National Briefs, March 31, 2009

Posted on 31 Mar 2009 at 1:33pm
By Associated Press

Bill to ban domestic partnership registries fails

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A bill banning cities and counties from creating domestic partner registries has failed before a House Committee.

The bill, by Rep. Bryan King of Green Forest, was targeted at Eureka Springs, which began issuing domestic partnership certificates to gay and straight couples in 2007.

King, a Republican, says the registry is an attempt to circumvent the state’s constitutional ban on gay marriage, but opponents say King’s bill would amount to the Legislature meddling in local affairs.

The bill failed Friday, March 27 before the House City, County and Local Affairs Committee on a voice vote.

Lesbian’s ordination bid suffers setback

SAN FRANCISCO — A lesbian Presbyterian deacon’s application for ordination has been stopped, at least for now.

A church commission Wednesday, March 25, rejected the process used by the Presbytery of San Francisco to approve 45-year-old Lisa Larges’ candidacy for ordination.

That approval came last year after Larges stated her disagreement with a ban on sexually active gays serving as clergy within the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Larges said Wednesday’s ruling was technical and limited in scope. Still, she said it has "deeply personal and painful repercussions" for her and other gay, bisexual and transgender people who want to serve the church.

Larges has twice been denied ordination because she is a lesbian.

Connecticut bill would update law for same-sex marriages

HARTFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut legislative committee is considering ways to update state law to conform with a court ruling allowing same-sex marriages.

The bill would require General Assembly approval before going into effect.

It’s spurred by last year’s state Supreme Court decision that gave same-sex couples the right to wed in Connecticut.

The bill would remove gender references in state marriage laws and transform existing same-sex civil unions into legally recognized marriages as of October 2010.

Opponents have said they worry it may be used to affect social policy in other matters, including school curricula.

NYC’s Bloomberg endorses gay marriage, again

NEW YORK — Mayor Michael Bloomberg is reaffirming his support for legalizing gay marriage.

The mayor told an audience Wednesday night, March 25 that he will again ask state lawmakers to allow gays to tie the knot in New York. But he doesn’t know whether Albany is ready to support such a measure.

Bloomberg made the remarks at an annual dinner of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center.

He says the tide of public opinion is turning in support of gay marriage. Bloomberg offered to testify in favor of any bill considered in the capital.

Groups say Maine gay marriage law good for kids

AUGUSTA, Maine — Groups representing social workers, psychologists and children’s interests spoke out in favor of a gay marriage bill in the Maine Legislature.

At a news conference Thursday, March 25, the groups said their research shows that children thrive in homes where the parents have loving and committed relationships. Dr. David Lilly of the Maine Psychological Association says the development, adjustment and well-being of children does not differ markedly whether their parents are gay or straight.

A hearing on the gay marriage bill is scheduled for April 24 at Cony High School in Augusta.

The Catholic Diocese of Portland and Family Council of Maine oppose the bill, saying it hits on a fundamental issue for many people.

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