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News analysis: Tenth Circuit's "strict scrutiny" opinion on gay marriage is huge

Today's opinion by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding a lower court's ruling that Virginia's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional just may be a bigger deal than the one by the Tenth Circuit in the Utah and Oklahoma cases.

Why?

BREAKING! Appeals court rules Virginia's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional

RICHMOND, Virginia -- A federal appeals court today ruled in favor of a lower court ruling in Bostic v. Schaefer that found that Virginia's ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional.

The decision will not take effect immediately, but will go into effect in 21 days, unless the defendants file a motion to stay the ruling. The ruling will also be stayed if the defendants ask the full court of appeals to review the case, according to the ACLU.

Alaska Supreme Court allows same-sex partners access to survivor benefits

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Alaska Supreme Court on Friday ruled unanimously that the same-sex partner of a person killed on the job should have access to the protection of Alaska’s workers’ compensation law.

Federal judge rules Colorado's gay marriage ban is unconstitutional

DENVER, Colorado -- A federal judge ruled today that Colorado's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional and issued a preliminary injunction against the state law.

However, he “temporarily stayed” his preliminary injunction until 8 am Monday, Aug. 25 to allow Defendants time to seek relief from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals or the U.S. Supreme Court.

For those keeping score on the legal front, the 10th Circuit has already struck down state bans in Oklahoma and Utah.

North Dakota couples ask judge to invalidate state’s gay marriage ban

FARGO, North Dakota -- The seven same-sex couples who are challenging North Dakota’s laws banning marriage equality have asked a federal court to declare the laws unconstitutional.

In their request, made late Tuesday, the couples argue that North Dakota’s laws that prohibit marriage equality and the recognition of marriages of same-sex couples married in other states violate the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the United States Constitution. A hearing has not yet been scheduled for the court to consider the couples’ request.

Colorado Supreme Court orders Denver to stop issuing gay marriage licenses

DENVER, Colorado -- The Colorado Supreme Court on Friday ordered Denver to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but stopped short of blocking other clerks already issuing the licenses.

The order by Colorado's high court follows an emergency request filed by Colorado Attorney General John Suthers on Monday, asking the state Supreme Court to order the Denver clerk to stop issuing gay marriage licenses. The order also imposes a stay preventing the Adams County clerk — which was also named in the case — from issuing such licenses.

SCOTUS delays benefits for married Utah gay couples

WASHINGTON, DC -- Justice Sonia Sotomayor today granted a motion for a stay, requested by the State of Utah, that will delay the granting of benefits for gay and lesbian couples who married in Utah in December before the U.S. Supreme Court halted them pending appeal.

Sotomayor is the high court justice who oversees requests coming out of Utah, which is in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals jurisdiction.

Obama executive order on LGBT job discrimination: No religious exemptions

WASHINGTON, DC -- President Barack Obama on Monday will sign an executive order banning workplace discrimination against LGBT workers of federal contractors and the federal government.

The executive order has two components:

1) It prohibits federal contractors from discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity -- a move that affects 24,000 companies employing roughly 28 million workers, or about one-fifth of the nation's workforce

2) It explicitly bans discrimination against federal employees based on their gender identity.

BREAKING! 10th Circuit upholds freedom to marry in Oklahoma

DENVER, Colorado -- Today the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled in favor of same-sex couples’ freedom to marry, upholding a marriage ruling out of Oklahoma back in January.

This is the second consecutive ruling in favor of marriage by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals; the same three-judge panel also found Utah’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples is unconstitutional.

Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement:

Can you be gay, pro-choice, and Republican? Meet the Congressional candidate proving it’s possible

Carl DeMaio is openly gay, supports abortion rights, and says that climate change is a problem that demands bold solutions from the government. He also happens to be the Republican candidate for Congress in California’s 52nd District.

(ABC News’ Rick Klein and Yahoo News’ Olivier Knox sit down with Carl DeMaio, running for Congress from California. Not your traditional Republican, he is also the first candidate of either party to feature his same-sex partner in a campaign ad. Watch the full interview with DeMaio for the ABC News-Yahoo News series “Power Players” below. )

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