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Judge sides with same-sex parents

A same-sex couple in California has won a federal court ruling that their adopted son’s Louisiana birth certificate must bear the names of both adoptive fathers.

The facts are so clear that no trial is needed, U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey wrote.

“What a great Christmas present for these guys!” said Kenneth D. Upton Jr., who represented Oren Adar and Mickey Ray Smith, of San Diego.

In his ruling Monday, Zainey said Louisiana’s Office of Vital Records must give full faith and credit to the New York state court in which Adar and Smith adopted the boy. The office had refused to issue a birth certificate listing both as the boy’s legal parents.

Upton, of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund Inc. of Dallas, said it is the fourth case of its kind that he knows of. Cases in Oklahoma, Virginia and Mississippi also were decided in the parents’ favor, he said.

LA PAZ, Bolivia

Some coca used for cocaine

President Evo Morales acknowledged Saturday for the first time in his nearly three years in office that a portion of coca produced in Bolivia is used to make cocaine.

Morales, who remains the top leader of the South American country’s coca-producing unions, also said that his government is aware that some farmers in the central coca-producing region of Chapare are violating a law that limits each family to producing 1,962 square yards of coca for medicine and food.

“Unfortunately, because of an illegal problem – drug addiction in some countries – our coca gets diverted into illegal markets,” Morales said in a speech broadcast on government radio.

According to Bolivia’s political opposition, the expansion of coca plantations is reactivating the cocaine industry in the country – a charge the government denies.


Moviegoer shoots man over noise

A man enraged by a noisy family sitting near him in a movie theater on Christmas night shot the father of the family in the arm, police said.

James Joseph Cialella, 29, of Philadelphia, faces six charges that include attempted murder and aggravated assault. He remained in custody Saturday.

Police said Cialella told the man’s family to be quiet, then threw popcorn at the man’s son. The victim, whom television reports identified as Woffard Lomax, told police that Cialella was walking toward his family when he stood up and was shot.

Lt. Frank Vanore called the incident “scary that it gets to that level of violence from being too noisy during a movie.”

Lomax was released from a hospital after the shooting.


Navy settles suit over sonar use

The Navy has settled a lawsuit filed by environmentalists challenging its use of sonar in hundreds of submarine-hunting exercises around the world.

The Navy said Saturday the deal reached with the Natural Resources Defense Council and other groups requires it to continue to research how sonar affects whales and other marine mammals.

It doesn’t require sailors to adopt additional measures to protect the animals when they use sonar.

The agreement comes one month after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Navy in another sonar lawsuit the NRDC filed.

From wire reports

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