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Top Stories Today - 11.25.2008

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National News:

Associated Press: California to Investigate Mormon Aid to Prop. 8

The California Fair Political Practices Commission said Monday that a complaint filed by a group called Californians Against Hate accusing the Mormon church of not accurately reporting the extent of its role in the Prop. 8 campaign merits further investigation.

The New York Times: EDITORIAL: California's Legal Tangle

The New York Times editorial board says the passage of Prop. 8 was "not just a defeat for fairness," but that it "raised serious legal questions about the validity of using the Election Day initiative process to obliterate an existing right for a targeted minority."

The Wall Street Journal: EDITORIAL: Gay Marriage and the California Courts

The Wall Street Journal claims the Calif. Supreme Court will be "usurping the role of the people" if it overturns Prop. 8: "The great achievement of our system was to create a political order where these great moral disputes, as a matter of policy, are left to the people - with allowance for differences according to region and locale."

The New York Times: Australian Legislators Back Gay Rights

The Australian Senate passed amendments Monday that will alter approximately 100 family, health and taxation laws to give gay couples living in common-law relationships the same protections as their straight counterparts.

Salon.com: Why Churches Fear Gay Marriage

An interview with Catholic, openly gay author Richard Rodriguez, who says "the pro-Proposition 8 movement was really galvanized by an insecurity that churches are feeling now with the rise of women," particularly brought about by an increase in single mothers.

Regional News:

Associated Press (FL): Judge To Rule On Fla. Gay-Adoption Ban

A Miami judge is expected to rule today in the case of a gay man attempting to adopt his two foster children by challenging Fla.'s ban on adoption by gay parents.

Los Angeles Times (CA): Legal Experts Puzzled Over California Justice's Seeming Reversal on Prop. 8

Legal experts contemplate the implications of Calif. Justice Joyce L. Kennard - a usually reliable advocate for LGBT equality who voted to lift the state's marriage ban - being the only justice to vote against hearing legal challenges to Prop. 8.

The Oregonian (OR): Anti-Gay Group No Match for Silverton

In demonstrations outside Marion County, Ore.'s, City Hall, counterprotesters supporting the election of the nation's first openly transgender mayor, Stu Rasmussen, "significantly outnumbered" protesters from the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church.

Burlington Free Press (VT): EDITORIAL: Legislature Has Time for Only Few Big Issues

The Burlington Free Press writes that though Vt. may be ready for marriage equality, a bill proposed by State Sen. John Campbell to lift the state's ban on marriage for gay couples would distract legislators from "immediate issues" such as the economy.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (FL): Partners in Abusive Same-Sex Relationships Less Likely to Reach Out for Help

Gay couples face added societal pressures and anxieties that can make them less likely to reach out as victims of domestic abuse, which contributes to both a lack of resources and accurate statistics on domestic violence in gay relationships.

Rocky Mountain News (CO): Musgrave Mum As She Gets Ready to Leave D.C.

Rep. Marilyn Musgrave of Colo., once considered a "rising star in the social conservative movement" who was known for vocally sponsoring an anti-gay marriage amendment, declined repeated interview requests as she closed out her work on Capitol Hill after an Election Day defeat.

Philadelphia Daily News (PA): Gay-Sex Delco Killer Spared Death Penalty

A jury voted not to impose the death penalty on Bill Smithson, the Pa. man convicted of murdering 23-year-old Jason Shephard after Shephard resisted his advances.

San Francisco Chronicle (CA): Is Harvey Milk Still a Force for Change?

The timing of the release of the film Milk is particularly pivotal in the wake of Prop. 8's passage and the resulting nationwide backlash from LGBT equality advocates: "It's more than a biopic of a gay politician - it's the biopic of a movement coming of age."

International News:

BBC News (United Kingdom): Rise in UK HIV Numbers Continues

Health protection experts in the U.K. estimate that new diagnoses of HIv in the country rose 6 percent since last year. MSM accounted for 41 percent of new cases, but transmission between straight people is also increasing.

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