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Amarillo Sunday News Globe Newspaper Archives Dec 19 1999, Page 4

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Amarillo Sunday News Globe (Newspaper) - December 19, 1999, Amarillo, Texas 1a a questions continue on sheriffs discharge fort Worth a there arc new questions about the honorable discharge Tarrant county sheriff David Williams received from the . Army. The discharge was not signed until at least a years after he left the army in the Wake of a desertion charge according to military records reviewed by the fort Worth Star Telegram. Williams was released from his second tour of army duly in 1976 after he was absent z without leave for More than 30 Days and classified As a deserter the Dallas morning news reported thursday after reviewing military documents. Records also showed he re Sci cd an honorable discharge dated 1976 and signed by Brig. Gen. Charles f. Briggs. How Ever Briggs told the s tar Tele Gram he Likely signed the Dis charge after 1979, when he headed a Center that responded to Soldier s appeals to upgrade their discharges. In 1976, Briggs was a colonel stationed at fort Monroe a. A we dealt with and adjudicated the requests for amnesty and upgrades Quot he told the newspaper for a Story in saturday s etl it ions. The Star Telegram said wit it hams acknowledged Friday there were problems with his discharge but declined to Clab orate. A there were some inaccuracies in the paperwork. After id been discharged Quot tire newspaper quoted him As say it Quot a. Asked whether the status of a a his discharge was altered on Appeal tin. Star Telegram said a Williams replied Quot that s All i really want to say right now. This has been a Long Day it 4a Amarillo sunday news Globe december 19,1999 attorney general denies request for Domestic partners registry san Antonio a a Gay activist s request for South Texas officials to establish a Legal registry for same sex Domestic partners has been denied according to an opinion released by the states top lawyer. Texas attorney general John Comyn in effect squelched Michael Mcgowan s request thursday when he answered questions about the legality of such a registry raised by Bexar county officials. What the ruling Means is that in a required to uphold the Law and cannot accept such requests a said Bexar county clerk Gerry Riekhof. Quot what we have now is an answer for county clerks All across in july Bexar county District attorney Susan d. Recd wrote to Comyn on behalf of Riekhof asking if he should accept and tile such declarations. Comyn opinion is just that an opinion. However since the opinions of attorneys general often carry the weight of Law Cornyn s ruling appeared to jeopardize an existing registry in Travis county the Only county in the state with such a listing according to the san Antonio express news. A in the Broad View of things its an example of just How far behind the times Texas is a said Mcgowan president of san Antonious log Cabin Republican und chairman of the local Gay and lesbian Community Center Board of directors. Quot with private employers across the country and in our state offering Domestic partnership benefits Texas is going in the wrong direction a he told the newspaper. Same sex marriages Are illegal in Texas but since 1993 the Travis county clerks office has accepted and filed sworn statements by Domestic partners affirming their commitment and financial responsibility to each other. The registry allows same sex couples to document their relationship when applying for employee benefits. Mcgowan had asked Riekhof to create the registry in june. Comyn s ruling stated the declarations of same sex partnerships Are designed to proclaim or create a Legal relationship similar to marriage. Both common Law unions and marriages Are cemented by a civil ceremony but state Law specifies such arrangements arc Between men and women. Same sex partner advocates said thursdays ruling should t effect Travis county. Diane Hardy Garcia executive director of the Austin based lesbian and Gay rights lobby of Texas said Quot Austin and Travis county extend Domestic partnership benefits to City and county employees and the registry was created to keep track of those couples. Quot i Don t think it will affect Travis county s registry a she said. Travis county officials vowed to review the legality of the registry after comyns ruling. 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