Local and National News
Minnesota Couple Marries in California
Tom Roycraft and Robert Johnson of Minneapolis tied the knot in California on July 8 at San Francisco’s City Hall. There, they ran into Mayor Gavin Newsom, longtime supporter of same-sex marriage, who stopped to pose for a photo with the newlyweds. Roycraft and Johnson both grew up in Minnesota, but met in San Francisco nine years ago. “We wanted to add our names to the growing list of gay men who feel it’s about time for marriage and equality,” Roycraft said.
Dancer Shot by Officer Trying To Save Him
A male dancer who jumped off a ship in San Diego Bay was shot dead by a police officer who first tried to rescue him. Hirschfield was performing at a party onboard the Inspiration. The ship, operated by Hornblower Cruises, had been chartered by a group celebrating Gay Pride Week. Witnesses said Hirschfield went over the rail as people approached him. The ship put a boat in the water to rescue him, but he refused to board it. Two Harbor Police officers pulled Hirschfield from the water a short time later. The officers, Clyde Williams and Wayne Schmidt, stated that Hirschfield knocked Schmidt over, and then grabbed his taser and beat him with it. When Hirschfield tried to grab Schmidt’s gun, Williams shot him. Both officers have been placed on paid leave while the death is investigated.
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Gets House Hearing
Congressional Democrats say they are taking what some hope will be the first step to changing the US military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell gay service policy. US Representative Ellen Tauscher (Democrat-California) has introduced a bill that would repeal the policy, and let gays and lesbians serve openly in the military. Democrats on the US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee scheduled a hearing on the policy, the first time it has been discussed directly in Congress since it was instituted by the Clinton Administration in 1993, USA Today reported. No one from the Pentagon was scheduled to testify at the hearing. US Defense Department spokesman Geoff Morrell told the newspaper the Pentagon already has answered questions about DADT at other hearings. “Not much has changed,” he said. “It is still the law of the land.”
Antigay Comic Book Targets Oklahoma Attorney General
An Oklahoma county commissioner’s re-election campaign is distributing an antigay comic book that links the state Attorney General to “the homosexual agenda.” Legal Newsline reported that in one of the drawings, Oklahoma Attorney General W.A. Drew Edmondson is depicted holding a sign that reads: “Gay Rights Now!” A caption states that Edmondson “put Oklahoma on record to force the Boy Scouts to accept homosexuals as scout leaders, a pedifile’s [sic] dream come true.” Edmondson last year filed felony charges against Rinehart, accusing him of perjury, conspiracy, and money laundering in connection with his 2004 campaign. Rinehart defended the comic book. He said he believes fighting “the homosexual agenda is an issue in this campaign,” just like improving local roads is important to voters.
Massachusetts Senate Votes to Repeal Marriage Ban
The Massachusetts Senate has voted to repeal a 1913 law that prevents nonresident gay and lesbian couples from getting married in the state. The law barred couples from marrying in Massachusetts when their unions would not be legal in their home state. It was aimed at interracial couples who could not marry legally in many states at the time. The Roman Catholic Church opposed the repeal, with Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston and other bishops appealing to the Legislature. The state Supreme Court ruled in 2004 that banning gay marriage violated the state constitution. Attempts to amend the constitution have failed.
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