Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Daily News Round Up (1/12/05)

Louisiana Gay Bias Order Challenged
by Newscenter Staff

(Baton Rouge, Louisiana) Two Louisiana Republicans, one a state senator and the other a member of Congress, say that an executive order by Gov. Kathleen Blanco prohibiting employment discrimination against gay and lesbian state government employees may be illegal. The Order extends to any business contracting with the state and requires those companies to have non-discrimination policies covering their lesbian and gay workers.

Sen. James David Cain has asked Attorney General Charles Foti for a legal opinion on the governor's action.

Cain wants to know if the order was constitutional, whether it would apply to local governments and if it is so vague it could lead to costly lawsuits.

Suit Seeks Benefits For Surviving Partner Of Air Crash Victim

by Doug Windsor New York Bureau

(New York City) A New York State Appeals Court today hears arguments in the case of a man denied compensation following the death of his longtime partner in an air crash.

Joe Lopes, was killed on November 12, 2001, while working as a flight attendant on American Airlines flight 587 when it crashed shortly after takeoff from John F. Kennedy Airport.

His surviving spouse, Bill Valentine, was turned down when he applied for workers' compensation benefits given to people whose spouses die on the job.

Arizona Anti-Gay Bills Move Forward

by Newscenter Staff

(Phoenix, Arizona) Arizona lawmakers, already considering amending the state constitution to ban gay marriage, is now considering legislation to bar any government-sponsored benefits to domestic partners.

The proposal, by Republican Reps. Mark Anderson and Warde Nichols would insert the ban on benefits into the proposed amendment.

The pair said Tuesday that they want not only to protect the sanctity of marriage, but also to discourage unconventional unions.

Georgia Moves To Void Atlanta Gay Rights Law

by Newscenter Staff

(Atlanta, Georgia) Legislation was filed Wednesday in the Georgia legislature that would would block cities from punishing organizations that exclude gays and lesbians.

The move is the latest in a battle between Atlanta and Druid Hills Country Club. The exclusive club has refused to grant family memberships to its gay and lesbian members.

In December Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin directed Atlanta's solicitor to fine Druid Hills Country Club $500 a day for each day, up to 180 days, it does not comply a city ordinance guaranteeing the rights of LGBT citizens. The club then filed suit against the city alleging the ordinance is illegal. (story)

Episcopal Bishops Meet Over Gays In Church

by Newscenter Staff

(Salt Lake City, Utah) The leaders of the Episcopal Church, the American branch of the worldwide Anglican faith, went into closed door meetings in Salt Lake City Wednesday over demands that the Church "apologize" for the election of a gay bishop.

Conservatives and moderates within the Church have been at odds since the election of Eugene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003. Some American diocese have withheld their contributions to the Church, while semi-autonomous Churches in Africa and Asia have threatened a schism.

In October, a blue ribbon commission set up by the world leader of the Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, called on the Episcopal Church to "apologize" for Robinson's election.

Sheriff: Homosexuality An Abomination

by The Associated Press

(Guntersville, Alabama) Marshall County Sheriff Mac Holcomb is a no-nonsense lawman who remembers the 1940s and 1950s as a better time than now. He spells his views out on a Web site for all to see.

Don Hunter, an Anniston native who is now a deputy administrator for Marin County, Calif., ran across it and didn't like what he saw - a law officer publicly condemning homosexuality as "an abomination."

The sheriff, reflecting on growing up in the 1940s and 1950s, says on the Web site: "Men were men and women were women and there was no mistaking which was which ... Homosexuality was very queer and a despicable act ... an abomination."

Christian Activists Face Up To 47 Years Behind Bars For Gay Protest

by Newscenter Staff

(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) Four evangelists have pleaded not guilty to hate crimes charges related to a demonstration at last October's Outfest in Philadelphia.

The four members of Repent America are charged with ethnic intimidation, criminal conspiracy and inciting to riot. If convicted they each could be sentenced up to 47 years in jail.

The four, and 6 others who were not charged, marched to the front of a stage at Outfest and began to yell Biblical passages to drown out the events on stage.

Cartoon Condoms Fight AIDS

by Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press

(United Nations) A new global campaign to stop the spread of AIDS uses three animated characters dressed as condoms to deliver a serious message in humorous public service spots in 41 languages: If you're going to have sex, use a condom.

The short spots are being offered free to broadcasters, community groups and universities and have the potential of reaching 80 per cent of the world's population, producer-director Firdaus Kharas said.

``We're using humor to stop the spread of AIDS,'' he told a news conference, launching the public service announcements that are targeted at young people aged 15 to 24 in places threatened by the epidemic, including India, China, Russia, the Caribbean and central Asia.

Arrest In 1987 Gay Murder

by Ed Welch Los Angeles Bureau

(Los Angeles, California) Los Angeles Police have solved a 18 year old murder that had stymied investigators and then relegated to the cold case file.

The body of Charles Nover, 42, was discovered in the bathroom of his North Hollywood apartment on April 19, 1987. An autopsy showed that he had been strangled.

Investigators found that Nover had met a man named David A. Phillips in a Hollywood gay bar the night he was killed. Police issued a composite sketch of Phillips and posted a $5,000 reward. But Phillips was an assumed name and there was no sign of him.


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