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Monday, June 18, 2018

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An Indiana law that could make it easier for religious conservatives to refuse service to gay couples touched off storms of protest from the worlds of arts, business and college athletics and opened an emotional new debate in the emerging campaign for president.

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Passage of the Republican-led measure, described by advocates as protecting basic religious freedom, drew fierce denunciations from technology companies, threats of a boycott from actors and expressions of dismay from the N.C.A.A., which is based in Indianapolis and will hold its men's basketball Final Four games there beginning next weekend. "We are especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student-athletes and employees," said the president of the N.C.A.A., Mark Emmert. By Friday, March 27, 2015 influential national leaders, including Hillary Rodham Clinton and Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple, had weighed in against the law, calling it a disappointing invitation to discriminate.

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Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant, together almost 31 years, said their vows before Rabbi Kerry Baker while standing in front of the Travis County Clerk's Office sign on Airport Boulevard.  The couple was denied a license in the same office building eight years ago. But on Thursday, February 18, 2015, state District Judge David Wahlberg, petitioned by a lawyer for Goodfriend and Bryant, ordered Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir to grant the couple a marriage license.

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he Supreme Court has denied a request for an extension of the stay of the 11th Circuit ruling striking down the state's gay marriage ban which expired on February 9, 2015.

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Alabama Same Sex Marriage 

The SCOTUS vote was 7-2 with Scalia and Thomas dissenting.  Gay couples are already lining up at courthouses around Alabama and weddings will begin imminently.   The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals had denied the state Attorney General's request for a stay on a judge's ruling allowing same-sex marriage in Alabama, clearing the way for same-sex marriage to begin. 

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The Supreme Court agreed to decide whether all 50 states must allow gay and lesbian couples to marry, positioning it to resolve one of the great civil rights questions in a generation before its current term ends in June, 2015.

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The decision came just months after the justices ducked the issue, refusing in October to hear appeals from rulings allowing same-sex marriage in five states. That decision, which was considered a major surprise, delivered a tacit victory for gay rights, immediately expanding the number of states with same-sex marriage to 24, along with the District of Columbia, up from 19. Largely as a consequence of the Supreme Court's decision not to act, the number of states allowing same-sex marriage has since grown to 36, and more than 70 percent of Americans live in places where gay couples can marry.

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Florida's ban on same-sex marriage ended statewide at the stroke of midnight Monday, January 5, 2015 and court clerks in some counties wasted no time, issuing marriage licenses and performing weddings for same-sex couples in the early morning hours.

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Miami-Dade County, Florida

But they were beaten to the punch by a Miami judge who found no need to wait until the statewide ban expired. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel presided over Florida's first legally recognized same-sex marriages Monday afternoon. Still, most counties held off on official ceremonies until early Tuesday, when U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle's ruling that Florida's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional took effect in all 67 counties.