Gay marriage opponents upbeat about initiative's chances
Sponsors of a proposed constitutional amendment for Oregon say they expect to turn in more than enough valid signatures by next week's deadline
With the deadline seven days away, sponsors of an initiative to limit marriage to between a man and a woman are "fairly optimistic" they will turn in as many as 130,000 valid signatures to put the proposed constitutional amendment before Oregon voters in November.
They need 100,840 signatures of registered voters to pass muster with the state Elections Division, which has drawn criticism in the past month for its strict enforcement of signature requirements.
"Signatures are pouring in every day," said Tim Nashif, political director of the Defense of Marriage Coalition, which didn't get clearance to collect signatures until May 21.
But Nashif didn't want to overstate the group's chances, because the state is scrutinizing each petition sheet so closely for signing and dating errors. Recent enforcement of signing and dating requirements has cost sponsors of other initiatives perhaps thousands of signatures.
50 gay rights supporters march to protest new law
By the Associated Press
MANASSAS, Va. -- About 50 gay rights supporters Saturday marched to the home of Del. Robert Marshall, R-Prince William, to protest a new law that will prohibit civil unions and could interfere with contracts between same-sex couples in Virginia.
Marshall, who sponsored the bill that becomes law Thursday, was not at home and the activists walked peacefully past his house. Some said "Hail Marys" and others recited the Lord's Prayer.
Those who marched from the Prince William Courthouse said they did so to raise awareness about the bill they consider unconstitutional, said organizer Kirk Marusak of Equality Prince William, a gay rights organization.
"We hope to show our concerns about House Bill 751 that takes away certain contractual rights between same-sex couples that we have already," the 43-year-old government employee said.
Miami OKs gay benefits
Same-sex partner policy covers faculty and staff
By Ari Bloomekatz
Enquirer staff writer
Nearly five months after publicly opposing Gov. Bob Taft's approval of the Ohio Defense of Marriage Act, Miami University President James Garland announced the university will offer benefits for faculty and staff in same-sex partnerships as early as next week.
The resolution extends benefits such as tuition discounts, health and dental insurance, recreational membership and sick leave.
Garland announced the decision during the university's last trustees' meeting of the year in Oxford. The board did not discuss the president's decision before unanimously endorsing it, and the item was not on the agenda.
Trustees are not required to approve changes in benefits, but Garland said he wanted to give board members an opportunity to voice their decision in public
Mexico City hosts first gay parade
(Mexico City):Thousands of Mexicans marched across their nation's capital to celebrate gay pride and promote tolerance for homosexuals on Saturday.
Dance music blasted from floats carrying mostly young men dressed in elaborate gowns, shiny construction hats or hardly anything at all.
The march stretched across four lanes of traffic and measured about 10 city blocks from head to tail, as it wound from the Angel of Independence monument to Mexico City's central plaza.
Many marchers said Mexican society continues to show new signs of tolerance toward homosexuals.
Gays, lesbians walk for rights
KOLKATA: Dozens of gay and lesbian people braved cold stares and sneers from bystanders to walk through this traditionalist city in support of the rights of India's sexual minorities.
The colourful march drew large crowds that seemed amused by the sight of cross-dressers and transvestites in their halter-neck tops, spaghetti straps, mini skirts and garish make-up.
But some 300 gay rights activists ignored the unsympathetic stares and comments and walked on silently, at times stopping only to hand out fliers that spoke of the need to recognise homosexuality.
"This march is to tell the civil society about people like us, that we exist in this society and that homosexuals are among our brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, friends, neighbours... everywhere," Rafiquel Haque Dowjah, the chief of gay advocacy group Integration Society, said.