Marriage equality bill introduced in Wyoming
Wyoming lawmakers introduced two bills that would grant marriage and marriage-like rights to gay couples. One bill would grant full marriage equality to same-sex couples while the other is a civil union bill. Democrat Cathy Connolly and Republican Keith Gingery are sponsoring both efforts. However, both said they would prefer to see full marriage equality. The marriage bill simply alters current law to contract marriage between “two natural persons” instead of “a male and female person.” The civil union bill would create a new legal framework and would require much more clerical and administrative work.
Domestic partner bill introduced in Florida
A Florida lawmaker introduced a bill that would extend legal protections to same-sex couples in the state. Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, introduced the Families First bill which would serve as a domestic partnership registry and extend benefits to partnered state employees. While not full marriage equality the bill makes significant advances for queer rights in the Sunshine State.
Gay couple assaulted at screening of Barbra Streisand film
Two gay men attending a screening in Louisiana of The Guilt Trip, starring Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand, were assaulted. Joseph Menard was arrested and charged with battery. Walt Jamison and his partner were watching the film when Menard yelled anti-gay slurs from the seats behind them. Another movie-goer asked Menard to quiet because her young children were in the audience. However, Menard insulted her as well and told her to sit down. He then hit Jamison as he went to alert theater management. After Menard and his wife fled the theater police found the couple and charged them with battery and resisting arrest.
Former priest arrested on drug charges
A Connecticut priest was arrested for his alleged role in a national crystal meth distribution ring. Federal agents arrested Kevin Wallin, formerly of the Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, and charged him on several drug counts. Prosecutors say the drug ring spanned the country and reached all the way to California. The 61-year-old former church leader and four others were indicted by a grand jury on six counts of possession. If convicted, he will face 20 years in prison and a $2 million fine.