Law to boost same-sex partnerships
By: David Pescatore
Same-sex unions will be recognized in New Jersey when state Domestic Partnership Act goes into effect on July 10.
HIGHTSTOWN — New Jersey officially will recognize same-sex unions beginning next month when the state Domestic Partnership Act goes into effect July 10.
On that date, The Garden State will join California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Vermont in granting rights to gay and lesbian couples through domestic partnerships. Twelve other states, including Delaware, New York, and Pennsylvania, grant limited rights to state government employees.
"This is a good step. It recognizes our rights and our relationships, but it is limited," said Ellen Gilio, executive director of the Pride Center, a nonprofit gay and lesbian community center in New Brunswick.
According to the act, participants in a domestic partnership gain protections from "employment, housing and credit discrimination." Members also gain the right to visit a hospitalized domestic partner and the right to make medical or legal decisions for an incapacitated partner. In an emergency medical situation, couples who have not filed for domestic partnership, but have met all of the other criteria, must be treated as partners for the purposes of hospital visitation and decision making.
AFSCME deal would cover gay partners
Republican legislators mad that state would offer such health benefits to union
By TOM POLANSEK
of Copley News Service
SPRINGFIELD - If members of the state's largest union ratify a new contract, Illinois will join seven other states in extending health insurance benefits to state employees' gay and lesbian partners.
However, the state would still not provide benefits to unmarried heterosexual couples living together.
As more members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees voted on the contract Thursday, those issues were front and center in the minds of many. And the provision in the proposed contract ignited fresh protests over gay rights in Illinois among union members, lawmakers and activists.
"What about the couple, man and woman, who are living together not married?" asked AFSCME member Eric Wiant. "I say you've got discrimination on your hands."
Gay protestors take to streets
By Myles Wearring
A gay and lesbian rights group protested on the streets of Sydney today against the federal government’s decision to outlaw same-sex marriage.
The protest took place outside the NSW Registry Of Births, Deaths and Marriages on Regent Street in Chippendale and attracted 15 people. Some were holding placards with the slogan "Equal Rights For Same Sex Couples", while others spoke to the crowd and passers-by on a portable PA system.
The rally was organised by the newly formed group Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH), which is made up of university students, The Greens, the Socialist Alliance and trade unionists.
When the group attempted to enter the building they were stopped by security and asked to leave. The protesters then staged a mock wedding outside on the footpath between a lesbian couple, Brianna Pike and Kylie Moon.
Gay couple seeks denial of suit
By Walter F. Naedele
Inquirer Staff Writer
Lawyers for two gay New Hope men yesterday asked Bucks County Court to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to deny the couple a marriage license.
On May 14, 12 state representatives and a Bedford County firm asked Bucks County Court for a declaratory judgment stating that Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act and the state's marriage law are "constitutional under both the federal and state constitutions even though they do not allow same-sex couples to marry."
Yesterday, the couple's "preliminary objections" argued that the May 14 complaint fails because the plaintiffs "seek an advisory opinion."
The plaintiffs, the couple's lawyers argued, "have therefore as a matter of law failed to state a claim that is ripe for adjudication, is justiciable, or presents an actual case of controversy."