National Briefs

Posted on 15 Oct 2007 at 6:48pm
By Staff and Wire Reports

Toledo City Council approves measure establishing domestic partner registry

TOLEDO, Ohio A measure approved by the Toledo City Council this week would allow gay or other unmarried couples to register their domestic partnerships at City Hall.

Those who sign an affidavit saying they’re in an intimate relationship would be given a certificate. They also would receive cards they could provide as proof to an employer that offers benefits to the partners of workers in unmarried but committed relationships.

Supporters say the ordinance the council passed yesterday does not violate Ohio’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Toledo’s domestic partner registry is modeled after the only other one in the state, which voters in Cleveland Heights approved in 2003.

Seattle lesbian wins harassment lawsuit against former employer Goodyear

SEATTLE A Seattle woman has been awarded $4.4 million in her harassment suit against Goodyear.

Melissa Sheffield says she was antagonized and harassed because of her sexual orientation at the Goodyear store where she worked in Seattle and says she was demoted after she complained.

Her attorney, Daniel F. Johnson, says the jury award sends a message to employers in Washington that discrimination and retaliation will not be tolerated.

Sheffield began working for Goodyear in 1994 and worked her way up to manager of a store near Northgate Mall.

Goodyear says the harassment began in 2003 when new managers were appointed to supervise her. One made sure she knew he didn’t like gays. She complained and eventually that manager was fired. At the same time, she was demoted and her pay was cut.

The company says her demotion stemmed from her own misconduct.

Navy doctor convicted of filming sex acts, sentenced to 3 1/2 years

WASHINGTON A Navy doctor was sentenced to more than 3 1/2 years in prison on Nov. 9 after a military jury found him guilty of using a hidden camera to record Naval Academy midshipmen engaged in sex acts.

A jury of six Navy captains gave Cmdr. Kevin Ronan a 46-month term in the Navy brig and ordered his dismissal from the military. Hours earlier, he was convicted of seven counts of conduct unbecoming an officer, three counts of illegal wiretapping and one count of obstruction of justice.

Ronan, who is assigned to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in Washington, showed no reaction to the sentence as he stood at attention behind the defense table. He was later led away by military police.

The bureau’s commanding officer will review the jury’s decision and can throw the verdict out or reduce the sentence.

Ronan, 41, denied making the recordings during testimony this week but admitted he bought an air purifier with a hidden camera.

Ronan’s defense was that the tapes were made by midshipmen in an effort to extort money from him.

Before he was sentenced, Ronan expressed regret in a statement to the jury but did not take responsibility for the tapes.

“A crime occurred in my house with equipment I knowingly provided and I take responsibility for that,” he said.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 16, 2007

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