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March 15, 2005 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-03-15

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 15, 2005


Calif. judge rules for gay mamage NEWS IN BRIEF
U Supporters rejoice in recent of San Francisco's historical role as a gay rights But Kramer rejected that argument, citing


court decision finding the state
bans unconstitutional
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A judge ruled
yesterday that California's ban on gay marriage
is unconstitutional - a legal milestone that, if
upheld on appeal, would open the way for the most
populous state to follow Massachusetts in allowing
same-sex couples to wed.
Judge Richard Kramer of San Francisco Coun-
ty's trial-level Superior Court likened the ban to
laws requiring racial segregation in schools, and
said there appears to be "no rational purpose" for
denying marriage to gay couples.
The ruling came in response to lawsuits filed by
the city of San Francisco and a dozen gay couples a
year ago after the California Supreme Court halted
a four-week same-sex marriage spree started by
Mayor Gavin Newsom.
The opinion had been eagerly awaited because

Gay marriage supporters hailed the ruling as a
historic development akin to the 1948 state Supreme
Court decision that made California the first state to
legalize interracial marriage.
"Today's ruling is an important step toward a
more fair and just California that rejects discrimi-
nation and affirms family values for all California
families," San Francisco City Attorney Dennis
Herrera said.
At issue were a 1977 law that defined marriage as "a
personal relation arising out of a civil contract between
a man and a woman," and a voter-approved measure
in 2000 that amended the law to say more explicitly:
"Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid
or recognized in California."
The state maintained that tradition dictates that
marriage should be limited to opposite-sex couples.
Attorney General Bill Lockyer also cited the state's
domestic-partners law as evidence that California
does not discriminate against gays.

Brown v. Board of Education - the landmark U.S.
Supreme Court decision that struck down segregat-
ed schools.
"The idea that marriage-like rights without mar-
riage is adequate smacks of a concept long rejected by
the courts - separate but equal," the judge wrote.
It could be months or years before the state actually
sanctions same-sex marriage, if ever.
Robert Tyler, an attorney with the conservative Alli-
ance Defense Fund, said the group would appeal. And
Lockyer has said in the past that he expected the matter
eventually would have to be settled by the California
Supreme Court.
Last winter, nearly 4,000 gay couples got mar-
ried after Newsom instructed the city to issue
them licenses. The California Supreme Court
later declared those marriages void, saying the
mayor overstepped his authority. But the court did
not address the underlying issue of whether the
law against gay marriage violates the California

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holy site
wili fall on
Israeli side
JERUSALEM (AP) - The final
route of Israel's separationbarrier
around Jerusalem will encompass
large areas claimed by the Palestin-
ians, including their intended capital
and the biggest Jewish settlement in
the West Bank, Israeli officials con-
firmed yesterday.
The route would also place a holy site
in the Palestinian town of Bethlehem
on the Israeli side of the barrier, while
leaving a Palestinian refugee camp in
Jerusalem encircled by a separate fence,
the officials said.
Late yesterday, Israeli and Palestin-
ian Cabinet ministers agreed again on
a handover of the West Bank town of
Jericho to Palestinian security control.
Earlier agreements fell through over
details about roadblocks.
Israeli officials said the handover is
set for Wednesday, to be followed two
or three days later by Tulkarem, then
Qalqiliya. Two other towns are to be
transferred to Palestinian control as
well - Bethlehem and Ramallah - but
those were not agreed on at yesterday's
meeting between Palestinian Interior
Minister Nasser Yousef and Israeli
Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan,
meanwhile, was optimistic about efforts
to get peace talks back on track, saying
"the positive developments here give us
a chance to re-energize the process."
Annan spoke after meeting with
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in
the West Bank city of Ramallah. Pal-
estinian militants were to begin talks
Tuesday in Cairo on formalizing an
unofficial truce with Israel.
Israel began building the barrier in
the West Bank two years ago, saying
it was needed to keep out Palestinian
attackers. Palestinians say the struc-
ture, which dips into the West Bank, is
an attempt by Israel to impose a border
without waiting for a peace deal.
The section around Jerusalem is
especially sensitive. The Palestinians
hope to establish their capital in east
Jerusalem, a traditional Arab commer-
cial, religious and social center. Israel,
which captured east Jerusalem in the
1967 Mideast war, claims all the city as
its capital.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon con-
vened a meeting of senior Cabinet min-
isters late Sunday to discuss the route of
the barrier, which got Cabinet approval
last month.
Under the plan, the West Bank settle-
ment of Maaleh Adumim, which lies
five miles east of Jerusalem, would be
on the Israeli side of the barrier, Israeli
officials said. About 30,000 Israelis live
in Maaleh Adumim, the largest Jewish
"Does anyone have even the slightest
doubt that Maaleh Adumim is an inte-
gral part of Israel?" said Israeli Vice
Premier Ehud Olmert, who heads a
ministerial committee on the Jerusalem
A senior Israeli official said the com-
mittee is planning 11 crossings to allow
access from the West Bank.
Univer tyefM hgan

