2 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 10, 2004
Canada legalizes gay marriage NEWS IN BRIEF
9HEADLINES F1 AROUND THE WORLD
gays and lesbians should be allowed who are wrestling with this uestion. of
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1 ills is a vicory Ior canacan values."
- Alex Munter, Canadians for Equal Marriage
TORONTO (AP) - Canada's
Supreme Court ruled yesterday that gay
marriage was constitutional, a landmark
opinion allowing the federal govern-
ment to call on Parliament to legalize
same-sex unions nationwide.
If approved by a majority of the
Miouse of Commons, as widely expect-
ed, Canada would become the third
country to embrace marriage by homo-
sexuals. Belgium and the Netherlands
are the other two.
However, the court added that reli-
gious officials cannot be forced to per-
form unions against their beliefs. It also
declined to answer a contentious ques-
tion about whether traditional marriage
between men and women also was con-
Prime Minister Paul Martin said after
the court's ruling that since judges in six
Canadian provinces and one of its ter-
ritories already allow gay marriages, it
should be approved nationwide. He said
his government would introduce a bill
shortly after Christmas.
He noted that members of Parliament
would be free to vote their conscience,
but his Cabinet ministers would have to
support his bill.
"For many Canadians and many par-
liamentarians, this is a difficult issue
involving personal and religious convic-
tions and it represents a very significant
change to a long-standing institution,"
The court's decision brings to the final
stages a long, bitter fight over whether
to marry in Canada. Public opinion is
evenly divided on the matter, and advo-
cates for both sides are preparing for the
final phase of the battle.
"This is a victory for Canadian val-
ues," said Alex Munter of Canadians for
He said that while public opinion
may be split on the subject, Canadians
endorse the Charter of Rights and Free-
doms, the constitution's bill of rights.
"One area of overwhelming consen-
sus is that the charter is a document that
Canadians cherish," Munter said.
In the United States, gay marriage is
opposed by a majority of Americans,
according to an Associated Press-
Ipsos poll taken in November, shortly
after constitutional amendments in 11
states to ban same-sex marriage were
"I think it's a tremendously historic
day that will help not just families in
Canada, but people across the border
how the denial of marriage harms gay
people and their loved ones," said Evan
Wolfson, executive director of Freedom
to Marry, a gay-rights coalition based in
"Canada is setting a standard for
inclusion and fairness, and offering the
real proof that ending discrimination
helps families and hurts no one."
Wolfson said of Canadians: "We
now have the benefit of your wind in
our sails, and we are charting the same
In California, the Campaign for Chil-
dren and Families called the Supreme
Court opinion "shabby." California's
state legislature last week began recon-
sidering a bill legalizing marriage
licenses for gay couples.
To pass in the House of Commons,
the legislation needs the approval of
about 44 of the 95 Liberal backbench
members of Parliament to obtain a 155-
vote majority in the 308-seat House.
Sharon, Gaza plan survive crucial vote
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon easily won a crucial party vote to reinforce
his shaky government to carry out his Gaza pullout plan, party officials announced
yesterday. Sharon has proposed inviting the dovish Labor Party and Orthodox Jew-
ish to join his government, ensuring a solid majority for his Gaza withdrawal plan
in the face of internal opposition from his Likud Party.
Cabinet minister Israel Katz announced that the final count of the vote in the
Likud Central Committee was 62 percent in favor of Sharon's proposal and 38
A loss in the Central Committee could have forced new elections and jeopar-
dized the Gaza withdrawal - a centerpiece of efforts to restart peace talks with
the Palestinians in the wake of Yasser Arafat's death.
The win clears the way to adding Labor, a partner solidly in favor of the Gaza
pullout and resumption of peace negotiations.
There was some opposition among Labor activists to joining their arch-rival
Sharon in another government, after their first joint government broke up in 2002.
However, party leader Shimon Peres strongly favored entering the government.
Sh ites present candidates forJan. election
others killed in
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - It
looked like something out of a macabre4
heavy-metal video: The lights dimmed;
in the smoke-filled nightclub, the rock
band Damageplan launched into its first
thunderous riffs, and then a man in aI
hooded sweatshirt ran the length of the
stage and opened fire, shooting the lead1
guitarist at least five times in the head.
