Around the Nation

Around the Nation

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Calif. Court Won't Delay Gay-Marriage Ruling

SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected petitions to delay its historic same-sex marriage decision, clearing the way for gay couples to marry later this month.

The court's action on the case -- which makes it possible for same-sex unions to begin June 17 -- was unusually quick. Most appeals trigger a 30-to-60-day delay in the effective date of a ruling.

Acting in closed session, the court voted 4 to 3 to reject petitions by Christian groups that it reconsider its May 15 ruling. The court also refused to delay the effective date of the decision until after the November election, when voters will consider a constitutional amendment to reinstate the ban on same-sex marriage.

The court's action means the marriage ruling becomes effective at 5 p.m. on June 16. Counties and cities are expected to issue marriage licenses the next day.

Relatives of Lawmaker Charged

NEW ORLEANS -- A brother, sister and niece of indicted Rep. William Jefferson (D) were charged with pocketing more than $600,000 in state and federal grant money intended for charitable and educational projects. A federal grand jury indicted New Orleans tax assessor Betty Jefferson; her brother, Mose Jefferson; and her daughter, Angela Coleman, on charges that include federal program fraud, identity theft and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Space Station's Toilet Fixed

CAPE CANAVERAL -- Astronauts fixed the toilet at the international space station and were close to opening up a grand new science lab. The toilet problem had become the most pressing issue of the mission, so much so that a spare pump was rushed from Moscow to Cape Canaveral last week for a ride aboard the space shuttle Discovery. Russian Oleg Kononenko put in the pump.

Marine Acquitted in Iraq Case

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- A military jury acquitted Marine intelligence officer 1st Lt. Andrew Grayson of charges that he tried to help cover up the killings of 24 Iraqis in Haditha.

Senate Confirms HUD Secretary

The Senate late Wednesday confirmed President Bush's new housing secretary, elevating Small Business Administration Administrator Steven Preston to be the president's point man on the slumping housing market and the subprime lending crisis.

-- From News Services

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