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  Lesbian Kiss At Mariners Game Sparks ControversyJune 05, 2008 09:55 Most of the time, a kiss is just a kiss at Seattle Mariners games.

But this one has become the talk of the city.

Last week, a lesbian complained an usher at Safeco Field asked her to stop kissing her date at the Mariners' May 26th game against Boston because it was making another fan uncomfortable.

The incident has exploded on local T-V, talk radio and blogs, touching off a debate over public displays of affection in generally gay-friendly Seattle.

One sex advice columnist even called for a "kiss-in" as a form of protest.

Sirbrina Guerrero says she was shocked after she and her date were approached by the usher.

A team spokeswoman says the club is investigating the incident.

The team says it has a strict non-discrimination policy, but also a code of conduct, which is announced before each game.

The code specifically mentions public displays of affection that are "not appropriate in a public, family setting."

On Tuesday, Guerrero said a Mariners official had apologized, but the spokeswoman could not confirm that.

  Senator Gave Name Of Fellow Lawmaker During ArrestJune 04, 2008 12:15 So this doesn't just happen in the Republican party. This idiot is a Democratic State Senator.

Senator J. James Marzilli Jr. used the name of a fellow lawmaker when he was arrested Tuesday for allegedly trying to grope a woman on a park bench, telling police he was Martin Walsh, who is a state representative from Dorchester, a prosecutor said today in court.

Police threatened Marzilli with pepper spray after a foot chase through downtown Lowell because he would not put his hands above his head, according to a police report read in court by prosecutor Richard M. Mucci. Marzilli, 50, initially told officers his name was Martin Walsh and he was born in 1958, but he later revealed his identity and told police he was a state senator.

"The defendant began to cry," Mucci said, reading from the police report. "He said they could not arrest him, that his life was over."

Marzilli appeared stoic and said nothing when he was arraigned today in Lowell District Court on charges of attempting to commit an indecent assault, simple assault and battery, resisting arrest, obstruction of justice, and disorderly conduct. Marzilli was released Tuesday night on $1,500 cash bail. His lawyer, Terrence W. Kennedy of Everett, said after the arrest that his client "completely and totally denies" the allegations, which he called ridiculous.

Mucci said in court that another woman contacted police and alleged that a man matching Marzilli’s description had approached her in Lowell Tuesday and said: “Oh baby you are so beautiful. Your body is so perfect.”
  Calif. Gay Marriage Ruling Goes Forward, State Supreme Court Refuses To Stay Ruling Until After Nov. Election, Clears Way For MarriagesJune 04, 2008 12:10 California's highest court has refused to delay finalizing its ruling to legalize same-sex marriage, clearing the way for gays and lesbians in the most populous U.S. state to marry in less than two weeks.

Conservative religious and legal groups had asked the California Supreme Court to stop its order from becoming effective until voters have the chance to weigh in on the issue.

An initiative that would amend the state constitution to limit marriage to between a man and a woman has qualified for the Nov. 4 ballot. Its passage would overrule the court's decision.

The amendment's sponsors argued for delay, saying that chaos would ensue if couples could get married during the next few months, only to have the practice halted at the ballot box.

The same four justices who joined in the majority opinion that found withholding marriage from same-sex couples constituted discrimination denied the request. The three dissenting justices said they thought a hearing on whether the delay should be granted was warranted.

  Federal Appeals Court Rules Woman Can'T Be Fired For Having AbortionJune 03, 2008 11:35 A federal appeals court has ruled that the same employment discrimination law that protects women who are pregnant from being fired also protects women who have abortions. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling in what may be one of the first cases of abortion discrimination.

A three-judge panel of the appeals court revived the lawsuit a woman referred to as Jane Doe filed against CARS Protection Plus claiming she was fired after having an abortion.

Doe said she reluctantly had an abortion when doctors informed her that her baby had physical disabilities incompatible with life after birth.

A lower court had previously dismissed the lawsuit, saying Doe offered no substantive proof showing she was fired directly because of the abortion.

U.S. District Judge Maurice B. Cohill Jr. ruled for the company and said Doe was unable to show the company engaged in discrimination, according to a legal Intelligencer report.

The case revolves partly around comments Doe's employers made and whether Doe properly notified the company about sick leave and vacation time she used for time off from work at the time of her abortion and afterwards.

However, the appeals court also focused on the question of whether a woman's abortion is protected under Title VII, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

The Intelligencer reports that Senior 3rd Circuit Judge Richard L. Nygaard wrote in his opinion that the appeals court addressed the question in a similar case involving a Catholic teacher who was fired after signing a newspaper ad promoting abortion.

As previously reported, Ursuline Academy, a private Catholic school in Wilmington, fired Michele Curay-Cramer after she lent her name to a pro-abortion signature ad. She filed a lawsuit saying the school violated her First Amendment free speech rights.

Although the appeals court rejected Curay-Cramer's claim that Title VII's "opposition clause" protects employees who have abortions or support them, it cited with approval a fellow appeals court's decision that abortion is protected under the law.

Judge Nygaard also noted that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has taken the position that it is unlawful to fire a woman for having an abortion saying the Pregnancy Discrimination Act covers "pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions," and that abortion qualifies as a "related medical condition."

As a result, Nygaard found that "the plain language of the statute, together with the legislative history and the EEOC guidelines, support a conclusion that an employer may not discriminate against a woman employee because she has exercised her right to have an abortion.