Gay N.J. Couples Register for Partnerships
By KRISTA LARSON
Associated Press Writer
MAPLEWOOD, N.J. - Hundreds of same-sex couples gathered to register domestic partnerships on Saturday, the first day of a new law in New Jersey that gives gay partners some of the same rights as married couples.
More than 200 people attended a morning ceremony marking the law going into effect. Many arrived hours early, sitting on the municipal building´s steps or on lawn chairs while filling out domestic partnership applications.
"This is a very great day in New Jersey´s civil rights history," said Mayor Fred Profeta. "The civil rights achieved today are very important _ don´t anyone doubt that."
Some 40 applications, which attest to the signers being domestic partners, had been handed out as of 9:30 a.m. After completing the paperwork, couples planned to draw numbers to determine their place in a line to receive notarization.
Indiana senators undecided on vote
Gannett News Service
WASHINGTON -- Indiana's senators, Richard Lugar and Evan Bayh, have not decided how they will vote next week on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages, their offices said.
Both oppose marriage for gay men and lesbians, but both have also expressed hesitation about amending the Constitution to bar same-sex unions.
Lugar, a Republican, is reading court opinions to determine the implications of an amendment. He wants to hear the floor debate before making up his mind, said spokesman Andy Fisher.
Lugar voted for a 1996 federal law that denies federal recognition of same-sex marriages and allows states to ignore same-sex unions performed elsewhere.
Gay marriage debate following divergent trends
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Opposing trends emerging in the gay marriage debate following Ohio's enactment of a same-sex marriage ban may not be entirely at odds with each other.
Last month, Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman arranged to make health insurance coverage available to the domestic partners of city employees. Two public universities also added same-sex partners to employees' health insurance.
At the same time, backers of a proposed state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage are continuing to circulate petitions for a possible November vote. And last week, Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell called for a similar amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
These apparently conflicting movements are consistent with what many people feel about gay marriage, said Marc Spindelman, a professor of constitutional and family law at Ohio State University.
"Whatever feelings people might have about gay marriage, it seems unfair to them not to allow people with long-standing relationships with no possibility of marriage under law to be able to take care of each other," he said.
NY's Bloomberg to Entertain Gay, Pro-Choice Groups
By Christine Kearney
NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York's Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg will throw three lavish parties during this summer's Republican National Convention, but two of his soirees are for groups whose positions President Bush opposes.
The billionaire-turned-politician will entertain a group in favor of a woman's right to choose abortion and a group of gay Republicans who have yet to endorse Bush for re-election.
Bloomberg, known for his extravagant affairs, will also host a party for Republican Hispanics at the mayor's official residence, Gracie Mansion.
In a year when same-sex marriage was legalized in Massachusetts and became a hot issue across the country ahead of November's election, Bush supports a constitutional amendment to outlaw such unions.