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Ban on gays in military heading to key Senate vote

A recent ruling by a federal court in Southern California — that the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding the right of gays to serve in the military — is unconstitutional. The move could pave the way to lifting the ban entirely. Now, nearly five months after the House of Representatives and the Senate Armed Services Committee voted in favor of repealing the ban on gays in the military, the Senate could be headed for a final vote.

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Prop. 8 backers file appeal, want stay against weddings left in place

Backers of Proposition 8 have filed an appeal to keep a stay in force to prevent gay marriages from resuming. Federal Judge Vaughn Walker earlier ruled the measure unconstitutional and has placed a stay on same-sex marriages that is set to expire on Wednesday. Late Thursday backers of the measure filed their appeal with the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Judge says same-sex marriages can resume on Aug. 18

A federal judge ruled Thursday that same-sex couples will be able to marry on Aug. 18 at 5 p.m. The ruling could be reversed if opponents of gay marriage appeal the decision to the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. The decision will lift the stay that last week he placed on his own judgement that a statewide ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. On Thursday morning scores of people gathered on the front steps of San Francisco City Hall to mark the occasion, with some same-sex couples hoping to get married on the spot if the stay were lifted immediately. There were also supporters of Proposition 8, the initiative that ended gay marriage in 2008. (READ THE RULING BY JUDGE VAUGHN R. WALKER — PDF)

Gay-marriage attorney maps out strategy to defeat ‘state-sponsored discrimination’

David Boies, one of the two attorneys in the successful case to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage, said the case evoked fights he participated in during the civil rights movement decades ago, calling opposition to equality the “last bastion of official, state-sponsored discrimination in this country.” He spoke at the Commonwealth Club Thursday night.

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Prop. 8 gay marriage ban overturned; ruling unlikely to be the last word

A federal judge Wednesday struck down California’s ban on gay marriage, but that decision is unlikely to be the last word. The case will eventually end up in the U.S. Supreme Court, legal analysts predicted. Proponents of 2008’s Proposition 8 are expected to appeal judge Vaughn R. Walker’s ruling that the measure was unconstitutional. The first step to the Supreme Court would be the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Video quilt stitches together stories of HIV/AIDS battle

In the store it doesn’t look like much, but inside the booth on Castro Street something bigger is going on. Generations HIV, part of the HIV Story Project, aims to get conversation flowing about how HIV/AIDS have affected different generations by allowing people to record questions, answers or stories about the diseases within the booth.

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Keen questions from judge in Prop. 8 closing arguments

Five months after it began, closing arguments in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial are taking place today. U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker, who is deciding the case, recently submitted dozens of probing legal questions for the teams representing both sides in the case to address in this final phase.

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Gay divorce bill removes extra hurdle for domestic couples

Legislation that would make it easier — and less expensive — for same-sex domestic partners and married couples to split up has cleared the state Assembly and is now heading to the Senate. Currently, couples who had registered as domestic partners and later married have to go through separate processes to dissolve each agreement. The new law would allow for one process to handle both matters.

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In Prop 8 marriage trial, who exactly is an expert?

A Southern California political scientist had a rocky time during cross-examination Monday and Tuesday at federal court in the trial to overturn Proposition 8, the measure passed by voters in 2008 that limits marriage to a man and woman. Defenders of the ban on gay marriage opened their segment of the trial Monday with testimony by Kenneth Miller, a professor at Claremont McKenna College. He had testified early Monday that the gay and lesbian community has numerous allies and a great deal of power and influence. The pro-Proposition 8 legal team is taking issue with the challengers’ view that gays and lesbians are a persecuted and powerless group. At issue is whether the ban on marriage is unconstitutional discrimination.