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Nation in brief: Gay marriage bill loses in Senate

Thu., Dec. 3, 2009

Albany, N.Y. – New York lawmakers Wednesday rejected a bill that would have made the state the sixth to allow gay marriage, stunning advocates who suffered a similar decision by Maine voters just last month.

The New York measure needed 32 votes to pass and failed by a wider-than-expected margin in a 38-24 decision by the state Senate. The Assembly had earlier approved the bill, and Gov. David Paterson, perhaps the bill’s strongest advocate, had pledged to sign it.

After the vote, Paterson called Wednesday one of his saddest days in 20 years of public service. He criticized senators who he said support gay marriage but “didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to vote for it.

Bill would let feds dismantle firms

Washington – The Obama administration’s overhaul of financial regulations took a step forward Wednesday as a key House committee approved legislation that would give federal officials broad new powers to downsize and dismantle large financial companies whose failure would seriously damage the economy.

The House Financial Services Committee voted 31-27 to pass the expanded ability to take apart teetering financial giants.

As part of the legislation, government regulators would be able to step in when a huge company is on the verge of collapse and take it apart in an orderly way to avoid market panic. Regulators can do that now with banks but not with more complex financial institutions.

Deceased family’s home burglarized

San Francisco – Two people are under arrest for allegedly burglarizing the home of a Northern California family of four killed in a weekend vehicle crash, police said Wednesday.

Investigators believe Amber True, 29, and her boyfriend, Michael Gutierrez, 26, decided to target the Sonoma house after learning about the deaths in media reports.

Johnathan Maloney, his wife, Susan, and their two young children were killed Saturday when a speeding Mini Cooper ran a red light and plowed into their minivan in southern Sonoma County.

The driver of the Mini Cooper also died of injuries.

Three days later, burglars ransacked the Maloneys’ house, taking jewelry, electronics and the family’s 2006 silver Nissan 350z, police said.

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