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gay marriage

This year's tax day marks a historic event for one group of Americans: April 18 will be the first time that every married same-sex couple in the country can file both their federal and state taxes together.

It's something Colleen and Linda Squires have been waiting for for a long time.

When the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide last June, a couple of farmers in rural Somerville, Tenn., tied the knot.

The couple — Mark Henderson and Dennis Clark — say their neighbors responded within hours.

"We came home and there was a bottle of champagne in a potato salad bucket on the front porch," Henderson says.

But the response from another community, one that they've been actively involved in for years, wasn't as welcoming.

We usually think about adoption as a relationship solely between parents and children.

It's not.

Before same-sex marriage became legal across the United States, some couples would become parent and child — just on paper — to get rights they were otherwise denied.

That's what Sergio Cervetti and Ken Rinker of Doylestown, Pa., did years after meeting in the fall of 1965. Rinker was 19 at the time and just back from a trip to Europe with his student dance troupe. He says he felt invigorated by Cervetti, who was five years older and a composer.

Updated at 1:39 p.m. ET

A federal judge found a Kentucky clerk at the center of the national debate over same-sex marriage in contempt of court after she defied the Supreme Court by refusing to issue marriage licenses in protest of such marriages.

Kentucky Public Radio's Ryland Barton reports that District Judge David L. Bunning ordered Kim Davis taken into custody by federal marshals "until she complies" with a court order.

A display of wedding cake figurines featuring same sex couples.
Archie McPhee Seattle

Facebook posts, tweets and Instagram photos poured out after the Supreme Court ruled that marriage is right for all Americans, including the nation's lesbian and gay citizens. Washington state has had same-sex marriage since 2012, but there was robust debate on social media around the state about the court's ruling.

Updated at 2:25 p.m. ET

Ireland has become the first-ever country to approve same-sex marriage by referendum, voting overwhelmingly to approve it despite opposition from clergy in the heavily Catholic nation, according to official results announced today.

Reuters says in Friday's vote "more than 60 percent of eligible voters cast their ballot, the highest turnout at a referendum there in over two decades."

Earlier, both sides in the debate acknowledged that the "yes" vote had succeeded.

Ireland could make history this week. Same-sex marriage is legal in about 17 countries around the world. In all of those countries, the decision was made by the legislature or the courts. Ireland appears poised to become the first country to legalize same-sex marriage through a national popular vote set for Friday.

In Dublin, it is impossible to miss the debate. Nearly every lamppost carries a big poster, or several.

"YES: Equality for everybody," reads one showing a diverse group of smiling people.


A new lawsuit in Idaho claims the same legal argument that paved the way for gay marriage in the state should also make it illegal to refuse to hire gay people.

The U.S. Supreme Court directly confronts the question of gay marriage this week with a whopping 2 1/2 hours of oral argument, accompanied by plenty of prognostication afterward about the expected results. It won't be until June that we learn how the issue is settled nationally. In the meantime, though, we do know a good deal about the views of the justices already.

To say that there has been a revolution in the law when it comes to gay rights is an understatement.

Welcome to a special pop-up podcast from NPR's Washington Desk. As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments Tuesday on whether same-sex marriage bans are constitutional, our correspondents give their take on the legal questions before the court and seismic shift in the culture and politics on this issue.

Gay marriage is now legal in 36 states. And by the end of this Supreme Court term in June, same-sex couples will either be able to wed in all 50 states, or gay marriage bans may be restored in many states where they've been struck down.

This week, Morning Edition is taking a look at the attitudes about gay rights in North Dakota, one of 13 states that still bans same-sex marriage.

Wahpeton, N.D., is about an hourlong drive from Fargo, through vast, empty farmland that's brown and yellow this time of year. It will look very different soon — farmers are already out on their tractors preparing for the planting season.

The Alabama Supreme Court once again has instructed probate judges not to issue marriage licenses.

In a 134-page opinion, seven of the nine justices said the U.S. Constitution "does not require one definition of marriage."

The U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to step in and stop gay marriages from taking place in Alabama. The move sent the strongest signal to date that the justices are on the verge of legalizing gay marriage nationwide. Within hours of the high-court ruling, same-sex marriages began taking place in Alabama, despite an eleventh-hour show of defiance by the state's chief justice.

The U.S. Supreme Court Friday agreed to take up cases challenging gay marriage bans in Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky.

