By Jin Forsyth SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - Lawyers for two gay couples challenging a Texas constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage told a federal court in opening arguments on Wednesday the measure is an "abhorrent violation of human and (U.S.) constitutional rights." The suit brought by a law firm on behalf of the couples is aimed at winning recognition for same-sex marriage in the deep South, where every state has a constitutional amendment or law that establishes legal marriage as only being between one man and one woman. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican front-runner in the race this year for governor and a defendant in the suit, argues the state has the right to establish its own marriage policies, adding he will defend the amendment that passed in 2005 with about 75 percent of voter support. Barry Chasnoff, an attorney for the plaintiffs, asked U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia for a preliminary injunction to block enforcement of the amendment, saying continuing to deny gays the right to marry "places upon them an unfair burden in the form of a stigma they do not deserve." "These people are denied the fundamental right to marry because they were born with an immutable sexual orientation which some people do not like," he said.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A 47-year-old Florida man reacted viciously to an argument over loud music with teenagers in a store parking lot and fired multiple shots into their vehicle, killing one of them, and then drove away as if nothing happened, a prosecutor said Wednesday in a closing argument at the man's trial.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has proposed setting aside $4 million to compensate the victims of clergy sexual abuse in its bankruptcy reorganization plan, according to a statement provided to The Associated Press.