Maryland majority leaders sponsoring marriage equality bills

The majority leaders in both the Maryland House and Senate are acting as lead sponsors of bills this session legally honoring the marriages of same-sex couples, a symbolic move meant to underscore the momentum behind the legislation.

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Marriage equality could move forward in some U.S. states

A handful of U.S. states are poised to take up the issue of marriage equality afresh, due largely to incoming lawmakers who may tip the balance in favor of the controversial measure.

"The work of persuasion, of personal conversations, of talking to lawmakers and mobilizing against a well-funded anti-gay opposition" are among the primary tasks for the lobbying group Freedom to Marry, said founder Evan Wolfson. "With the freedom to marry within reach this year in states such as New York, Maryland and Rhode Island, now is the time to have those conversations and move marriage forward," he said.

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DesMoines Register: Iowa amendment eliminates many rights

The DesMoines Register editorial board: "The language proposed by 56 House Republicans Wednesday would amend the Iowa Constitution to say: 'Marriage between one man and one woman shall be the only legal union valid or recognized in this state.' That bans not only the marriages of same-sex couples but civil unions and any other domestic partnership. That should worry all Iowans."

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California court win for same-sex couples seeking benefits

In a victory for gay rights advocates, a federal judge has ruled that state employees in California can sue for discrimination over the federal government's exclusion of their same-sex spouses from a long-term health care program.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken of Oakland denied an Obama administration request to dismiss the suit Tuesday and signaled that she is likely to overturn provisions of the 1996 so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal benefits to same-sex couples.

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Anti-gay definition of marriage bill passes 1st hurdle in Wyoming House

Wyoming law already defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman, but state law also requires the state to recognize marriages performed in other states.

House Bill 74 would close that loophole, specifying that marriages of same-sex couples performed in other states or other countries wouldn't be considered valid in Wyoming.

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BREAKING NEWS: In Iowa, GOP lawmakers trying to take away marriage equality

The new Republican-dominated House today revealed the first step in its anti-gay agenda, introducing a joint resolution that would allow Iowans to vote on a constitutional amendment to ban the freedom to marry.

Freedom to Marry's Evan Wolfson said, "Government should be on the side of all families, not putting barriers in their path as they seek to care for their loved ones. And the constitution should be respected as a shield of fairness for all, not used as a weapon to discriminate and harm.”

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Momentum in Maryland

Sen. Richard S. Madaleno, Maryland's only openly gay state senator, announced on Tuesday that he will be introducing a marriage bill.

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Stopping West Virginia’s anti-marriage equality amendment

For the sixth year in a row, West Virginia will be considering a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between “one man and one woman.”

Last Thursday, the WV Senate and House issued a joint resolution calling for a public vote on marriage in 2012.

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Freedom to Marry Urges Iowa Legislature to Protect Iowa Families, Reject Anti-Gay Amendment

A statement from Evan Wolfson, Founder and Executive Director of Freedom to Marry, urging the Iowa Legislature to reject a bill introduced today that would harm Iowa families by amending the state constitution to strip away the freedom to marry from same-sex couples and bar other protections for their families.

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The state of Marriage Equality in 2011

After a 2010 with few marriage equality measures contested outside the courtroom, 2011 will likely see a number of battles state by state across the country.

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