May 9-14 or August 22-27
At LeaderShape you will....

Courthouse suspect's rape case a mistrial
Prosecutors yesterday dropped a weapons charge against a man accused of opening
fire in an Atlanta courthouse, and a mistrial was declared in the suspect's rape case as
officials continued sorting out charges in the slayings of a judge and three others.
The suspected gunman, Brian Nichols, could appear in court as early as today,
authorities said. He was arrested Saturday morning after a rampage that began when he
overpowered a sheriff's deputy who was escorting him to his rape trial.
Nichols, 33, had been in federal custody since his arrest on a federal firearms charge.
But officials announced Monday that the charge had been dropped so he could be hand-
ed over to Fulton County authorities, who will likely be the first to prosecute him.
He faces federal and state charges in the deaths of a judge, a court reporter, a deputy
and a federal agent. Prosecutors will likely decide within 30 days what charges to file
against Nichols, said Fulton County district attorney's spokesman Erik Friedly.
Nichols was being retried for rape and other charges when he escaped from a
deputy Friday.
BEIRUT, Lebanon
Anti-Syria rally dwarfs Hezbollah event
Hundreds of thousands of anti-Syrian demonstrators flooded the capital yester-
day in the biggest protest ever in Lebanon, surpassing the turnout for an earlier pro-
Damascus rally organized by the Islamic militant Hezbollah. In a show of national
unity, Sunnis, Druse and Christians packed Martyrs' Square as brass bands played
and balloons soared skyward.
The rally, perhaps the biggest anti-government demonstration ever staged in the
Arab world, was the opposition's bid to regain momentum after two serious blows:
the reinstatement of the pro-Syrian prime minister and a huge rally last week by
the Shiite group Hezbollah.
Protesters - some bused in from across Lebanon - jammed Martyrs' Square
and spilled into nearby streets. They chanted, sang and shouted in a mix of the
Arabic accents of the country's regions, demanding Syrian troops depart and that
their government be purged of Damascus's influence.
Kurds, Shiites meet for last-minute talks
Kurdish leaders converged on Baghdad for last-minute talks yesterday
with majority Shiites as both sides pressed to secure a deal to form a coali-
tion government before the newly elected parliament meets for the first time
later this week.
In northern Iraq, gunmen killed Hussam Hilal Sarsam, a Kurdish camera-
man for the Kurdish satellite channel KurdSat, witnesses who saw his corpse
transported by Iraqi troops outside the governor's office in Mosul said.
Twelve miles south of Baghdad, a suicide car bomb exploded in Youssifi-
yah, said police Lt. Adnan Mohammed of the nearby Mahmudiyah hospital.
The blast missed a convoy of SUVs, hitting a civilian vehicle instead and
wounding four civilians.
In the capital, five bodyguards of Sa'ad al-Amily, the Healtp Ministry's
director general, were wounded in a roadside bomb attack, a police captain
said on condition of anonymity.
Clinton recovering from successful surgery
Former President Clinton left the hospital yesterday, four days after undergoing
surgery to remove scar tissue and fluid around his left lung.
"I'm glad to be home and look forward to getting back to work within the next
month or so," Clinton said in a statement issued by his spokesman, Jim Kennedy.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton accompanied her husband from the hospital to their
home, where the 42nd president was to continue his recovery.
A motorcade of five or six SUVs was seen leaving New York-Presbyterian Hospi-
tal/Columbia University Medical Center shortly after 5 p.m.
Clinton's problem developed after his heart bypass surgery six months ago.
Doctors described last week's operation as a low-risk procedure to relieve a prob-
lem that crops up in only a fraction of 1 percent of bypass cases.




- Compiled from Daily wire reports

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