In just minutes, the gunman had1
killed three others before being shot toi
death by a police officer.
The rampage Wednesday night stunnedl
the heavy metal world and left police
answers about Dimebag," a;
what set the
gunman off. and riving
The slain the rock ban(
"Dimebag" was one of fo
Darrell Abbott, killed by a 25
38, was a
driving force fan of the bar
behind the rock
band Pantera, and police are look-i
ing into reports from witnesses that the
gunman was a fan irate that the hugely
influential group broke up.
Some of the 500 people packed intoI
the club to see Abbott's new band ini-
tially thought that the gunman was an
pxcited fan or that the shootings were
dart of the show.
"I figured it was another fan wanting
to jump off the stage and crowd surf,"
said Brian Kozicki, the club's lighting
designer. "I think he knew he wasn't
going to get out and he was going to take
down as many people as he could."
Police identified the gunman as
Nathan Gale, 25, who listened to Pantera
music to psyche himself up before foot-
ball games and would often hang out
at a tattoo parlor and make a pest of
himself by talking to customers about
music. "We may never know a motive
for this, unless he left a note," Sgt. Brent
Also killed were Erin Halk, 29, a club
Under the guidance of Iraq's most powerful Shiite cleric, Shiite parties pre-
sented a list yesterday of 228 candidates for next month's elections. Minority Sunni
Arabs, who had been favored under Saddam Hussein, must now decide whether to
join the race or renounce a vote that will help determine the country's future.
The announcement of the list of 23 parties, dubbed the United Iraqi Alliance,
followed weeks of haggling. It includes two powerful Shiite parties, as well as an
array of independent Sunni tribal figures, Shiite Kurdish groups and members of
Importantly, the list did not include the movement of radical Shiite cleric Muqta-
da al-Sadr, who appeared to be waiting to see whether the vote will be considered
legitimate before he joins the political process. With violence roiling the country
and key Sunni leaders demanding the Jan. 30 vote be put off, a credible election is
by no means certain.
There were already signs that Sunni ranks were breaking: One group that had called
for a delay, the Iraqi Islamic Party, quietly submitted a 275-candidate list yesterday.
India worried about U.S. arns sale to Pakistan
Indian officials cautioned Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld yesterday that
a proposed U.S. sale of military hardware worth $1.2 billion to Pakistan could
damage a fragile peace process between the nuclear-armed neighbors and harm
Rumsfeld met with Indian Defense Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee and later
described the relationship between Washington and New Delhi as an enduring.one.
"The defense relationship is a strong one and something we intend to see is fur-
ther knitted together as we go forward in the months and years ahead," he said.
Rumsfeld's two-day visit is expected to focus on India-U.S. cooperation in defense
and countering terrorism. It began after India cautioned the United States against
going ahead with the sale of surveillance aircraft and anti-tank missiles to Pakistan.
Oil cartel plans further cuts in production
OPEC will cut back on oil production early next year in a bid to stave off a fur-
ther decline in the world price, Kuwait's oil minister said yesterday.
The comments by Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Ahmad Al Sabah revealed what
delegates to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries had agreed in
informal discussions ahead of their formal meeting today.
Asked when the cut in production would start, Al Sabah said: "Everyone has com-
mitted for next month, maybe to start from February." He said all members of the 11-
nation organization were committed to complying fully with the current production
ceiling of 27 million barrels a day and taking excess oil off the markeL
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
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23; and Jeff
40. Two others
ized after the
nature of their
injuries was not disclosed.
The guitarist's brother, Vinnie Paul
Abbott, the drummer for Damageplan,
was rushed to safety offstage and tear-
fully tried to learn his brother's fate
from officers who couldn't even tell him
which hospital he was taken to.
With his frenetic, ear-splitting guitar
riffs, Dimebag Abbott created an aggres-
sive sound for Pantera and attracted a
cult following in the early 1990s.
"Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, lead guitarist for the heavy metal band
Damageplan and inspiration behind the rock band Pantera, plays during a
May 20 concert. Abbott was killed in Columbus, Ohio, on Wednesday, when a
gunman charged onstage at a packed nightclub and opened fire on the band.
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at the Law Library-
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