Nationail Briefs • February 18, 2009

Posted on 18 Feb 2009 at 4:19pm
By Associated Press

Calif. lawmakers back Prop. 8 challenge

SACRAMENTO — A legislative committee has endorsed legal efforts to overturn California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.

The Assembly Judiciary Committee voted 7-3 Tuesday, Feb. 17 to put the legislature on record as opposing Proposition 8.

The California Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for March 5 on a series of lawsuits that argue citizens lack the authority to put the gay marriage ban directly to voters.

The resolution goes next to the full Assembly, and the state Senate is scheduled to consider a companion measure in coming weeks.


Gay divorce bill filed in R.I.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Same-sex couples would be allowed to divorce in Rhode Island under legislation introduced in the General Assembly.

The bill is in response to a 2007 state Supreme Court decision that blocked a lesbian couple that wed in Massachusetts from getting divorced in Rhode Island, where the women lived.

Sen. Erin Lynch, a Warwick Democrat and the bill’s sponsor, said same-sex couples are sometimes forced to stay married when they don’t want to be.

The Supreme Court ruled in December 2007 that the Family Court could not grant a divorce to Cassandra Ormiston and Margaret Chambers because state law has not defined marriage as anything other than between a man and a woman.

Lynch’s bill would allow same-sex couples to divorce in Rhode Island even if their marriage wouldn’t be recognized under state law.

Jury selection begins in Pa. porn murder trial

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — Jury selection has begun in the case of a Virginia man accused of killing a rival gay porn producer in his northeastern Pennsylvania home.

Luzerne County prosecutors say 27-year-old Harlow Cuadra and another man killed Bryan Kocis in his Dallas, Pa., home, then set his house on fire. Jury selection began Tuesday.

Cuadra’s co-defendant, 35-year-old Joseph Kerekes, pleaded guilty in December to second-degree murder and got life in prison without parole. Kerekes said he would not testify against Cuadra.

Cuadra and Kerekes are both from Virginia Beach, Va.

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