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posted Friday, October 16, 2009 - Volume 37 Issue 42

National News
NATIONAL NEWS by Rex Wockner - SGN Contributing Writer

Texas Gay marriage ban ruled unconstitutional
Dallas District Judge Tena Callahan ruled October 1 that Texas' constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law.

The determination came in the case of two men who married in Massachusetts and now want to divorce in Texas, which Callahan decided to allow.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and Gov. Rick Perry expressed alarm at the ruling, and Abbott said he would appeal it "to defend the traditional definition of marriage." Perry called the decision "flawed" and urged an appeal.

March on Washington receives permit for preferred route
Organizers of the October 11 National Equality March announced September 29 that they received a permit for the march route they requested.

The march will step off at noon from 15th and I streets NW near McPherson Square, go south on 15th to H, west on H to 17th, south on 17th to Pennsylvania Avenue, past the White House on Pennsylvania to 15th, south on 15th, then east on Pennsylvania to the U.S. Capitol West Lawn for the National Equality March Rally.

The route is 2.3 miles long.

The march weekend consists of 31 events starting Friday and ending Sunday. For a full schedule, see tinyurl.com/nemsked.

Organizers have announced "a single demand: Equal protection in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states."

"The march is not our final destination," they said. "It is our first step toward building a national grassroots network that will continue organizing until we have achieved full equality.

"We want to work to bridge the gap between the national organizations and the grassroots community organizers. We will gather. We will strategize. We will march. And we will leave energized and empowered to do the work that needs to be done in every community across the nation. This is only the beginning."

For a route map, see tinyurl.com/nem-map1.

Obama issues inclusive Family Day proclamation
President Barack Obama included families headed by same-sex couples in a proclamation recognizing September 28 as "Family Day."

"Our family provides one of the strongest influences on our lives," the proclamation begins. "American families from every walk of life have taught us time and again that children raised in loving, caring homes have the ability to reject negative behaviors and reach their highest potential. Whether children are raised by two parents, a single parent, grandparents, a same-sex couple, or a guardian, families encourage us to do our best and enable us to accomplish great things. Today, our children are confronting issues of drug and alcohol use with astonishing regularity. On Family Day, we honor the dedication of parents, commend the achievements of their children, and celebrate the contributions our nation's families have made to combat substance abuse among young people."

For the full text of the document, see tinyurl.com/Obama-FD.

Clinton: I was wrong to oppose Gay marriage
Bill Clinton said September 25 that he had been "wrong" in opposing same-sex marriage.

Speaking to CNN's Anderson Cooper, Clinton said: "I realized that I was, you know, over 60 years old, I grew up at a different time, and I was hung up about the word [marriage]. I had all these Gay friends, I had all these Gay couple friends, and I was hung up about it. And I decided I was wrong. That our society has an interest in coherence and strength and commitment and mutually reinforcing loyalties, then if Gay couples want to call their union marriage and a state agrees, and several have now, or a religious body will sanction it - and I don't think the state should be able to stop the religious bodies from saying it - I don't think the rest of us should get in the way of that. I think it's a good thing, not a bad thing."

"I just realized that I was, probably for, maybe just because of my age and the way I've grown up, I was wrong about that," he continued. "I just had too many Gay friends. I saw their relationships. I just decided I couldn't, I had an untenable position."

As president, Clinton signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages and affirms that states don't have to recognize other states' same-sex marriages.

For video of a portion of Clinton's remarks, see tinyurl.com/iwaswrong.

With assistance from Bill Kelley



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