In Ohio, police and federal marshals arrested Matthew Hicks, 29, who is suspected of killing gay accountant Richard Shoemaker, 60, and using a backhoe machine to bury his body in the backyard of the victim's Fort Lauderdale, Fla., home, the Washington Blade reported. Shoemaker was last heard from on Sept. 6 and his nephew reported him missing on Sept. 16. Hicks had been living with Shoemaker for about two months, police said.
In Ontario, Cal., Shay Clark, a 14-year-old student, was expelled from a Christian school because her parents are lesbians, according to the Associated Press. 'Your family does not meet the policies of admission,' superintendent Leonard Stob wrote to Tina Clark, the girl's biological mother. Clark and her partner have been together 22 years and have two other daughters, ages 9 and 19.
A Roman Catholic church official said that homosexuals, even those who are celibate, will be barred from becoming priests according to a new document, The New York Times reported. The official added that while Pope Benedict XVI had not yet signed the document, it would probably be released in the next six weeks. In addition, Vatican investigators have been instructed to visit each of the 229 seminaries in the United States. The LGBT Catholic organization DignityUSA strongly condemned the planned Vatican visits in search of 'evidence of homosexuality' and faculty members who dissent from church teaching. 'The Vatican continues to be obsessed about homosexuality, misguided about human sexuality, and misdirected regarding the sexual abuse crisis in the Church,' executive director Debbie Weill said in a statement.
Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson signed an executive order extending health benefits to employees' gay and unmarried-heterosexual partners, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. Anderson said he believes the order will boost business in the city because it is another sign that the capital is progressive.
Connecticut's same-sex civil union legislation takes effect Oct. 1—and town clerks and justices of the peace across the state are preparing, according to the Norwich Bulletin. At forums, justices previewed a sample civil union license form, which is nearly identical to a marriage license, except it lists 'Party 1' and 'Party 2' in the identification fields instead of 'bride' and 'groom.'
Coretta Scott King—the widow of civil-rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr.—went home from the hospital more than a month after suffering a stroke and a mild heart attack, the Associated Press reported. The 78-year-old had been recovering at Atlanta's Piedmont Hospital since Aug. 16. King participates in three hours of daily therapy and has regained some of her speaking ability. Doctors and family expect a full recovery.
Gay-rights activists are suing the state of Oregon, saying that an amendment that voters added to the state's constitution last year banning gay marriage was unconstitutional, Reuters reported. Oregon was among the first states to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples last year, when Portland's Multnomah County issued the licenses to about 3,000 couples before a court temporarily stopped the marriages.
In Florida, six gay couples are filing a legal challenge to a proposed constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, according to WFTV.com . The challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union, Equality Florida and the National Center for Lesbian Rights contends that the ballot initiative violates the single-subject rule of the Florida constitution. Opponents say voters would have to decide whether to ban marriage for same-sex couples as well as other types of legal rights.
In a brief, the American Civil Liberties Union ( ACLU ) urged the Supreme Court to rule that it is unconstitutional for Congress to force universities that object to discrimination against gay people to accept military recruiters on their campuses. Matt Coles, director of the ACLU's Lesbian and Gay Rights Project, said in a statement that ' [ f ] or the time being, Congress can keep gay people out of the military. It shouldn't be able to violate university rules against discrimination as well.'
In Texas, a dining contractor has removed coffee cups with gay author Armistead Maupin's quote from a Starbucks at Waco's Baylor University, saying it was inappropriate for the Baptist school. The Associated Press reported that Aramark, which oversees the coffee outlet, pulled the cups from the campus store after consulting with Starbucks's district office and Baylor's dining service.