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Sunday, November 19, 2017

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Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has accepted a request from Florida's Attorney General Pam Bondi to hear arguments on a federal judge's ruling that overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage. The ruling in question comes from Judge Robert Hinkle. Hinkle found that Florida's voter-approved marriage ban violated the U.S. Constitution and, after some legal rigmarole, declared that same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in the Sunshine State starting January 6. Bondi for her part has appealed that ruling to the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and wants Justice Thomas to stay Judge Hinkle's ruling so that it will not go into effect until the 11th Circuit has a chance to consider the question. Bondi is hanging her hopes on the incongruency that now exists in the wake of the 6th Circuit upholding a state's ban on same-sex marriage, becoming the only circuit court to uphold such a ban.

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A Melbourne gay couple have married in their city's United Kingdom consulate, making them the first same-sex couple in the world to be legally married under Scottish law.

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Married Pretsell and Gloster 

Scottish citizen Douglas Pretsell has become the first of his countrymen to legally marry another man as Scotland's marriage equality law comes into effect on December 16, 2014. Pretsell married Australian man Peter Gloster at the British consulate in Melbourne at 11.01am today at the exact moment when Scotland's equal marriage legislation came into effect. The couple had already entered into a civil partnership which allowed them to take advantage of the new law.  A quirk of Scottish law means same-sex couples not in civil partnerships will have to wait 15 days to marry, while Scottish residents in civil partnerships cannot convert to marriage until registry offices open in Scotland. Pretsell said he was thrilled to be part of the history of his homeland moving forward on the issue. 'It's wonderful to finally have our marriage confirmed, especially since the Scottish legislation is the most progressive in the world with the full inclusion of transgender and intersex partners,' Pretsell said.

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The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has just denied Florida's motion for a further stay in a ruling for same-sex marriages earlier this year.  The court's ruling means same-sex couples should be able to begin getting marriage licenses on January 5, 2015, statewide, according to Freedom to Marry.  

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Now, the state of Florida can seek a stay from the United States Supreme Court, althought the court has already denied similar requests for stay extensions in South Carolina, Alaska, Idaho, and Kansas.

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Marriage equality has already reached most of the country, though state bans on same-sex marriage are still common in the Deep South. It makes it all the more notable, then, when federal courts strike down these bans in South Carolinas, Kansas, Mississippi and Arkansas.

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Check an Interactive Map detailing the status of marriage equality in all 50 states to see how much progress has been made, get details on the current status by clicking on each state.

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Same-sex couples in Kansas will be able to begin marrying as soon as today, the Supreme Court ordered Wednesday. The state requested a stay of a lower court's order to strike down its ban on same-sex marriage earlier this week. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who oversees the 10th Circuit, issued a temporary stay, but on Wednesday, seven of the nine justices affirmed that the lower court's ruling would remain intact.