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson in legal filings as a major reason why he continues to fight to uphold South Carolina’s gay marriage bans.
“It creates uncertainty for the 6th Circuit case to be out there,” Nichols said of the Ohio-based court. "The 6th Circuit created a situation that is untenable - you would have four states in the middle of the country that uphold the ban, while surrounding states are not upholding the ban and are recognizing the validity of these marriages."
Wilson issued this statement Friday: “We have always expected the U.S. Supreme Court to take up this issue. Until the court resolves this important question there can be no finality. We are pleased the Supreme Court is hearing this case.”
A confident Burnette said, “The attorney general always said he would fight in South Carolina until he gets his final ruling. Well, he’s going to get his final ruling.”

Read more here:

November 10, 2014

When Would the Supreme Court Hear and Decide Same Sex Marriage?


A decision by a panel of federal judges to uphold anti-gay marriage laws in four states has created a split among the nation's appeals courts and made it very likely the Supreme Court will review the same-sex marriage issue.
But it is unclear whether the matter will reach the justices in time for a decision in June.
Lawyers for same-sex couples in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee said they plan to ask the high court to reverse Thursday's 2-1 ruling from a panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.
That court found that nothing in the Constitution gives same-sex couples a right to marry. 
It was the first time an appellate court ruled in favor of state bans since a Supreme Court decision struck part of the federal anti-gay marriage law. Most courts have taken that decision to mean states cannot forbid same-sex unions.
The Supreme Court is under no obligation to the take the case, but Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently said a split among the appellate courts would make her court's involvement likely.
Last month, before there was such a division, the justices turned away appeals from five states that sought to uphold their bans, even though same-sex plaintiffs who won in the lower courts also pressed the Supreme Court to intervene.
The effect of the Supreme Court's denial, and a subsequent appeals court ruling in the West, was to permit same-sex marriage or remove the legal underpinnings of state bans in nearly three dozen states.
Some essential things to know about the gay marriage movement and where it’s headed: 
The biggest question now appears to be one of timing.
If both sides can file their written arguments by late December, the justices should have enough time to schedule argument in the spring and decide the matter by late June.
The court usually fills its calendar for the term by mid-January, so if a same-sex marriage case is squeezed out, it would be pushed back into the term that begins next October. An argument in the fall of 2015, and a likely decision in the spring of 2016, could make gay marriage more of an issue in the 2016 presidential campaign.
Another issue for the justices is which case to take.
Federal judges in Kentucky and Michigan struck down each state's gay marriage ban. The cases from Ohio and Tennessee were more limited.
One other possibility is Idaho, which lost its case at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, and could appeal that ruling to the Supreme Court.
Idaho's attorney general, Lawrence Wasden, said the state intends to appeal, "but we don't have a firm timeline for when that will happen."
___ How can four Appeals Court decide differently than all the others that have fallen in line?
Federal appeals court have no obligation to fall in line with each other, and indeed, disagreement on important matters is a major factor in Supreme Court review.
The surprising thing has been how one court after another has lined up in support of gay marriage since the Supreme Court's June 2013 decision in Windsor v. U.S. But that decision itself divided the court 5 to 4, and while support for same-sex marriage has increased dramatically, there is still significant opposition.
Of course, Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton made clear in his ruling Thursday that what he thinks about same-sex marriage as a policy matter is beside the point.
Sutton wrote in his majority opinion that lower courts remain bound by a one-sentence decision dismissing a gay marriage case from Minnesota in 1972, even though other courts have said the decision no longer carries any force. He also disagreed with the other courts when he said judges should let the political process play out, not impose their will through judicial decree.
One last note on judges: All the judges who have voted to uphold anti-gay marriage laws are Republican appointees. Rulings striking down state bans have been made by Democratic and Republican appointees alike.
___ Appeals Courts and Gay Marriage
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans has scheduled argument in January in cases from Texas, where a judge struck down the state's ban, and Louisiana, where the ban was upheld.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has asked the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta to review a judge's ruling that state law limiting marriage to a man and a woman is unconstitutional.
Cases also are making their way through courts in five states covered by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis that do not permit same-sex couples to marry. A state judge and a federal judge in Missouri have ruled in favor of same-sex couples, but those rulings do not apply statewide.
By the Numbers:
Same-sex marriage is legal in 32 states, the District of Columbia and parts of Missouri.
Kansas, Montana and South Carolina are continuing their legal fight against same-sex marriage, despite rulings from federal appeals courts that oversee those states that concluded gay and lesbian couples have the right to marry.
Gay and lesbian couples may not marry in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, most of Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.
The Supreme Court last year struck down part of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that forbade the federal government to grant tax, health and other benefits to legally married same-sex couples.

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