Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nation Briefs

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nation Briefs

Article excerpt

Arkansas judge strikes down ban

on gay marriage

A judge on Friday struck down Arkansas' ban on same-sex marriage, saying the state has "no rational reason" for preventing gay couples from marrying.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza ruled that the 2004 voter-approved amendment to the state constitution violates the rights of same-sex couples. He didn't put his ruling on hold as some judges have done in other states, opening the door for same-sex couples in Arkansas to begin seeking marriage licenses, though it wasn't clear whether that would happen before Monday.

Piazza issued his ruling late Friday, about half an hour after the marriage license office in Pulaski County closed.

Meanwhile, Indiana has asked a federal judge to stay his order requiring it to recognize the out-of-state marriage of a lesbian couple in which one woman is terminally ill, saying that the ruling could raise false hopes for other same-sex couples.

State attorneys also filed a formal notice of appeal following U.S. District Judge Richard Young's ruling. Indiana will ask the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to review Young's decision, which applies just to one couple not to others who were legally wed elsewhere and are seeking to have Indiana recognize their marriages.

California city targets bullying * Children as young as kindergarten-age could face misdemeanor charges for bullying under a proposal advancing in a Southern California city.

The Carson City Council gave preliminary approval this week to an ordinance that would target anyone from kindergarten to age 25 who makes another person feel "terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested" with no legitimate purpose.

A final vote is set for May 20, according to the Daily Breeze.

Big loss for U.S. Postal Service * The U.S. Postal Service reported a $1.9 billion loss for the first three months of this year and pleaded again Friday for reforms to its troubled financial system.

The agency said the loss for the quarter that ended March 31 matched the $1. …

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