National & World News
Poll: California Divided on Same-Sex Marriage
Californians remain closely divided over the issue of same-sex marriage, but a majority of voters are against a proposal legally to ban it, a poll indicates. Conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California, it found support had grown slightly for the ban, which would be in the form of a state constitutional amendment called Proposition 8. The survey showed 44 percent of respondents in favor of the ban, and 52 percent against, The Los Angeles Times reported. The findings were based on telephone surveys of 1,186 likely voters between October 12 and 19. The poll had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
Poll: Florida Gay Marriage Ban Lacks Support
A proposed ban on same-sex marriage in Florida lacks the voter support needed to pass, a poll indicates. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that the ballot measure—Amendment 2—would amend the state constitution to bar gay marriage. A Sun Sentinel and Florida Times-Union poll reveals 53 percent of 600 likely voters supported the plan, far short of the 60 percent approval required. The poll found 77 percent of likely voters favored equal rights for same-sex couples, while 15 percent were opposed, and 8 percent were undecided. Although gay marriage has been prohibited in Florida for more than a decade, supporters say enshrining the ban in the state constitution would protect the measure from court challenges.
Methodists Hold Unofficial Ordination
Dissenters have conducted an unofficial ordination in Baltimore for two women blocked from becoming United Methodist ministers because of church rules. One of the women, Annie Britton, is a lesbian married to another woman, and the other, Jenna Zirbel, disagrees with the church’s policy toward gays, The Baltimore Sun reported. The ceremony was organized by the Church Within a Church movement, composed of US Methodist pastors and church members who seek change. The United Methodist Church currently welcomes homosexual members, but prohibits their ordination as ministers. Organizers say the ordination ceremony was held in Baltimore because the city was the birthplace of American Methodism in 1784.
Defrocked Episcopal Priest Sues Church
A Pennsylvania lawsuit pitting a former Episcopal priest against his diocese may be the first US case involving church discipline, according to experts. Reverend David Moyer has brought a civil action against the financially struggling Diocese of Pennsylvania, asserting he was defrocked illegally because of his views opposing gay clergy. He is asking the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas in Norristown, Pennsylvania, for millions of dollars in damages, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Church officials fought to block the trial, arguing that the First Amendment precludes civil courts from ruling on personnel matters of religious institutions. Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas Branca sided with Moyer, who alleges that the diocese improperly denied him a church trial. The dispute revolves around the issue of ordination of gay clergy. Moyer, 57, claims he was removed from the clergy because he vehemently opposed the idea, which the Episcopal Church allows.
Chef Convicted of Killing, Cooking Lover
A jury in the British city of Leeds has found a 36-year-old chef guilty of brutally killing his lover, and then cooking portions of the dead man’s body. The Leeds Crown Court jury ruled that in April, Anthony Morley slashed 33-year-old Damian Oldfield’s throat, sliced off portions of the victim’s flesh, and fried them with olive oil and fresh herbs, The Daily Telegraph reported. The jury had heard during the trial that police allegedly found six pieces of partially cooked human flesh in Morley’s apartment. The Telegraph related that after committing the killing, Morley walked to a nearby eatery, and said he had just killed someone in self-defense. After the verdict was announced, West Yorkshire Police Detective Inspector Scott Wood told the Telegraph, “Thankfully, disturbing crimes of this type remain incredibly rare events.”
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