New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 4, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas
Herald-Zeitung g Wednesday, December 4, 1996 □ 3A
Judge: Hawaii must honor same-sex marriages
By BRUCE DUNFORD
Associated Press Writer
HONOLULU — A judge’s ruling that Hawaii must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples didn’t clear all obstacles for Ninia Baehr and Genora Dancel to get married on the slopes of Maui.
The state plans to continue turning away gay couples seeking marriage licenses pending its appeal.
Nonetheless, advocates of same-sex marriages nationwide were overjoyed by the ruling in a case that has already led Congress to allow other states to refuse to recognize such unions.
Baehr, on hearing the news, began sobbing, and Dancel held her.
“I knew I would cry if it was a bad decision. I didn’t drink I would cry if it was a good decision. But this was a big day for us,” said Baehr, who now lives in Baltimore with Dancel.
The two, among three same-sex couples who sued the state, plan to return to Hawaii to get married.
Circuit Judge Kevin Chang’s decision Tuesday concurred with a 1993 state Supreme Court ruling
that Hawaii’s ban on same-sex marriages violates the state constitution, which prohibits gender discrimination.
The state asked for a stay of the injunction, and Chang scheduled a hearing on the request for today.
“The law does not discriminate on the basis of sex. It makes distinctions on the basis of sexual orientation, not sex,” said Deputy Attorney General Rich Eichor, who represented the state during a two-week trial in September. “Nothing in the constitution prohibits such distinctions.”
Eichor has argued that the state’s marriage law is intended to promote the best environment for the procreation and rearing of children who thrive best when raised by their biological parents.
President Clinton signed a law in September that says the federal government will not recognize gay marriages and allows states to refuse to recognize such unions licensed in other states.
But if the Hawaii ruling is upheld, gay activists would try to build upon the success and overturn the law, said David Smith, spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group based in Washington, D.C.
“A major bridge has been crossed, but the battle
will continue,” he said.
Sixteen states have passed laws against gay marriages and two states have executive orders in place forbidding them, Smith said.
Some gays sought to take immediate advantage of the ruling: David Dudley and Edward Koh, tourists from Boston, requested a marriage license Tuesday from the state Department of Health. They were denied.
Joe Melillo, who filed suit against the state with Pat Lagon, his partner of 19 years, also planned to get married.
“We are glad he could see that this discrimination has to be ended,” Melillo said. “As soon as we can we’ll get our license and be married — today or tomorrow maybe. But we’ll have to see how the state will play their hand.”
The American Center for Law and Justice, which represented eight state legislators who unsuccessfully sought to intervene in the case, called the ruling an “outrage.”
“We’re extremely disappointed that Hawaii chose to unravel a 6,000-year-old institution of marriage consisting of a man and a woman,” said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the Virginia Beach-Va.-based group.
NASA launches rover on its way toward Mars
World, National Briefs
By MARCIA DUNN
AP Aerospace Writer
CAPE CANAVERAL, Ha. — A spacecraft carrying the first-ever interplanetary rover rocketed away today on a 310 million-mile journey to Mars that should end with a bounce next Independence Day.
Mars Pathfinder began its seven-month trip at 1:58 a.m., two days late because of bad weather and computer trouble. A crescent moon and a bright reddish speck, Mars, were clearly visible as the unmanned rocket lifted off with the probe.
An hour later, Pathfinder shot out of Earth oibit as planned and hurtled toward the Red Planet at more than 23,000 mph.
“It is like a friend going away. But it is a good feeling because that was the ultimate goal,” said Cheick Diana, an interplanetary navigator at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
Pathfinder is the second probe that NASA has launched to Mars in the past month. The Global Surveyor took off on Nov. 7, the first of IO U.S. spacecraft to be sent to Mars over the next decade.
Canyon students take fifth in FFA area competition
By DENISE DZIUK
A nine-member team of Canyon High School students earned fifth place last week in an area Future Farmers of America contest on meeting procedures.
•‘they did good. It was fifth out of 12 teams at the area contest,” said CHS agriculture teacher Lance Jonas. “They had a good run.”
At the contest, the team was given a sheet with various little problems that might come up in a meeting. Jonas said the team then had to decide how to address the problems while maintaining parliamentary procedure and order.
“They were given a situation they had never seen before, but that might come up in a meeting, and they had to find a way to handle it,” Jonas
said. “They have to be very versed on the subject.”
Jonas said the CHS Senior Chapter Conducting team should be proud of placing fifth at an area contest.
Two weeks ago, the livestock judging team competed at a national contest, where they placed ninth.
Soldiers, police patrol Paris after bomb attack
PARIS (AP) — Hundreds of soldiers and police patrolled the streets of Paris with machine guns today in a return of last year’s anti-terrorism measures after a bomb transformed a crowded subway car into a burned-out wreck.
At least 900 officers were on duty at train stations, airports and other public places in Paris.
Across France, border controls were stepped up and security was tightened in major cities.
“Everyone had the impression these kinds of attacks were over,” said computer consultant David Coulot, 29, at a bus stop in central Paris not far from the site of Tuesday evening’s rush-hour blast.
“It’s anguishing because wherever we are, there’s no shelter.”
Chinese mark 60th anniversary of Long March
BEIJING (AP) — The 1934-36 Long March, an epic retreat across China that saved the Red Army to fight and eventually win China’s long civil war, is a heroic milestone in Communist Party history.
On the 60th anniversary of the march, the papistical, heirs of revolutionary leader Mao Tse-tung
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They put the Communist Party propaganda machine to work churning out Long March musicals, exhibitions, ballets, books, even a theme park.
That the Chinese communist government is reaching back six decades for inspiration says much about its desire to draw attention away from more recent, more controversial events.
Cowlings’ testimony contradicts Simpson
SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — Al Cowlings was already a reluctant, uncomfortable witness when the plaintiffs did to him what they had done to O.J. Simpson: confront him with photos of a bruised Nicole Brown Simpson.
But despite his obvious discomfort. Cowlings — a plaintiff witness in the wrongful death lawsuit against Simpson — did provide testimony potentially harmful to his close friend: that Ms. Simpson said Simpson had hit her during the 1989 fight that caused the wounds in the photos.
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NBGS to expand work force to meet water park growth
By DENISE DZIUK
Growth in the water park industry, including a new park being constructed in Brazil, will translate into more jobs at a local manufacturing plant.
New Braunfels-based NBGS International is marketing a Schlitterbahn approach to water park development, and announced plans for a park in Brazil last month.
The 100-acre water park and resort is to open outside of Rio de Janeiro in 1998.
NBGS International, which manufactures and markets water park rides and equipment for parks across the world, will design the water park resorts, manufacture the attractions and manage the facilities.
NBGS spokeswoman Sherrie Brammall said in addition to the new park, NBGS International was handling a lot of international business, and the volume of work had increased.
The growth in the industry means more jobs at the New Braunfels plant to handle the increased business, Brammall said.
“It’s an overall kind of growth pattern,” Brammall said. “This is not just as a result of the new park.”
Brammall said between 50 and IOO new jobs would be created. These jobs will be permanent positions in areas ranging from engineering to shipping to fabrication.
“The pay scale is dependent on the job and the skills needed for it,” Brammall said. “Some jobs require more expertise.”
Brammall said the positions would be added over a period of time, and while the jobs would likely not be added for a couple of months, applications are now being accepted.
Brammall said said anyone wishing to apply for one of these jobs should drop by the NBGS International personnel office at Interstate 35 and Ruekle Road.
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