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MARRIAGE DIGEST: Reporter, photog. ‘marry,’ pulled from beat

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Hoping to avoid an appearance of bias, the San Francisco Chronicle pulled a reporter and photographer off the same-sex “marriage” beat after the two themselves were “wed.”

Reporter Rachel Gordon and photographer Liz Mangelsdorf received a marriage license from the city before the California Supreme Court ordered a halt to such ceremonies.

The two had covered the city’s controversial action from the start. Both were there Feb. 12 when the first same-sex “wedding” was performed in city hall. Gordon wrote the story, Mangelsdorf took the photos.

On March 15, executive editor Phil Bronstein told the newspaper’s staff that the two would no longer be covering the controversy, according to the Associated Press.

“Chronicle journalists directly and personally involved in a major news story — one in whose outcome they also have a personal stake — should not also cover that story,” Bronstein said in a memo, according to the AP. “The issue is the integrity and credibility of the paper, as well as conflict and perception of conflict.”

Steven Petrow, president of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists’ Association, said he disagreed with the move.

“Should women be prohibited from covering issues of gender? Should religion writers not be able to go to church? In each case, the answer is no,” he said, according to AP.

The California public radio station KQED also pulled a staff member off the beat after he and another man were “married.”

FEWER MEN ‘MARRY’ — According to data published by The New York Times March 18, 57 percent of San Francisco’s same-sex “marriages” involved women, 42 percent men. This underscores the data by several researchers showing that homosexual men are much more likely to have multiple partners than are homosexual women.

All total, 4,037 marriage licenses were handed out. Approximately 3,700 of them involved California couples, the remaining 330 involved out-of-staters. The couples represented 46 states, The Times said.

PORTLAND NOT ALONE — By a 2-1 vote, commissioners of Benton County, Ore., decided Match 16 to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples starting March 24. It will join Multnomah County, Ore., which has been issuing licenses to homosexuals since early March. Portland sits in Multnomah County.

Both counties are ignoring state law. Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers has said that the law “unquestionably” limits marriage to one man and one woman. Benton County commissioners say current law violates the state Constitution.

Lawyers for the Defense of Marriage Coalition have filed suit, seeking to stop the county.

ORE. COURT TAKING ACTION? — The Oregon Supreme Court may be preparing to decide the issue of same-sex “marriage.” The court March 17 asked lawyers to submit written arguments as to whether a state citizen has legal standing to sue Multnomah County over the issue of same-sex “marriage.” Two pro-family groups, Liberty Counsel and the American Family Association, have filed suit, seeking to halt the county’s issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The legal briefs are due March 22, according to the AP. The court will then decide whether to hear the case.

Pro-family leaders in Oregon are beginning a petition drive to place a marriage amendment before voters this fall. They need 100,000 signatures by July. They have launched a website: www.defenseofmarriagecoalition.com.

N.J. LAWSUIT — The American Center for Law and Justice filed suit in New Jersey state court March 15 challenging the city of Asbury Park’s issuance of a marriage license to a same-sex couple. The city halted its action following a warning from the state attorney general. ACLJ is asking the court to rule that the city violated state law.

NY APPEAL DENIED — A New York appeals court March 17 denied an appeal by New Paltz, N.Y., Mayor Jason West, who solemnized several same-sex “marriages” in February.

By a 5-0 ruling, the court refused to reverse a ruling by a lower court judge who ordered West to stop. Liberty Counsel had filed the lawsuit against West on behalf of a New Paltz board of trustees member.

EXACT OPPOSITES — City commissioners of Key West, Fla., passed resolutions March 16 supporting same-sex “marriage” and condemning President Bush’s push for a constitutional amendment, The Miami Herald reported. The city, though, will not begin issuing same-sex “marriage” licenses.

Meanwhile, the Gulfport, Miss., city council passed a resolution the same day supporting Bush’s backing of an amendment.

“About 54 years ago when I got married to my wife, it was perfectly legal for us to get married and illegal for people of same sex to marry one another and that’s the way I stand today,” Gulfport Mayor Ken Combs said, according to The Gulfport Sun-Herald. “I don’t move a bit from that stance.”

GEORGIA UPDATE — Supporters of a marriage amendment to Georgia’s constitution are trying to get another vote on the House floor before the session ends. Representatives are collecting signatures on a “discharge petition” to force the amendment out of a committee and onto the floor, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. They need 120 signatures.

An amendment failed to get the required two-thirds vote (120) in February on a 117-50 vote. But about a dozen members either weren’t present or didn’t vote.

BILLS ADVANCE — Bills in Minnesota and Tennessee related to same-sex “marriage” advanced in committees March 16-17.

In Minnesota, a marriage amendment that would ban same-sex “marriage” or its “legal equivalent” passed a House committee. It now goes to the full House, the AP reported.

In Tennessee, a bill that would prohibit the recognition of civil unions from other states passed a Senate committee by a 7-1 vote, The Tennesseean daily newspapers reported. Legislators there also are considering a marriage amendment.
For more information about the debate over same-sex “marriage,” visit

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  • Michael Foust