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Developments on Gay-Marriage Issue

March 5, 2004

Developments on the issue of gay marriage Thursday:

_ Dozens of same-sex couples sought marriage licenses from the New York City clerk’s office but were turned away with a letter explaining that gay marriages are illegal in the state.

_ At least 100 gay couples lined up in Portland, Ore., as Multnomah County handed out licenses for a second day. Democratic Gov. Ted Kulongoski has warned the marriages may not be legal and requested a legal opinion from Oregon’s attorney general.

_ New Paltz, N.Y., Mayor Jason West, says he will continue conducting same-sex weddings even though he has been criminally charged, and the mayor of Nyack, John Shields, led a group of same-sex couples to apply for marriage licenses. They were denied.

_ A religious rights law firm went to court to bar gay marriages in New York and said it will try to remove West from office. Meanwhile, a gay rights group plans to file a lawsuit in Manhattan seeking full marriage for same-sex couples.

_ The Kansas House gave tentative approval to a proposed amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage. The Michigan House will vote next week on a similar measure.

_ On Wednesday, the Utah Legislature voted to put a proposed amendment banning gay marriage on the November ballot, despite a protest outside the Capitol by hundreds of gay-marriage supporters.

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