Local Briefs

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Baptists discerngay, civil rights

NEW ORLEANS -- A day after electing their first African-American president in a historic move that strives to erase its legacy of racism, Southern Baptists passed a resolution opposing the idea that same-sex marriage is a civil rights issue.

Thousands of delegates at the denomination's annual meeting in New Orleans on Wednesday were nearly unanimous in their support for the resolution that affirms their belief that marriage is "the exclusive union of one man and one woman" and that "all sexual behavior outside of marriage is sinful."

The resolution acknowledges that gays and lesbians sometimes experience "unique struggles" but declares that they lack the "distinguishing features of classes entitled to special protections."

7 school workers get $1 million over firing

NEW ORLEANS -- A Louisiana judge ruled Wednesday that thousands of New Orleans school employees were wrongfully fired when Hurricane Katrina shut down the city and its schools in 2005.

More than $1 million was awarded to seven people who filed the class-action suit against the New Orleans school board and the state. …