"NewsWrap": Overwhelming approval in Britain's House of Lords of the "Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill" in its second reading, following full approval in the House of Commons, all but assures its ultimate passage, so the Church of England abandons its efforts to defeat the measure and says it will now work to "improve it"; the 4-million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America elects Reverend Dr. R. Guy Erwin of Southern California as its first openly gay and first Native American bishop; Germany's highest court rules that tax laws that treat same-gender couples unequally are unconstitutional; Changsha, a city in central China's Henan province, hosts about 80 brave activists at what organizers call the largest-ever public demonstration for LGBT rights in the country's history; more than a million people celebrate in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo at what's billed as the world's largest LGBT Pride event, while supportive Mormons and unauthorized uniformed Boy Scouts highlight the annual Pride march in Salt Lake City, Utah; record crowds celebrate Pride in Tel Aviv, while speakers reflect on the breaking news of arrests in the horrific 2009 shooting spree at the Israeli city's LGBT center; and 59-year-old Mexican soap star Sebastian Ligarde tells a national magazine that "I'm gay, and I say this with pride" (written by GREG GORDON, produced by STEVE PRIDE, and reported this week by MICHELLE-MARIE GILKESON and CHARLIE BAUER)
The U.S. SUPREME COURT is expected to hand down its marriage equality rulings sometime this month on California’s Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act. It will be exactly 10 years since the high court's last landmark LGBT rights decision found state sodomy laws to be unconstitutional. While people on both sides of the marriage equality issue anxiously await word on the next landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling, we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of LAWRENCE V. TEXAS with a look back at our coverage of that historic day: excerpts from "NewsWrap" on the "This Way Out" program of 6/30/03, anchored by CINDY FRIEDMAN and CHRISTOPHER GAAL: In the case of "Lawrence vs. Texas", the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down "demeaning" state sodomy laws that criminalize private consensual adult same-gender sex, emphatically reversing the Court's 1986 "Bowers vs. Hardwick" decision that had upheld Georgia's since-repealed sodomy ban; quoting from Justice Anthony Kennedy's majority opinion, a dissenting opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia, and some of the predictive implications of the ruling's especially bold language on such issues as marriage equality. The high court decision had queer activists rejoicing at pre-planned rallies and impromptu street parties across the country, and left the Religious Right reeling, as reported by DAVID TAFFET in Dallas [with thanks to Geoff Staples at RadioLeft.com], BRYAN GOEBEL in San Francisco, and JD DOYLE in Houston, and with comments by -- "in order of appearance" -- Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund Legal Director and lead attorney in the case RUTH HARLOW; Dallas Gay & Lesbian Alliance President ROGER WEDELL; PETER SPRIGG of the Family Research Council, ROBERT KNIGHT of the Culture and Family Institute, National Clergy Council President REV. ROB SCHENCK and televangelist REV. JERRY FALWELL; KATE KENDALL of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, JENNIFER PIZER of the San Francisco-area Lambda Legal office, and openly-gay San Francisco Supervisor TOM AMMIANO; litigants JOHN LAWRENCE and TYRON GARNER and their local attorney MITCHELL KATINE, and long time Houston activist RAY HILL; plus a closing thought by San Diego-based queer journalist REX WOCKNER; with transition music from "Battle Hymn of the Republic" performed by ELVIS PRESLEY and "God Bless America" performed by KATE SMITH, and transition/outro music from "The Sodomy Song" by ROMANOVSKY & PHILLIPS
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