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National News
National News
national news by Rex Wockner - SGN Contributing Writer

Connecticut residents support same-sex marriage decision
A Hartford Courant/University of Connecticut poll has found that 53 percent of state residents support the October 10 state Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage, and 42 percent don't like it.

Among Democrats, 72 percent support it while, among Republicans, 69 percent oppose it.

The poll of 502 adult residents had a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.

In a 4-3 decision, the Connecticut justices said denying same-sex couples equal access to marriage violated the state constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law.

"Interpreting our state constitutional provisions in accordance with firmly established equal protection principles leads inevitably to the conclusion that Gay people are entitled to marry," the decision said. "To decide otherwise would require us to apply one set of constitutional principles to Gay persons and another to all others."

The ruling is expected to take effect around November 7.

Same-sex marriage also is legal in California, Massachusetts, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, South Africa and Spain - and will become legal in Norway in January.

There is no residency requirement to get married in the three U.S. states or Canada.

Gays protest at Louisville McDonald's
Gay activists and others protested outside a downtown Louisville McDonald's on October 10 after an employee called a group of Gay customers "faggots" and a supervisor said the incident was no "big deal" and refused to refund the customers' money.

"For any business to treat its Gay customers this way is beyond the pale," said protester Becca O'Neill from the University of Louisville's Lambda Law Caucus.

The demonstrators carried signs reading, "Discrimination Don't Belong in a Happy Meal," "Homophobia Served Here" and "NOT Lovin' It."

"We have a law against anti-Gay discrimination in Louisville, but we want people to know that these incidents still happen and that businesses that take part in this kind of illegal discrimination will be held accountable," said Jeff Rodgers, co-coordinator of the Fairness Campaign.

Ryan Marlatt, Teddy Eggers and three friends had stopped for lunch at the East Market Street McDonald's on July 26. As they waited for their food, an employee referred to them as "faggots" to another employee. Marlatt and Eggers asked to speak with a manager, who then refused to refund the group's purchase.

Marlatt said he attempted several times in the following weeks to contact the general manager of the restaurant and the corporate offices, but got no response.

The group seeks an apology, a refund of $28 and disciplinary action against the employees involved.

Allan Spear dies
Allan Spear, the first openly Gay male legislator in U.S. history, died October 11 in Minneapolis from complications following heart surgery. He was 71.

Spear came out in an article published in the Minneapolis Star in 1974.

He was first elected to the state Senate in 1972 and served until his retirement in 2000, the last eight years as Senate president.

Spear also taught history at the University of Minnesota for 36 years and wrote a notable 1967 book, Black Chicago: The Making of a Negro Ghetto, 1890-1920.

He is survived by his life partner, Junjiro Tsuji.

Producer, teachers give big bucks to No on 8
Hollywood producer and real estate tycoon Steve Bing has given half a million dollars to the campaign to stop voters from amending the California Constitution to re-ban same-sex marriage November 4. And the California Teachers Association, the state's biggest teachers' union, has pumped another $1 million into the battle against the amendment. The group had given $250,000 earlier.

A spokeswoman said "equal rights for all" is what teachers teach.

The No on (Proposition) 8 campaign says it has failed to raise as much money as the forces favoring the ban and that, as a result, the "yes" side has aired more TV ads and flipped public-opinion polls from opposing to supporting the ban.

No on 8's four TV ads have been criticized by some Gay bloggers and others as "tepid," "lame" and "underwhelming," but campaign strategists say the ads were tested on undecided voters and they "work" on those people.

No on 8 is expected to release one or two additional ads before November 4, and it is likely the new ad or ads will be more aggressive than those that have aired to date, said knowledgeable sources speaking not for attribution.

If enough money is raised to keep up with the "yes" side's spamming of the airwaves with ads, Gays will win the fight, No on 8 predicts. Otherwise, the situation looks grim, the strategists say.

The outcome is fully contingent on the TV ad battle, No on 8 has asserted. Campaign website -

With assistance from Bill Kelley
picture above: Robin Tyler/Diane Olson
picture below: Ratcliff Tyll marriage

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