(Reuters) – For weeks, the lesbian couple courted the Guilford County register of deeds in North Carolina before asking for a marriage license. They went for coffee, shared life stories and, finally, prayed with him in a big circle on the grass outside his office.
Then they followed Jeffrey Thigpen inside, where he denied them and another lesbian couple a license, in line with the state’s 2012 constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
(Reuters) – The downpour that inundated parts of Colorado this month was a once-in-a-millennium event for those areas, according to an analysis by the National Weather Service.
Colorado residents are coping with widespread destruction from floods unleashed by torrential rains that began on September 9 and lasted for several days. The flooding killed at least eight people, forced thousands from their homes and caused nearly $2 billion in property damage.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A U.S. porn actor has tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS, the third such case reported in less than three weeks, leading a Los Angeles-based trade group for adult filmmakers to call a fresh nationwide moratorium on Friday on productions.
The infections follow a vote last year by Los Angeles County residents to require porn actors to wear condoms when having sex on set, a measure that proponents of the requirement complain is largely going unenforced in the county.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California inmates have ended a two-month-old hunger strike that ranked as the largest in state history and took aim at a policy of keeping some prisoners in near-isolation for years, corrections officials and inmates said on Thursday.
Inmates credited a move by two California legislators to hold hearings on conditions behind bars as a reason for stopping their strike, which at its peak in July saw about 30,000 prisoners refusing food.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The U.S. military cannot deny spousal benefits to a lesbian veteran in a same-sex marriage because doing so does not serve any purpose for the armed forces, a federal judge ruled on Thursday.
The decision, which could set the stage for gay and lesbian veterans and their partners to claim those benefits, follows a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in June that invalidated a key portion of the U.S. Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law that had defined marriage as between a man and a woman.
(Reuters) – A giant panda surprised its keepers by giving birth to a stillborn cub at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington on Saturday evening, a day after the animal delivered a live cub, an official said.
The stillborn cub was born with “many abnormalities” and when a staff member retrieved it from the floor of its mother’s den it was “very apparent it had never been alive,” said zoo spokeswoman Pamela Baker-Masson.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A tour bus ferrying passengers to a California casino skidded and flipped onto its side on a freeway outside Los Angeles on Thursday, injuring about 50 people who were thrown around inside the vehicle, authorities said.
No one died in the accident, said Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman Captain Brian Jordan.
(Reuters) – A county clerk in southern New Mexico began handing out marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples on Wednesday, in a move the state’s attorney general said he would not seek to stop as courts weigh lawsuits by same-sex couples seeking to wed.
Doña Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins told Reuters in a phone interview that his office by mid-afternoon had issued about 35 same-sex marriage licenses.
LOS ANGELES, Aug 20 (Reuters) – A prominent U.S. journalist
whose reporting led to the ouster of the senior U.S. military
commander in Afghanistan had traces of methamphetamine in his
blood when he was killed in June in a fiery Los Angeles car
crash, autopsy findings showed on Tuesday.
The drugs in Michael Hastings’ system were of an amount
unlikely to have contributed to the crash in which the
Mercedes-Benz he was driving struck a tree and burst into
flames, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A Catholic teacher’s claim that he was fired after marrying his gay partner soon after same-sex marriage was made legal in California has prompted a Web-based push to see him reinstated.
The petition drive in support of English instructor Ken Bencomo on the website of social advocacy group Change.org has gathered over 9,000 signatures from his former students and people as far away as Spain since it was launched earlier this week.