N.J. Supreme Court Leaves Gay Marriage With Appeals Court
by Chris Newmarker
The Associated Press
(Trenton, New Jersey) The New Jersey Supreme Court announced today it is leaving a case involving the legality of same-sex marriages with an appeals court.
The state's highest court also directed the New Jersey Appellate Division to speed up its scheduling of an appeal in the case before a three-judge panel.
Officials at Lambda Legal, the group pushing for same-sex marriages in New Jersey, said the court's decision was disappointing for the seven gay and lesbian couples involved in the case..
"I think the state and everyone agrees that this is going to end up in the highest court," said David Buckel, director of Lambda Legal's Marriage Project. "So from our perspective, we thought it would be better to get it there sooner than later."
Criminal Probe Into Anti-Gay Amendment Names
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
(Columbus, Ohio) A criminal investigation has begun into the way names were collected for petitions to force an anti-gay constitutional amendment onto the Ohio ballot.
After allegations that some names on the petitions were forged, the Summit County Board of Elections turned over the petitions to Summit County Sheriff Drew Alexander.
The board said that it suspected between 20 and 30 signatures appeared to be forged.
"It affects this unbelievable democracy we enjoy and goes right to the heart of the Constitution,'' Summit County Sheriff's Inspector Keith Thornton told The Beacon Journal. "I take it really seriously.''
Poll shows 40% of GLBT high schoolers have experienced bullying
About 5% of America's high school students identify as gay or lesbian, and nearly 40% of them report being physically harassed because of their sexual orientation, according to a new poll conducted by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network and released exclusively to Advocate.com on Wednesday.
"The findings suggest that, on average, every classroom in America has at least one student who identifies as lesbian or gay and that a majority of those students know at least one gay or lesbian person, whether it be a teacher, a classmate, or a family member," noted GLSEN executive director Kevin Jennings.
The national poll asked questions of 9th- to 12th-grade students across the country about sexual orientation, name-calling, and general attitudes toward lesbian and gay people in schools. The group said the findings are important because they underscore the widespread problems that arise when students use antigay language, name-calling, bullying, and harassment in America's schools.
"The research demonstrates a disturbing gap between how LGBT and straight students perceive and are affected by the pervasive language," the group determined. "It is probably shocking to many adults how many of their children are using offensive homophobic language day in and day out in our nation's high schools," said Marty McGough, director for Widmeyer Research and Polling. "What the research also gives us is an indication of the large population of LGBT students who have to listen to it."
Voinovich, DeWine reject amendment to ban gay unions
By JAMES DREW
BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU CHIEF
COLUMBUS - Saying they oppose same-sex marriage but believe the wording of a ballot issue is unclear, Ohio's two Republican U.S. Senators said yesterday they oppose a state constitutional amendment on the Nov. 2 ballot that would prohibit such unions.
Mike DeWine and George Voinovich believe the second sentence of Issue 1 is "vague, ambiguous, and raises a thicket of questions," their press secretaries said.
Issue 1 states: "Only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this state and its political subdivisions."
Aides to Senators DeWine and Voinovich said they would vote for Issue 1 if it was limited to the first sentence.
Ottawa lambasted over same-sex case
By KIRK MAKIN
From Thursday's Globe and Mail
Ottawa — Gay-rights lawyers said the government gave every indication last year that it had embraced three provincial appellate decisions legalizing same-sex marriage, only to turn around and add a question that forced the court to rule on that very issue.
"It is improper to ask the court to revisit those decisions," said Cynthia Petersen, a lawyer for gay-rights advocacy group Egale Canada and several gay couples. She urged the judges to show their displeasure at this "abuse" of its role by ignoring the question altogether.
Ms. Petersen warned the judges that by taking the bait and "second-guessing the lower courts," it could end up causing a worse mess. "If you provide an opinion that in any way deviates from the lower-court opinions, it will not provide clarity," she said. "It will create confusion."
Poll finds narrow support for same-sex marriage
CTV.ca News Staff
The Canadian public slightly supports the notion of gay marriage -- but they are increasingly uncomfortable calling it marriage, a new poll has found.
The Ipsos-Reid survey, conducted for CTV and the Globe and Mail, also found that if the Supreme Court ultimately finds the federal government's proposed bill to be constitutional, 52 per cent of Canadians would accept it.
Oklahoma marriage amendment may meet same fate as Louisiana measure
Oklahoma's proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages differs from a similar amendment that was dismissed this week by a Louisiana judge, the legislation's principal author says. Louisiana voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to their state's constitution to ban such marriages, but Judge William Morvant on Monday ruled that it was flawed because it included more than one purpose: banning not only gay marriage but also civil unions.
