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Same-sex couples facing illness sue North Carolina for marriage recognition

By Colleen Jenkins WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Reuters) - Three lesbian couples facing urgent health issues sued on Wednesday to force North Carolina to acknowledge their same-sex marriages and allow access to insurance, tax and inheritance benefits.

Court suspends same-sex marriage in Michigan

An appeals court on Saturday temporarily suspended same-sex marriages in Michigan, local media said, just the latest US state to wrestle with the thorny issue of gay rights. "To allow a more reasoned consideration of the motion to stay, it is ordered that the District Court's judgment is temporarily stayed until Wednesday," The Detroit News reported, citing the federal court order. On Friday, a federal judge in the midwestern state struck down a gay-marriage ban and found there was no "credible" evidence that heterosexual couples make better parents.

US government to expand recognition of gay marriage

US Attorney General Eric Holder will expand government recognition of same-sex marriages in all federal courtrooms and prisons Monday, and ensure they receive the same benefits as heterosexual ones. The inaugural move, which Holder plans to announce later Saturday at a gay rights dinner gala in New York, marks a major gain for advocates of same-sex couples after the Supreme Court issued two rulings expanding gay marriage rights last year.

Hundreds gather in Taiwan to support gay marriage bill

More than 1,200 Taiwanese people joined a mock "wedding banquet" on Saturday aiming to drum up support for a same-sex marriage bill due to be sent to parliament soon, organisers said. Participants sat around tables decorated with red cloths printed with the Chinese character for "wedding", as they had dinner and watched a video recording of local celebrities showing support as well as live performances in a makeshift banquet venue in a square outside the presidential office in Taipei.

French parliament adopts landmark gay marriage law

The French parliament on Tuesday defied months of angry protests by approving a bill that is to make France the 14th country worldwide to legalise same-sex marriages. But opponents to the law vowed to fight on, quickly filing a constitutional challenge and promising more demonstrations to pressure President Francois Hollande into backing down from signing the bill. In its second and final reading, the lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, voted 331 to 225 to adopt the bill allowing homosexual marriages and adoptions by gay couples.

New Zealand set to legalise gay marriage

New Zealand is poised to become the first Asia-Pacific nation to legalise same-sex marriage in a parliamentary vote that gay rights advocates on Tuesday hailed as a milestone for equality. A bill that amends the 1955 Marriage Act to describe marriage as a union of two people regardless of their sex, sexuality or how they choose to identify their gender will have its third and final reading in parliament late Wednesday.
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