Gay partners could be ‘family’ by law

The Alaska State Personnel Board is considering including same-sex partners of state employees in the definition of “immediate family” for purposes of leave. A proposed change in rules also would allow state employees to take leave due to a serious health condition of a same-sex partner.

Same-sex marriage is not legal in Alaska because of a state constitutional amendment. Nancy Sutch, a deputy director within the state Division of Personnel and Labor Relations, said in an e-mail that the proposed change in rules stems from a recent review of a 2005 Alaska Supreme Court decision.

That decision, in a case over health insurance and other benefits, found that it is unconstitutional to offer valuable benefits to the spouses of public employees but not to same-sex domestic partners.

— Associated Press

No charges for child with gun at school

No charges have been filed against a Memphis kindergartner or his mother after a gun discharged inside the child’s backpack in a school cafeteria, but the shooting has led to metal-
detecting wands being provided to the district’s elementary schools, officials said Friday.

Memphis police said the
5-year-old and his mother were released from custody late Thursday, hours after the gun went off as students waited for the opening bell in the Westside Elementary School cafeteria.

No one was hurt, and school security officers quickly took away the backpack. Investigators determined the child obtained the gun from a closet at home and placed it in the backpack, police spokeswoman Karen Rudolph said Friday.

— Associated Press