National and World News
Iowa Republican Wants Gay Marriage Debate
A Republican leader in the Iowa Legislature plans to try a rarely used parliamentary rule to force debate on same-sex marriage, a published report said. House Minority Leader Christopher Rants wants lawmakers to consider House Resolution 8, which would begin a process to amend the state constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman, The Des Moines Register reported. Democratic leaders, however, favor the state’s Supreme Court finishing its consideration of same-sex marriage before the Legislature acts. House Speaker Pat Murphy said he expects Rants will fail to get the 51 votes needed to move the bill to the full House.
California Justices Consider Gay Marriage
The California Supreme Court will consider whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry in the Golden State. The seven justices will hear three hours of oral arguments on the issue, The Sacramento Bee reported. “This will be one of the—if not the—legal landmarks in the struggle for equal rights,” according to Geoffrey Kors of Equality California, which supports gay marriage. “It will have a ripple effect not only in this country, but the whole world.” A part of the court’s consideration is Proposition 22, the voter-approved initiative in 2000 that limited marriage to a man and woman. The state Supreme Court will hear the case after years of legal wrangling following a San Francisco judge’s ruling that California’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional, the newspaper reported. In 2006, a state appeals court reversed that decision, and upheld the ban on same-sex marriage.
Sydney Gay March is Biggest in History
The yearly Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade in Sydney drew 300,000 spectators on its 30th anniversary, March 1. The parade features 150 floats, and traditionally brings together several political groups and gay rights activists from around the world, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported. Organizers of the event reportedly said this year’s celebration was the biggest in the tradition’s history.
Canadian Gays at Double Risk of Violence
The odds of gays and lesbians being victims of violent crime in Canada were nearly double that of heterosexuals, Statistics Canada reported. Using data from the 2004 General Social Survey, which for the first time asked respondents for their sexual orientation, the agency also found bisexuals were 4.5 times more likely to be attacked than the straight population. Compared with heterosexuals, a higher proportion of gays and lesbians were single, living in an urban area, and engaging in 30 or more evening social activities per month than heterosexuals, the report said. Despite the increased risk, more than 9 out of 10 gay, lesbian, and bisexual Canadians said they were “somewhat” or “very” satisfied with their personal safety, which is close to the number of heterosexuals who said so, StatsCan according to.
Canadian Anglicans Lock Up Rebel Church
The Anglican Church of Canada padlocked a Toronto church whose congregation voted to go elsewhere over same-sex marriages, the Toronto Star reported. The congregation of St. Chad’s recently voted to become part of the conservative Anglican Network in Canada, which operates under Buenos Aires-based Archbishop Gregory Venables, leader of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. In a news release, Toronto Bishop Philip Poole said a security guard and the changed locks will remain in place for a “cooling off period,” the Star said. Nine other Anglican churches in Canada have left the Anglican fold to join the Southern Cone, which opposes same-sex marriages, as well as female priests, the report said.
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