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Politics

Gay marriage hits major bump in federal appeals court

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The same-sex marriage movement lost its first major case in a federal appeals court Thursday after a lengthy string of victories, creating a split among the nation's circuit courts that virtually guarantees review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The 2-1 ruling from the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed lower court rulings that had struck down gay marriage bans in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Senator: Even in new Congress, some policies can get bipartisan backing

Less than a day after a stinging defeat that saw her party lose control of the Senate, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., could still find policy priorities she thinks she can work jointly with Republicans when they take control of the Senate in 2015.

Among them are subjects that have eluded a search for common ground in past years, including trade, hunger and climate change.

Voters pass wage hikes and legal pot, divide on abortion

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Voters on ballot initiatives in 41 states gave a resounding thumbs-up to recreational marijuana and higher minimum wages, while dividing on abortion-related measures and GMO labeling.

Abortion

In Colorado, voters rejected a proposal to add "unborn human beings" to the state's criminal code, a measure that some feared could ban abortion.

Bishops object as Catholic universities offer same-sex benefits

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The decision by a Jesuit university in Nebraska to provide benefits to spouses of gay employees has prompted a strong protest from the local archbishop, the latest skirmish in a battle that seems likely to widen as gay marriage becomes more common.

Jesuit Fr. Timothy Lannon, president of Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., said the Catholic school would recognize the spouses of gay employees married in states where same-sex marriage is legal. Those spouses would be eligible to join the university's health plan.

Judge grants Ave Maria University temporary injunction on HHS mandate

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A federal judge in Florida has granted Ave Maria University's motion for a preliminary injunction to keep the Catholic university from being forced to follow the latest procedures that nonexempt religious employers must use to opt out of the contraceptive mandate.

The ruling Tuesday from Judge James S. Moody of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida came as Ave Maria was days away from having to pay fines to the government for noncompliance.

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November 21-December 5, 2014

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