Louisiana Approves Anti-Gay Amendment
by The Associated Press
(New Orleans, Louisiana) Louisiana voters Saturday overwhelmingly approved a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages and civil unions, one of up to 12 such measures on the ballot around the country this year.
With 80 percent of precincts reporting, the amendment was winning approval with 79 percent of the vote and support for it was evident statewide. Only in New Orleans, home to a politically strong gay community, did the race appear to be close; incomplete returns there showed slightly more voters opposing the measure than approving it.
Christian conservatives had conducted an intense grassroots lobbying campaign for the amendment. Gene Mills of the Louisiana Family Forum outlined a statewide effort relying on word of mouth, meetings with pastors from different regions and some paid media.
The measure had been expected to pass easily, and the civil rights group Forum for Equality had already promised legal action. A first round of court fights was turned away by state courts that said an election cannot be challenged until the vote is taken.
Group disputes petition validity
Marriage-ban foes file suit
By Jim Siegel
Enquirer Columbus Bureau
COLUMBUS - Opponents trying to keep a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage off the Ohio ballot want a state appeals court to invalidate all signatures gathered in Hamilton and Cuyahoga counties.
The Cincinnati-based Campaign to Protect Marriage must collect 323,000 valid signatures to put the issue before voters in November. But a coalition of gay rights advocates could block the effort by tying it up in court or getting enough signatures tossed out.
A lawsuit filed this week in the state 10th District Court of Appeals argues that all petitions collected in the Cincinnati and Cleveland areas should be tossed out for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they do not contain a required summary of the amendment.
The amendment effort is already expected to come up at least 17,000 signatures short of the state requirement - a figure supporters think they can overcome by submitting more than 100,000 additional signatures.
Blair delays gay marriage bill on Paisley request
From:The Irish Independent
PRIME Minister Tony Blair delayed the introduction of a Commons Bill last week to legalise gay marriages at the request of Ian Paisley.
The Civil Partnerships Bill was to receive its second reading in the House of Commons on Thursday, but Dr Paisley said none of his MPs would have an opportunity to oppose the Bill because they were involved in negotiations with the Prime Minister and the Taoiseach at Leeds Castle in Kent.
Mr Blair agreed to withdraw the Bill so Dr Paisley and his DUP MPs could be in the Commons when the Bill is introduced for its second reading. The Civil Partnerships Bill will now be introduced after the next recess.