News You Should Know July 2


Denver (AP) - Clock is ticking on a showdown between Colorado's Republican attorney general and a county clerk who has been issuing gay-marriage licenses. Attorney General John Suthers told Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall to stop issuing the licenses by noon Tuesday. Suthers says they should appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court to determine whether Hall has the authority to issue same-sex marriage licenses. The 10th Circuit put its ruling on hold, however. Six same-sex couples from Colorado plan to file a lawsuit on Tuesday challenging the court's stay.

Washington DC (AP) - Obama is preparing an executive order to expand safeguards for transgender workers, offering federal workers protection from discrimination at work. At least two other measures already prevent the federal government from firing people for being transgender, so Obama's announcement is largely symbolic. Still, advocates hailed the move as a powerful act of recognition for transgender Americans by the first American president to even utter the word ``transgender'' in a speech. But LGBT rights groups said the order will likely mirror one that President Bill Clinton signed in 1998 that barred the federal government from firing workers for being gay and lesbian. Activists said they expected Obama's executive order would include language specifically referring to gender identity, enshrining those protections in a more formal manner. "We've got a lot to be proud of, but obviously we can't grow complacent," Obama said. "We've got to defend the progress that we've made."

San Francisco (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way Monday for enforcement of a first-of-its-kind California law that bars psychological counseling aimed at turning gay minors straight. The justices turned aside a legal challenge brought by supporters of so-called conversion or reparative therapy. Without comment, they let stand an August 2013 appeals court ruling that said the ban covered professional activities that are within the state's authority to regulate and doesn't violate the free speech rights of licensed counselors and patients seeking treatment. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year that California lawmakers properly showed that therapies designed to change sexual orientation for those under the age of 18 were outside the scientific mainstream and have been disavowed by most major medical groups as unproven and potentially dangerous. The law says professional therapists and counselors who use treatments designed to eliminate or reduce same-sex attractions in their patients would be engaging in unprofessional conduct and subject to discipline by state licensing boards. It does not cover the actions of pastors and lay counselors who are unlicensed but provide such therapy through church programs.

Las Vegas (AP) - A federal appeals court says it will consider Nevada's gay marriage ban on Sept. 8. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has scheduled 20 minutes of oral arguments in the case of Beverly Sevcik v. Brian Sandoval. The court will also hear arguments that morning over similar cases in Idaho and Hawaii.


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