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Top Stories Today - 12.17.2008

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National News:

The New York Times: EDITORIAL: A Lynching in Brooklyn

The New York Times editorial board writes that the anti-gay, anti-Hispanic murder of Ecuadorian immigrant José Sucuzhañay is a "savage, hate-inspired crime that should sicken us all," and serves as "a reminder that bigotry can be deadly [...] to anyone unfortunate enough to cross its path."

Los Angeles Times: COLUMN: Readers Have Choice Words (Pro and Con) on Prop. 8

Steve Lopez shares readers' passionate responses - the majority of which were unsupportive - to his recent column sympathizing with El Coyote restaurant manager Margie Christofferson, who took a leave of absence from her position because of backlash over her donation to the Prop. 8 campaign.

Los Angeles Times: A Gay Muslim, Tested by Faith and Family

A profile of Aliyah Bacchus, a 22-year-old Muslim lesbian facing the challenges of reconciling her sexual orientation with her faith after her family rejected her when she told them she was gay.

Time Magazine: Why the Ivy League is Rethinking ROTC

Students and officials at a number of Ivy League universities are debating whether their campuses' bans on ROTC - which are often largely rooted in the military's DADT policy - should remain intact. Some say allowing ROTC to return "would encourage debate over [DADT], rather than indicate an endorsement of it."

Associated Press: Berlin Memorial to Gay Victims of Nazis Vandalized

The memorial to gay victims of the Nazis in Berlin's Tiergarten park has been vandalized for the second time since its dedication in May.

Newsweek.com: The Good Book and Gay Marriage

As a follow-up to its cover story on the biblical case for marriage equality, Newsweek interviews United Methodist pastor Bill Wylie-Kellerman and Dr. Barrett Duke of a group called the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission on their opposing viewpoints on the subject.

Regional News:

Associated Press (CA): Calif. Gay Marriage Ban Won by Nearly 600K Votes

Final election results certified Saturday by Secretary of State Debra Bowen show that Prop. 8 passed by 599,602 votes, or 52.3 percent. Support for the amendment was strongest in Kern and Tulare counties, while opposition was most pronounced in Marin and San Francisco.

Associated Press (CT): Poll: Connecticut Voters Back Gay Marriage

A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found that 52 percent of Conn. voters support the state's ruling in favor of marriage equality, while 39 percent oppose it and 9 percent are undecided.

Daily News (NY): Tears, Resolve at Wake for Victim of Hate Crime

About 100 people gathered in Queens, N.Y., Tuesday night to mourn the loss of Ecuadorian immigrant Jose Sucuzhañay, who was fatally beaten last week in an anti-gay, anti-Hispanic Brooklyn attack.

Contra Costa Times (CA): EDITORIAL: Supervisors Wrong on Secret Session

The Contra Costa Times writes that Contra Costa County, Calif., supervisors "erred" by making the decision not to join a lawsuit challenging Prop. 8 behind closed doors: "In the future, supervisors and county counsel should be more discerning about the use of secret discussions of public issues."

Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader (PA): Inmate with HIV Gets Up to 8 Years for spitting

A transgender former inmate with HIV was sentenced Tuesday to up to eight years in state prison after being found guilty of assault, aggravated harassment and reckless endangerment for allegedly spitting on a corrections officer in Dallas.

Duluth News-Tribune (MN): Duluth Couple Joins Fight for Same-Sex Marriage

A Deluth lesbian couple is joining nine other Minnesota couples in a lawsuit that will challenge the state's so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which bans marriage equality.

The Desert Sun (CA): Gay Retirement Village Project Stalls

Plans have been stalled for RainbowVision, a proposed retirement community for gay and lesbian seniors in Palm Springs, Calif. RainbowVision president Joy Silver: "We plan to move forward as soon as the economy allows."

New Haven Register (CT): Gay Episcopal Clergy Struggle with Own Church's Stance on Marriage

Gay Episcopal priests planning to marry in Conn. cannot have their weddings blessed by clergy from their own church. The Episcopal Church permits the ordination of gay clergy, but does not allow priests to bless the weddings of gay couples.

From the Blogs:

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