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Same-sex marriage allowed in most populous Illinois county

(Reuters) - Same-sex couples in Illinois' Cook County, which includes the city of Chicago, do not have to wait to wed until a new state law legalizing gay marriage takes effect in June, a federal judge ruled on Friday. Illinois lawmakers approved same-sex marriage late in 2013, effective on June 1, and several couples had sued Cook County Clerk David Orr for the right to marry immediately.

Same-sex marriage allowed in most populous Illinois county

(Reuters) - Same-sex couples in Illinois' Cook County, which includes the city of Chicago, do not have to wait to wed until a new state law legalizing gay marriage takes effect in June, a federal judge ruled on Friday. Illinois lawmakers approved same-sex marriage late in 2013, effective on June 1, and several couples had sued Cook County Clerk David Orr for the right to marry immediately.

Church of England rejects blessings for gay marriages

Bishops in the Church of England issued new guidance on Saturday warning clergy they should not bless couples in same-sex marriages, after the idea was recommended in an internal report last year. The House of Bishops was clarifying the Church's response to new legislation allowing gay marriage in England and Wales, which will see the first ceremonies take place in March. "Services of blessing should not be provided. Clergy should respond pastorally and sensitively in other ways," said the guidance, drawn up at a meeting on Thursday.

US judge declares same-sex marriage ban in Virginia unconstitutional; South's 1st such ruling

NORFOLK, Va. - In a federal court ruling echoing decisions reached elsewhere in the U.S., Virginia on Thursday became the first state in the traditionally conservative Southeast to overturn a voter-approved prohibition of same-sex marriage.

Virginia gay-marriage ban unconstitutional: US judge

A federal judge in Virginia ruled Thursday that the state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, on the heels of two similar rulings in other US states. US District Judge Arenda Wright Allen stayed her decision, however, meaning gay couples in Virginia, which borders Washington, DC, will not be able to marry until appeals are heard. "The court is compelled to conclude that Virginia's marriage laws unconstitutionally deny Virginia's gay and lesbian citizens the fundamental freedom to choose to marry," Wright Allen said in her ruling.

Kentucky must honor out-of-state same-sex marriages -judge

By David Bailey (Reuters) - Kentucky must recognize the legal same-sex marriages of residents who wed outside the state, a federal judge said on Wednesday in the latest of a string of rulings that expand gay rights following a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year. U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II in Louisville said a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions including the striking down of a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year, led to his decision on Wednesday.

Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages from other states -judge

(Reuters) - Kentucky must recognize the legal same-sex marriages of residents who wed outside the state, a federal judge said on Wednesday in the latest of a series of rulings that would expand gay rights following a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year. Four Kentucky same-sex couples who were married out of state had challenged a state law that declared such marriages void and the accompanying rights unenforceable. They did not challenge a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Idaho's top court grants adoptive rights to spouse in gay marriage

By Laura Zuckerman SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - Idaho's top court on Monday ruled that state law allows a woman to adopt the children of her same-sex spouse, in a precedent-setting victory for gay couples in a socially conservative U.S. state that has banned the unions. The ruling stems from an adoption petition filed last year by an Idaho woman shortly after her marriage in California to her same-sex partner, the parent of boys ages 12 and 15, legal records showed.

As US takes historic step on same-sex rights, Canadian judge watches with pride

WASHINGTON - One Canadian judge was particularly overjoyed as the U.S. Department of Justice, in a historic move Monday, broadened same-sex spousal rights across that country. That's because this Hamilton-born, CFL-loving, Tiger Cats-cheering judge helped write a page of the American history book. Harvey Brownstone presided over the same-sex wedding in Toronto that led to a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision last year, a ruling that has since spurred changes in various federal departments.

Holder adopts spousal privilege for same-sex couples at U.S. Justice Dept

By David Ingram WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Attorney General Eric Holder plans widespread changes within the U.S. Justice Department to benefit same-sex married couples, such as recognizing a legal right for them not to testify against each other in civil and criminal cases, according to excerpts of a speech on Saturday.
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