In rural North Dakota, where Melanie Hoffert grew up on her family farm, discussing subjects like homosexuality and same-sex marriage is often considered taboo. Courtesy of Beacon Press hide caption

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Joel Heitkamp smiles while broadcasting in 2009 at AM radio station KFGO in Fargo, N.D. Elaine Thompson/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Elaine Thompson/AP

Diane Gira (left) and Valerie Nelson (right) pose with their son, Madison, in their home near Wahpeton, N.D. Maggie Penman/NPR hide caption

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The small town of Wahpeton, N.D., is one of the places where conversations on same-sex marriage are playing out in schools, churches and families. Maggie Penman/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Maggie Penman/NPR

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence holds a news conference at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, on Thursday, where he signed into law a bill that would allow business owners with strong religious convictions to refuse to provide services to same-sex couples. Michael Conroy/AP hide caption

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A rule from the federal Labor Department will guarantee that regardless of where legally married same-sex spouses live, they can take unpaid time off to care for a spouse or sick relative. iStockphoto hide caption

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The Rev. Charles Perry of Unity Church, in Birmingham, Ala., marries Curtis Stephens, center, and his partner of 30 years, Pat Helms, Monday at the Jefferson County Courthouse. Alabama began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block the marriages in the state. Hal Yeager/AP hide caption

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Robert Bate of Birmingham holds signs endorsing same-sex marriage outside the Jefferson County Courthouse in Birmingham, Ala., Monday. On Tuesday, the chief justice of the state's Supreme Court said federal courts are overstepping their jurisdiction in deciding cases about the issue. Tamika Moore/AL.com/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Tamika Moore/AL.com/Landov

Kimmy Denny and her partner, Barb Lawrence of Palm Harbor, Fla., wait outside a court hearing on gay marriage in Miami in July. On Jan. 6, same-sex marriages will be allowed in the Sunshine State. J Pat Carter/AP hide caption

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