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Indiana Ordered By Court To Recognize Lesbian Marriage Including Dying Partner

Indiana courthouseAt least one same-sex couple in Indiana will have their marriage recognized by the state following a federal court decision Tuesday.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ordered Indiana to acknowledge the marriage of a lesbian couple, one of whom is terminally ill, on an emergency basis.

The emergency ruling came just days after the court stayed a federal judge's order setting aside Indiana's prohibition of gay marriage as unconstitutional.

Lawyers from Lambda Legal had asked the appeals court for the continued recognition of the marriage of Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney, who is fighting advanced ovarian cancer.

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GM recalls another 8.23m cars as deaths linked to faults climb to 16

GM recallsGeneral Motors's safety crisis over deadly ignition switches has deepened with the recall of 8.23m cars linked by the carmaker to three deaths.

The latest recalls, which now total 29m this year, boosted the number of deaths acknowledged by GM to at least 16 in cars with switch-related problems. The automaker said it now knows of 61 crashes tied to faulty ignition switches, although US lawmakers and safety regulators have said they expect the death toll to climb.

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‘Guns in Bars’ Bill Kicks Off in Georgia

Guns in Georgia BarsFear and confusion reigned in Georgia as the state’s controversial gun law came into effect and bar owners admitted they didn’t know what to do.

“Doing shots” in Georgia bars may have a whole new meaning when HB60 goes into effect Tuesday. The Safe Carry Protection Act, also known as the “guns everywhere bill,” broadly expands the places where Georgians can carry firearms to include municipal buildings, public libraries, schools, churches, unsecured areas of airports, and bars.

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Supreme rejects challenge to law banning gay therapy

supreme courtThe Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to California's law that bars mental counseling aimed at turning gay minors straight.

The justices on Monday let stand an appeals court ruling that said the state's ban on so-called conversion therapy for minors doesn't violate the free speech rights of licensed counselors and patients seeking treatment.

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Blackwater death threat is said to have stifled U.S. inquiry

BlackwaterJust weeks before Blackwater guards fatally shot 17 civilians at Baghdad's Nisour Square in 2007, the State Department began investigating the security contractor's operations in Iraq. But the inquiry was abandoned after Blackwater's top manager there issued a threat: "that he could kill" the government's chief investigator and "no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq," according to department reports.

U.S. Embassy officials in Baghdad sided with Blackwater rather than the State Department investigators as a dispute over the probe escalated in August 2007, the previously undisclosed documents show. The officials told the investigators that they had disrupted the embassy's relationship with the security contractor and ordered them to leave the country, according to the reports.

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Supreme Court: Justices: Can’t make employers cover contraception

Hobby LobbyThe Supreme Court says corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women.

The justices’ 5-4 decision Monday is the first time that the high court has ruled that profit-seeking businesses can hold religious views under federal law. And it means the Obama administration must search for a different way of providing free contraception to women who are covered under objecting companies’ health insurance plans.

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Supreme Court issues narrow ruling against labor unions

Supreme Court ruling unionsThe Supreme Court ruled 5-4 along ideological lines Monday that home-care workers in Illinois do not have to pay dues to public employees unions.

The opinion by Justice Samuel Alito was a narrow loss for organized labor. It did not overrule the court's "agency shop" precedent applying to all public employee unions.

The challenge to the mandatory union dues, brought by eight home-care workers in Illinois, represented the biggest labor case to come before the court this term -- putting at potential risk the future viability of public employee unions.

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