Week in review: Gay rights top the news

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

News of the week

Here are the top news stories from the past week:

- Wednesday was a big day in the gay-rights battle, with North Carolina voting to ban gay marriage, and a sitting president saying he thinks gay couples should be allowed to marry. Here are some quotes from today:

-- “It’s interesting, some of this is also generational. You know, Malia and Sasha, they have friends whose parents are same-sex couples. There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and we’re talking about their friends and their parents. And Malia and Sasha, it wouldn’t dawn on them that somehow their friends’ parents would be treated differently. It doesn’t make sense to them, and frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective.” - President Barack Obama, speaking to ABC News about his views on gay marriage, which he now says he supports. His comments come days after Vice President Joe Biden and education secretary Arne Duncan publically voiced their support for gay marriage.

-- "It is a very sad day in North Carolina. There were a lot of college students, young professionals who came out to vote. We have gay friends. A lot of us are integrated to that culture. Do you think your friends should have the same rights? It's black and white. Of course they should." - Tori Taylor, 23, who voted against North Carolina’s amendment to ban gay marriage, which passed Tuesday.

-- "We are not anti-gay; we are pro-marriage. And the point - the whole point - is simply that you don't rewrite the nature of God's design for marriage based on the demands of a group of adults." - Vote for Marriage NC chairwoman Tami Fitzgerald, who voted for the amendment.

- "The girls were on their stomach face-down. They were close enough to see what was going on when he killed himself." - FBI spokesman Jason Pack, talking about the two kidnapped Tennessee girls. Investigators found Adam Mayes and the girls on Thursday night, and as they approached Mayes, he shot himself in the head.

- JPMorgan Chase said this week that it has lost $2 billion since April. Ironically, the money was invested by a group that was supposed to minimize risk.

- “It's a miracle she made it past Friday night." - Andy Copeland, father of a woman who contracted a flesh-eating virus after injuring herself on a homemade zipline. The woman, Aimee Copeland, 24, had a leg amputated and part of her abdomen because of the virus, and doctors say her life is still in danger.

- The new Olympiad began today as the Olympic torch was lit in Greece. A ceremony for the lighting was held at the ancient Temple of Hera, and the torch will now travel around Greece before being sent to London for the Summer Games.

- The U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday that instead of shuttering thousands of post offices, they will cut hours instead. The postmaster general said that 13,000 rural post offices will now have shorter hours – between two and six hours a day – and will shift thousands of employees to part-time work.

- Nevada this week became the first state to approve autonomous cars, specifically Google’s car. The self-driving vehicle uses lasers and sensors to drive itself, and Nevada has given the go-ahead for them to be on the streets.

- "This is awesome. You don't get to see this every day. It was pretty amazing. And for them to be so close, that's what really took me by surprise." - Craig Hossack, who was one of several lucky people who got to see manatees up close at a Florida beach. Video of the sea cows swimming around humans has gone viral.

- An Army captain who collapsed and died while Skyping with his wife was not shot, the Army said Monday. The wife of Capt. Bruce Kevin Clark, 43, said she saw a bullet hole in the wall behind her husband after he collapsed, but Army investigators said he was not shot and there was no foul play.

- "We're entering a new stage in our national development. We'll have to address tasks that are of a totally different level and scale. The next few years will define the future of Russia for decades ahead." – Vladimir Putin, talking Monday after he was sworn in as president. Scandal surrounded Putin’s election, and about 120 protestors were arrested Monday outside the inauguration. Putin was president from 2000-08, then became prime minister, and was elected again two months ago.

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GateHouse News Service