After Thwarted Kidnapping Plans, Whitmer Calls for Unity

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]

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National News Briefs

By |2002-03-10T09:00:00-05:00March 10th, 2002|Uncategorized|
Politics:
Offensive T-shirts sold at GOP convention

WASHINGTON – Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry is accusing college Republicans of allowing the sale of racist and anti-gay T-shirts at a convention this summer.
An email to supporters includes a photo of the shirts. One says, “No Muslims No Terrorism.” Another has a photo of black filmmaker Spike Lee and the message, “Bring back the blacklist.” A third shows a photo of lesbian TV personality Rosie O’Donnell and her partner with the line “Mr. (?) and Mrs. (?) Rosie O’Donnell.” Another says, “The Clinton Legacy” and shows the World Trade Center after a plane crashed into it.
Kerry’s e-mail said the T-shirts, from a company called Ocents, were displayed and sold at the College Republicans National Convention in Washington in July.
David Joyslin, spokesman for the College Republican National Committee, said his group had nothing to do with the T-shirts, and was unfamiliar with the company that sold them. Bush campaign spokesman Scott Stanzel condemned the T-shirts and referred The Associated Press to the college Republicans for further comment.

Law:
Second suit filed challenging marriage rights for same-sex couples

LOS ANGELES – Opponents of laws extending marriage rights to same-sex couples have filed a lawsuit against Gov. Gray Davis and other state officials opposing their implementation.
Campaign for California Families filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court claiming that AB25 and the Domestic Partner Act violate Proposition 22, which stated that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in the state of California.” A similar lawsuit was filed earlier this week in Sacramento.
The lawsuit seeks the nullification of AB25 and an injunction to prevent the Domestic Partner Act from being implemented.
The case is similar to a lawsuit filed in Sacramento by state Sen. Pete Knight, R-Palmdale, to stop implementation of the Domestic Partner Act. Knight in his lawsuit also cited Proposition 22 and said the newly enacted bill violates the state constitution. It named Davis, Secretary of State Kevin Shelly and two other state agencies as defendants.

Death row’s Lotter loses appeal for DNA tests to prove innocence

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Supreme Court on Friday rejected John Lotter’s claims that DNAtests would have produced evidence that he was wrongly convicted or sentenced in the murders of Brandon Teena and two others in 1993. The murders inspired the critically acclaimed 1999 movie “Boys Don’t Cry.”
Lotter claims that Marvin Nissen actually murdered Teena and two witnesses. Lotter said the DNA tests could prove it, but the high court disagreed. This is the second defeat in three months for Lotter. In July the Supreme Court rejected Lotter’s appeals for a new trial and commutation of his death sentence to life in prison.
Nissen, in a deal with prosecutors, testified against Lotter and was sentenced to life in prison. Lotter received three death sentences and awaits execution in Nebraska’s electric chair.

Three men sentenced for attack on gay man in West Hollywood

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Three men whose baseball-bat attack left model and actor Treve Broudy in a coma were given state prison sentences Friday ranging from seven to 21 years. Broudy was attacked in September 2002 after embracing a male friend outside his home in West Hollywood. Broudy, 34, spent 10 weeks in the hospital after being struck in the back of his head.
The South Los Angeles men pleaded guilty last month to mayhem and conspiracy to commit robbery. Broudy believes he was targeted due to his sexual orientation. Prosecutors, however, declined to file hate crime charges after concluding the motive was robbery.

Marriage:
Democrats pass resolution supporting gay marriages

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Leaders of New York’s Democratic Party unanimously approved a resolution supporting a bill allowing same-sex marriages in New York. The resolution was adopted during the Democrats’ semiannual organizational meeting.
The vote was the first time the state party had called for legalizing gay marriages. But Emily Giske, vice chairwoman of the party, said the resolution is in line with other stands Democrats have taken in favor of the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act and other state laws that ensure equal treatment for same-sex couples.
The Empire State Pride Agenda praised Democratic leaders for recognizing the “simple truth” that a union between homosexuals can constitute a marriage and family like a heterosexual union.
The same-sex marriage bill was introduced earlier this year in each chamber of the Legislature, but failed to get out of committee during the lawmakers’ regular 2003 session. It is sponsored by Assemblyman Richard Gottfried and state Senator Thomas Duane, both Manhattan Democrats. Duane is one of three openly gay members of the Legislature.

Poll: 82 percent of Alabamians oppose same-sex marriages

MONTGOMERY – Alabamians are overwhelmingly opposed to same-sex marriages, a new statewide survey shows.
Eighty-two percent of those responding to the poll said they do not support same-sex marriages. The survey, conducted by The Mobile Register and the University of South Alabama, has a margin of error of 5 percentage points.
The issue has risen to the forefront recently as an amendment to the U.S. Constitution defining marriage has been discussed.
U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Mobile last week said he supports the amendment, which defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The amendment was filed in the U.S. House of Representatives last May.
Alabama banned same-sex marriages in 1998.
Opposition softened when respondents were asked about civil unions. Sixty-four percent of Alabamians in last week’s poll said they disagree with civil unions.

Health:
Syphilis epidemic getting much worse in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO – The syphilis epidemic in San Francisco appears to be growing unabated, with the city on track to report 750 new cases by year’s end, up 50 percent from 2002.
The vast majority have been reported among gay and bisexual men who have had unprotected sex with multiple partners, male and female, health officials reported.
About two-thirds of the new cases are in people already infected with HIV, which is particularly alarming since it suggests many people are having unprotected sex despite knowing that they carry AIDS.
In response, the department and AIDS prevention groups said they are renewing efforts to build awareness about syphilis. The plan includes making syphilis testing easier and more accessible, and educating both gays and health providers about the need to perform the tests.
Syphilis begins as a sore and develops into a rash. It can be treated with penicillin, but if left untreated can cause permanent damage to vital organs with resultant blindness, deafness, dementia and ruptured blood vessels. People with HIV are even more susceptible.

Religion:
Episcopal dioceses in Pennsylvania and Texas criticize national decision to confirm gay bishop

MONROEVILLE, Pennsylvania – Episcopal dioceses in Pennsylvania and Texas accused the national church of exceeding its authority and violating its own constitution by confirming its first openly gay bishop and approving the blessing of same-sex unions. A resolution approved 239-69 by delegates in the Diocese of Pittsburgh declared these acts to be “null and void.”
Clergy and lay delegates of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth in Texas conducted a similar vote as part of a national drive among conservative dioceses and clergy seeking to distance themselves from the Episcopal Church for its decisions last month on the gay bishop and same-sex unions.
The Episcopal Diocese of Florida discussed plans for a formal vote Nov. 15 on whether to support the national convention. Both the Texas and Pennsylvania dioceses called on the Anglican Communion to recognize those who oppose the gay bishop and same-sex blessings as “the legitimate expression” of the Episcopal Church.Delegates in Pennsylvania also approved a resolution that would allow parishes to withhold money from the national church.

In Other News:
Melissa Etheridge ties the knot

MALIBU, California – Melissa Etheridge exchanged vows with her girlfriend, actress Tammy Lynn Michaels, in a weekend ceremony.
Etheridge wore a beaded linen jacket and crepe trousers in Saturday’s ceremony while Michaels wore a white lace coat and a white gown. Their platinum and diamond wedding bands were custom-made, the statement said.
Etheridge, 41, and Michaels, the 28-year-old star of TV’s “Popular,” met two years ago. They live in Southern California with Etheridge’s daughter and son.
Etheridge shares custody of the children with former lover Julie Cypher, who had the children through artificial insemination using a sperm donation from rocker David Crosby.

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