Oklahoma state senator James Williamson, the principal author of the language that became State Question 711, said he doesn't think SQ 711 would ban civil unions automatically. "The ballot title indicates that it prohibits giving the benefit of marriage to people who are not married, but the actual language of the amendment itself says neither this constitution or any other provision of law shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups," he said.
Williamson, a lawyer, said state questions regarding constitutional amendments often have many different subcategories but that the standard legal test always has been whether the question addresses one prevailing subject. "For example, during the legislative fight on the issue, Sen. Frank Shurden tried to put cockfighting on it. That would have been more than one subject," Williamson said.
More Michigan companies offering same-sex benefits
DETROIT - After initially lagging behind companies in other states, a growing number of Michigan employers now are offering same-sex domestic partner benefits.
About 55 Detroit area employers - including private companies, government agencies and nonprofits - now offer same-sex benefits, up from just a handful in 1997, according to the Human Rights Campaign, a Washington-based gay advocacy group.
But the issue remains a hot topic. Michigan's Nov. 2 ballot includes a proposal that could ban gay marriage, and some workers worry its passage could lead to legal challenges to same-sex benefits at municipal employers or universities.
Jamaican firms threaten financial block over reggae row
Ben Townley, Gay.com UK
Companies across Jamaica are threatening the reggae singers at the centre of a row over homophobic lyrics with the withdrawal of sponsorship funds, unless the artists drop their anti-gay content.
The firms involved in the threat include Cable and Wireless Jamaica, Red Stripe and Pepsi-Cola Jamaica.
The unanimous decision to block funds to those artists accused of inciting violence against gays comes after a business conference held last Friday, where companies expressed fears that their own brand names could be tainted by the violently anti-gay lyrics.
In a joint statement released today the companies involved in this new threat said that as well as withdrawing funds from anti-gay singers, they would also develop a new code that all artists sponsored by the companies must adhere to.
Anglican church rules on gay couples
By Tim Clarke
Australia's Anglican Church has said it cannot condone church blessings for gay relationships or the ordination of homosexuals, following a debate at its General Synod.
Delegates at the synod meeting in Fremantle agreed to motions put forward by the church's hierarchy stating they did not condone liturgical blessings for same-sex couples or the ordination of people in same-sex relationships.
The meeting also agreed to back federal parliament's decree earlier this year that marriage, at law, was the exclusive union of a man and a woman.
CMA votes to admit gay pastor
By MEILING AROUNNARATH
The Campus Ministry Association voted to allow the Rev. Renee DuBose, an openly gay pastor, to join the group as a full member.
The voting took place Wednesday morning during this month's CMA meeting at the Presbyterian Student Center.
DuBose is a pastor for Our Hope Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) on campus, a Christian church open to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and "straight-but-not-narrow" community.
Our Hope MCC is five years old and operates out of the Presbyterian Student Center, though it is not an official religious campus center.
For some gays, living with partners means leaving U.S.
BY FRANK TREJO
The Dallas Morning News
DALLAS - (KRT) - What's the hardest part about living in Canada?
"I can't get good Mexican food," jokes 36-year-old Dallas native Gena Watkins. "But the really worst thing is not having my family here. My children, my dad, my brother, my aunts and uncles. I have a huge family base there that I've had to leave."
Each year hundreds of gay and lesbian Americans like Watkins make the difficult decision to move to a country that provides immigration rights to same-sex couples.
Watkins said she had no idea of the obstacles three years ago when she and her life partner, Lisa Proulx, got together. Proulx was in the United States on a visitor's visa.
Sex change `is against my beliefs'
by Tina Clarke
A RELIGIOUS follower refused to see his probation officer because the worker was going through a sex change.
Magistrates were told that Nigel Coleman's reason for not turning up for the interview was because sex change was against his religious beliefs.
The defendant refused to complete a pre-sentencing interview because he did not want to reveal his personal life to the probation officer he had been assigned.
Coleman was due to be sentenced for assault but his solicitor told the bench that his religious views prevented him from opening up to someone he regarded as a worse criminal than himself.
New cannibalism case feared in Germany
BERLIN - Police are investigating a killing in Berlin which appears to be a repeat case of cannibalism linked to sex.
A 33-year-old piano teacher was found dead in an apartment in the city's troubled Neukoelln district, police confirmed.
The man, who had been stabbed to death with a screwdriver, was sawed into pieces and his internal organs including the heart and liver had been put into a refrigerator.
DeMint apologizes for remark
He regrets comment on single, pregnant teachers, but doesn’t elaborate on issue of gays and unwed moms as teachers
By AARON GOULD SHEININ, LAUREN MARKOE and JENNIFER TALHELM
Republican U.S. Senate nominee Jim DeMint apologized Wednesday after telling a newspaper editorial board that single, pregnant women should not teach in public schools.
It was not clear — because DeMint refused to comment further — whether that apology also applied to his remark in a televised debate Sunday that gays and lesbians should not be teachers.