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Sunday, May 28, 2017

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Same-sex couples started to tie the knot in some parts of Wisconsin after a federal judge ruled Friday, June 6, 2014, that the state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb struck down the ban, making Wisconsin the 27th state where same-sex couples can marry under law or where a judge has ruled they ought to be allowed to wed.

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"Because Oregon's marriage laws discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation without a rational relationship to any legitimate government interest, the laws violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution," U.S. District Judge Michael McShane said in his ruling on Monday, May 19, 2014.  Oregon voters passed Measure 36 in 2004, which amended the state's Constitution to define marriage as between one man and a woman.

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In February, the state's attorney general said she would not defend the ban in court because it would not stand up to a federal constitutional challenge.  "My decision will not be the final word on this subject, but on this issue of marriage I am struck more by our similarities than our differences. I believe that if we can look for a moment past gender and sexuality, we can see in these plaintiffs nothing more or less than our own families, families who we would expect our Constitution to protect, if not exalt, in equal measure," McShane said. "With discernment we see not shadows lurking in closets or the stereotypes of what was once believed; rather, we see families committed to the common purpose of love, devotion, and service to the greater community."

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Just a week after the Center for Disease Control (CDC) publicly announced its support for PrEP, the CDC has released a series of 30-second online public service ads targeting gay men in an effort to encourage discussion about HIV with their partners.

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U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones III struck down Pennsylvania's same-sex marriage ban on Tuesday. In his opinion, Jones writes that the Pennsylvania laws banning same-sex marriage violate the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. Jones wrote that his court "now joins the twelve federal district courts across the country which, when confronted with these inequities in their own states, have concluded that all couples deserve equal dignity in the realm of civil marriage."

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There was no stay appended to the ruling. Philadelphia Register of Wills Ron Donatucci began issuing marriage licenses immediately after the decision. Governor Tom Corbett's administration has 30 days to appeal the decision.

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A judge cleared the way on Thursday May 15, 2014 for gay marriages to resume in Arkansas, striking down all state laws that prevent same-sex couples from wedding. A day after the state Supreme Court effectively halted gay marriages in the conservative Bible Belt state, Pulaski County Judge Chris Piazza expanded his ruling striking down a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage to include the prohibition on clerks issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

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Justices had ruled Wednesday that Piazza's decision on the gay marriage ban did not change that license law.  Piazza also rejected a request to suspend his ruling, saying there's no evidence the state would be harmed by allowing gay marriages to continue.