Rhode Island senator opposes amendment barring same-sex marriage
(Washington-AP) -- The US Senate is set to debate today whether the Constitution should be amended to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
Proponents say a constitutional amendment is the only way to prevent federal courts from hearing cases challenging a federal law that bars same-sex unions.
Many Democrats say the debate is a political diversion orchestrated for the weeks running up to the presidential nominating conventions.
And several Republican senators say they too are wary of amending the Constitution.
Hate crimes decrease in state -- especially against Hispanics
But Lockyer says 4 incidents a day still being reported
Jason B. Johnson, Chronicle Staff Writer
California Attorney General Bill Lockyer announced Thursday that the number of hate crimes reported in the state had dropped for the second consecutive year, with crimes against Hispanics seeing a significant 34 percent decline.
The annual Department of Justice report, "Hate Crime in California 2003," details statistics on hate crime incidents, victims, prosecutions and convictions that are reported by California law enforcement agencies and prosecutors. Lockyer, San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris and Sonoma County District Attorney Stephen Passalacqua made the announcement during a news conference at the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center in San Francisco.
The report shows that overall, hate crime incidents dropped by about 10 percent in 2003 from the previous year. There was a spike in such crimes in 2001, mostly anti-Arab violence in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Residents Speak Out On Banning Lesbian From Adopting
WDEF-TV News 12
Residents pack Gordon County's commission meeting Tuesday night after rumors that a lesbian couple wants to become foster parents. Pastors, church members, and families let their voices be heard.
Jack DuPree/ Pastor, Tabernacle of Praise Church "It's just not a concept that is biblical that we feel is acceptable to rear our children."
A spokesperson for the people opposed to the adoption asks the commissioners to change the county codes and ordinances as well as the Department of Children Services.
Janet Langille/ Opposes Lesbian Parents "We would like to request the DFACS board to draw up restrictions and guidelines that would not allow lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender adults to become foster parents.
Two More Denominations Call For Anti-Gay Amendment
by Mary Ellen Peterson
San Francisco Bureau
(San Francisco, California) The Church of Latter Day Saints and African Methodist Episcopal Church this week announced their support for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
The Mormons, as the LDS is known, issued a statement saying, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints favors a constitutional amendment preserving marriage as the lawful union of a man and a woman."
It is the first official comment from the Church on proposed amendments to ban gay marriage.
The statement came as the US Senate prepares to vote on a proposal to amend the US Constitution. In November, Utah voters will decide whether to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriages and prevent other domestic relationships from being given the same "legal effect" as marriage.