Judge to decide if law discriminates against same-sex couples
BOSTON (AP) - A judge will decide whether a 1913 state law being used to prevent out-of-state gay couples from getting married in Massachusetts is discriminatory and should be struck down.
An attorney for eight same-sex couples from other states asked Superior Court Judge Carol Ball Tuesday for an injunction blocking the state from enforcing the law, which prohibits marriages in
Massachusetts that would be illegal in a couple's home state.
Massachusetts is the only state where same-sex marriages are recognized.
The attorney, Michele Granda, argued that the 1913 statute violates both the U.S. Constitution and state law.
Rosie Takes Shot At Bush During Gay-Friendly Cruise
PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. -- On the eve of a possible U.S. Senate vote to make gay marriages unconstitutional, Rosie O'Donnell spoke out against the Bush administration's plans to ban same sex unions during a stop on a gay-friendly cruise, according to WKMG-TV in Orlando.
"I think this cruise comes at the perfect time, when they're considering an amendment making it illegal for us to have families," O'Donnell told Local 6 News partner Florida Today.
O'Donnell, who is a strong advocate of gay marriage and adoption, railed against President George W. Bush and the administration, according to the report.
"It will be the first time, except for prohibition, that bigotry has been added to the Constitution," O'Donnell said. "That the prevention of rights and exclusion of rights takes paramount over some religious ideology. And, supposedly, that is what we are fighting in Iraq -- A religious extreme government that is not letting people live freely."
Senate Republicans Vow to Push Homophobic Agenda
By Staff and Wire Reports
Bracing for defeat on one of President Bush's campaign-season priorities, Republicans vow that not even a Senate setback will halt their drive to enact a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
"I don't think it's going away after this vote," Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said Tuesday on the eve of a test vote. "I think the issue will remain alive," he added, virtually conceding the amendment would fall short of the 60 votes needed to advance.
Whatever its future in Congress, there were signs that supporters of the amendment intended to use it in the campaign already unfolding.
"The institution of marriage is under fire from extremist groups in Washington, politicians, even judges who have made it clear that they are willing to run over any state law defining marriage," Republican senatorial candidate John Thune says in a radio commercial airing in South Dakota. "They have done it in Massachusetts and they can do it here," adds Thune, who is challenging Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle for his seat.
N.C. Episcopal bishop OKs same-sex 'blessing'
The spiritual leader of nearly 50,000 Episcopalians in North Carolina has given his formal OK to churches in his diocese blessing same-sex unions.
In a letter to clergy, Bishop Michael Curry of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina said "the blessing of the committed life long unions of persons of the same gender is one way our community can live the Gospel through faithful and loving pastoral care and spiritual support for each other."
Curry's diocese is one of at least six among the nation's 108 U.S. Episcopal dioceses to adopt official, written policies allowing the blessing of same-sex unions. The Raleigh-based diocese is home to 121 parishes in Mecklenburg and 38 other N.C. counties.
The U.S. Episcopal church, with 2.3 million members, does not officially have a liturgy for same-sex blessings. But the denomination acknowledges that an unknown number of bishops -- including Robert Johnson in Asheville -- allows their clergy to conduct them.