Idaho's governor vowed in his state of the state address Monday to continue the legal fight against gay marriage.

Jeannie Yandel talks with Marc Solomon, the national campaign director for Freedom To Marry and the author of the book "Winning Marriage," about Washington voters' legalizing gay marriage in November 2012.

In a 48-hour period this past October the number of states that allow same-sex marriage nearly doubled. As of this writing, thirty-five states allow same-sex couples to marry legally. Courts made that decision in twenty-four states. Legislatures made the call in another eight. And in three states, including Washington, the decision went to voters.

Marc Solomon has an extensive background in advocacy and public policy, but he wasn’t a natural pick to help lead the campaign to make same-sex marriage a reality. In his book, “Winning Marriage,” he tells the story of how a seemingly impossible goal — to win the freedom to marry for all Americans — came near reality in such a short period of time.

United Methodist pastor Frank Schaefer speaks during a news conference Tuesday, June 24, 2014, at First United Methodist Church of Germantown in Philadelphia.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Ross Reynolds talks with Frank Schaefer, author of "Defrocked: How A Father's Act of Love Shook the United Methodist Church," about his decision to officiate his son's same-sex marriage and the ensuing case over his dismissal from position as pastor in the Methodist church.

This segment originally aired October 20, 2014.

A federal appeals court Thursday upheld gay marriage bans in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Michigan. It’s a break with the trend in most courts.

Bans on same-sex marriage in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee were confirmed by a federal court Thursday, in a ruling that provides yet another shift in the legal fight over the issue.

The 2-1 decision handed down by the Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit comes after the four states had argued this summer that their voters had the authority to decide whether to ban marriage between a same-sex couple.

Religious conservatives around the country are rallying to the defense of a wedding chapel in north Idaho whose owners don’t want to perform gay marriages.

The Idaho attorney general has asked his legal staff to start looking at what implications gay marriage will have for the state.

Same-sex couples in Idaho can start getting married and have those marriages legally recognized by the state starting Wednesday morning.

Gay rights advocates are waiting for a ruling from a federal judge on whether same-sex couples can get married in Oregon.

"Attorney General Eric Holder announced Friday that the federal government will recognize the 900-plus same-sex marriages that took place in Utah during the two weeks when such unions were legal," NPR's Nina Totenberg writes for us.

That means those couples "will be eligible for all federal benefits," NPR's Carrie Johnson adds.

In a statement, Holder says that:

County officials who issue marriage licenses in Washington are gearing up for a possible influx of new applicants.

Hometown Heroes: The Conversation Talks To Notable Washingtonians

Aug 22, 2013

Located in the best city in the best state, The Conversation has a lot of pride in the Pacific Northwest. We’ve got the best apples, planes, music, and yoga paddle board classes in the country.  This hour, we hear from Washingtonians who are making news and bringing fame to the Evergreen State.

KUOW Photo/Derek Wang

Same-sex couples around the Seattle area celebrated Wednesday’s historic ruling from the US Supreme Court that struck down some bans on gay marriage. The ruling spurred some couples to think about making wedding plans, now that they would receive new federal benefits. Others were inspired to apply for a marriage license, or even get married on the historic day. For many, Wednesday started out as a day of anticipation and anxiety and ended as a day of elation.

Washington State Reacts To Supreme Court Rulings On Gay Marriage

Jun 26, 2013
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

 The United States Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act today, allowing gay couples access to federal benefits. It also decided on another gay marriage case concerning California’s Proposition 8, effectively clearing the way for gay marriage in California. The LGBT community calls these rulings a victory for gay rights.

But Washington state legalized gay marriage back in December. So what do these Supreme Court rulings actually mean for LGBT couples here in Washington? Peter Nicolas, a law professor at the University of Washington and author of "The Geography of Love: Same Sex Marriage Recognition in America (The Story in Maps)” helps us break down the Supreme Court decisions. Christopher Plante, regional director of the National Organization for Marriage, also joins Ross Reynolds to explain why his organization condemns the verdicts. Ross also talks to callers about their reaction to the news.

Same Sex Marriage: What Happens Next?

May 1, 2013
AP Photo/Brennan Linsley

Last November Washington became the first state to legalize same sex marriage at the polls but today we want to check in on what is happening with the same-sex marriage debate in and out of the Evergreen State.