Calif. constitution permits laws for and against gay marriage
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Laws limiting marriage to a man and a woman do not violate California's constitution, but neither would a law allowing same-sex couples to marry, according to the state attorney general.
Attorney General Bill Lockyer issued the opinion Friday, a long-awaited response to a pair of lawsuits out of San Francisco challenging laws that ban gay marriage.
"Rights are considered fundamental only if they are deeply rooted and firmly entrenched in our state's history and tradition," Lockyer said. "There is simply no deeply rooted tradition of same-sex marriage in California or in any other state."
Call to extend hate crime offence
Tough new laws are needed to tackle "hate crimes" towards gay, transgender or disabled people, experts have said.
The Working Group on Hate Crime, which advises the Scottish Executive, said ministers should introduce a statutory aggravation for these crimes.
Similar legislation for race-hate crimes and religious bigotry can now be considered by courts in relation to existing offences.
Ministers will now consider the group's recommendations.
The working group said that it should be irrelevant whether or not the victim actually belonged to the particular social group in question, insisting that the motivation of the offender should be the determining factor
Judge: 'Serious Doubts' About Lawmakers' Suit Against Gay Couple
by The Associated Press
(New Hope, Pennsylvania) A judge has indicated that he likely will rule against a dozen state lawmakers who tried to strengthen the state's ban on same-sex marriages by suing two gay men who want to marry.
Bucks County Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg said at a hearing Friday that he had "serious doubts as to whether plaintiffs' action will survive." Goldberg said that his instinct was to issue a ruling from the bench, but that he would instead release his decision shortly.
Robert Seneca, 49, and Stephen Stahl, 55, of New Hope, tried to apply for a marriage license in March at the Bucks County Courthouse, but Register of Wills Barbara G. Reilly said she couldn't legally accept an application for a same-sex union. Seneca and Stahl later said they would consider filing a lawsuit appealing her decision.
The 11 Republicans and one Democrat who sponsored the state's 1996 Defense of Marriage Act said they filed their suit in an attempt to have the law affirmed before Seneca and Stahl seek to have it declared unconstitutional.
Nix Gay Marriage Calif. A.G. Tells Court
by Mark Worrall
San Francisco Bureau
(San Francisco, California) Domestic Partnerships yes, gay marriage no, California's attorney general told a San Francisco Superior Court Friday.
In a legal brief filed with the court Attorney General Bill Lockyer said that the California Constitution does not prohibit laws barring same-sex marriage.
Lawsuits brought by the city of San Francisco and couples who married last winter in the city say that a state law which prevents gay couples from marrying is unconstitutional by violating the California provisions of equality.
The case is being keenly watched not only by gays and lesbians but also by both Democrats and Republicans. Lockyer, a Democrat has expressed interest in running for governor in 2006.