Lesbian Ex-Partner Found

Not Liable for Child Support

BOSTON -- A woman who agreed to have a child with her lesbian partner but split up with the mother before the baby's birth cannot be forced to pay child support, the state's highest court ruled Wednesday.

The split ruling by the Supreme Judicial Court -- which legalized same-sex marriage in a landmark ruling last year -- comes in the case of a lesbian couple. The two, identified in court documents as "T.F." and "B.L.," lived together from 1996 to 2000.

B.L. at first resisted T.F.'s wishes to have a child but changed her mind.

The couple broke up after T.F. got pregnant by artificial insemination. After the baby was born, T.F. sued her former partner for child support. A Probate and Family Court judge turned to the state Appeals Court, which in turned passed the case up to the Supreme Judicial Court.

Associate Justice Judith A. Cowin wrote that the informal agreement between the two women to have a child together did not constitute an enforceable contract and that B.L. cannot be forced to pay child support.

Man Sets Himself on Fire

After Son Is Killed in Iraq

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- A man who had just been told his Marine son was killed in combat in Iraq set himself on fire in a Marine Corps van and suffered severe burns, police said.

Three Marines went to a house in Hollywood to tell the father and stepmother of Pfc. Alexander Arredondo that their son, 20, had died Tuesday in Najaf, police said.

The father, Carlos Arredondo, 44, then walked into the open garage and picked up a can of gasoline, a propane tank and a lighting device, police Capt. Tony Rode said. He smashed the van's window with the propane tank and doused the van with gas before setting it ablaze.

* NEW YORK -- Carl and Clarence Aguirre, twin boys who were surgically separated Aug. 4, have recovered well enough to be transferred next week to another hospital for rehabilitation. The Filipino boys had been connected at the head.

* TROY, N.Y. -- Two mosque leaders accused of supporting terrorism were released on bail, one day after a federal judge reversed his initial decision to keep them behind bars. Magistrate David Homer on Tuesday set bail at $250,000 bond for both Yassin Aref and Mohammed Mosharref Hossain after concluding the men were not as dangerous as prosecutors first asserted.

* CORONA, Calif. -- Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten, 54, was denied parole for a 15th time, just over 35 years after the notorious Tate-LaBianca murders. None of those convicted in the 1969 slayings in Los Angeles has been released. The board cited the callousness, viciousness and calculation of the seven murders in denying parole for the Manson "family."

* WILMINGTON, Del. -- Yildirim Bayaver Tumer, the captain of a Turkish ship who raised security alarms in July when he said there was a bomb aboard his vessel, pleaded guilty in a U.S. court to making a false statement. He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Joseph Farnan to time already served since his July 22 arrest and was ordered to leave the country.

-- From News Services