A judge has thrown out the first direct legal challenge to the New York governor’s move to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, calling the policy a legally allowable stand for fairness.
A decision by gay couples to wed represents “a personal expression of emotional devotion, support and interdependence and a public commitment,” state Supreme Court Judge Lucy Billings wrote in a decision issued Tuesday. “With that validity, they expect equal treatment with other married couples.”
Thousands of gay New Yorkers over the next few years are expected to make use of Massachusetts’ recent decision to let out-of-state gay couples marry there. The Christian legal organization that brought the New York case said it would appeal, while gay-rights and civil-liberties groups hailed the ruling as strengthening legal support for same-sex couples.
Court green-lights Kilpatrick hearings
The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled unanimously Tuesday night that Gov. Jennifer Granholm can proceed today with removal hearings against Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
Kilpatrick’s attorneys had said Granholm could not provide fair and just treatment to the mayor because she was biased and said Kilpatrick should resign at a private meeting with parties involved in the case.
Detroit’s City Council voted 5-4 in May to ask Granholm to remove Kilpatrick because of allegedly false testimony he gave at the police whistle-blower trial last summer. Kilpatrick faces felony perjury charges and assault charges stemming from another incident.
E. coli outbreak sickens hundreds
An E. coli outbreak linked to a restaurant in northeastern Oklahoma has sickened more than 200 people and killed at least one person, state health officials said Tuesday.
The Country Cottage restaurant in Locust Grove has been closed voluntarily for more than a week, but an exact source of the contamination has not been pinpointed, state epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley said in a statement.
“The complexity of this outbreak and the necessity to be extremely thorough in our investigation means we still have more questions than answers,” she said.
The state is testing food preparation and serving surfaces at the restaurant and interviewing those who became ill, Bradley said.
Health officials first reported the outbreak Aug. 25. The state Health Department said Tuesday that 206 people have become sick, including 53 children. Those sickened range in age from 2 months to 88 years.
The outbreak has been blamed for the death of 26-year-old Chad Ingle, of Pryor, who died Aug. 24, a week after eating at the restaurant.