Arkansas officials scramble over same-sex marriage ruling


In Federal Way, a suburb south of Seattle, South King Fire and Rescue officials salute the arrival Monday of a piece of limestone from the section of the Pentagon that was damaged in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The stone will be part of a 9/11 memorial in Federal Way. (AP)
May 12, 2014
ARKANSAS
Officials scramble over marriage ruling

Dozens of gay couples, some of whom waited in line overnight, received licenses to marry from county clerks Monday, while lawyers for Arkansas asked its highest court to suspend an order gutting a constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage.

Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Chris Piazza tossed out Arkansas’ ban on gay marriage after business hours Friday, setting up Monday’s run on courthouses in Little Rock and Fayetteville as same-sex marriage arrived in the Bible Belt.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, who recently said he supported gay marriage but would defend the ban, filed paperwork Monday formally asking the state Supreme Court to temporarily set aside Piazza’s ruling that had made Arkansas — at least for now — the 18th state in the nation to allow same-sex marriages.

Federal judges have ruled against gay-marriage bans in Michigan, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Texas, and ordered Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee to recognize same-sex marriages from other states.

— Associated Press

MASSACHUSETTS
IMF chief cancels address at college

The managing director of the International Monetary Fund backed out of giving this year’s commencement address at Smith College in the wake of protests from faculty and students, the school announced Monday.

Christine Lagarde, who has headed the IMF since 2011, told the women’s college over the weekend that it was clear her presence on the Northampton campus was not welcomed. Many of those who opposed Lagarde said they were attacking the IMF for being “a corrupt system” that fuels the oppression and abuse of woman worldwide. A spokeswoman from the IMF declined to comment on those allegations.

— Associated Press

Harvard group cancels black Mass

Harvard University extension school students planning a “satanic black Mass” canceled the event after an outcry by administration, students, faculty and religious leaders.

The Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club had decided to move the parody of the Roman Catholic Mass off campus after widespread objections, and no other location was willing to host it, according to an e-mailed statement from the group.

Harvard had decided not to block the event, even though university President Drew Faust said she opposed it.

— Bloomberg News

Drug dealers flee before guilty verdicts: Three drug dealers facing life in prison skipped out Monday before a federal jury returned guilty verdicts against them at a Detroit courthouse, authorities said. A fourth defendant was convicted.

— From news services

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