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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Maine ethics panel seeking donor names

The state ethics commission continues to seek the names of people who donated to the National Organization for Marriage in 2009 -- an inquiry the organization continues to oppose.

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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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Maryland marriage bill coming next week

Morgan Meneses-Sheets, Equality Maryland’s executive director, says a marriage bill is scheduled to be introduced next Tuesday at a time when her organization and most political observers believe supporters of the bill have the votes to pass it in both chambers.

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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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Same-sex couples face unequal financial hurdles

Despite their recognition by some U.S. states, same-sex couples still face a number of hurdles that advisers must keep in mind when creating financial estate plans.

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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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IRS tax change for domestic partners causes headaches

The Internal Revenue Service is requiring registered domestic partners and married same-sex couples to split their income equally on their federal tax forms. This change in policy toward what is known as community property has been anything but easy to implement. And tax professionals are warning LGBT couples they need to begin thinking about their taxes now to avoid headaches later.

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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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