The San Francisco Chronicle reports gay couples traveling overseas can now show passports with their married names, letting them take advantage of a revision to Department of State regulations.
The notice of the change says the department is not recognizing the validity of same-sex marriages and civil unions but is complying with a February 2008 regulatory change.
The name-change revision took effect May 27 and allows same-sex couples to obtain passports under the names recognized by their state through their marriages or civil unions.
Groups opposed to gay marriage criticized the provision, saying it erodes the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Maine marriage foes hire Prop. 8 firm
365gay.com reports same-sex marriage foes in Maine have hired the public-relations firm that led the successful Proposition 8 proposal to overturn same-sex marriage in California.
Schubert Flint Public Affairs will provide guidance to the campaign to repeal Maine’s gay-marriage law.
Meanwhile, Maine Freedom to Marry has hired Jesse Connolly, who led 2005’s successful campaign to keep the state’s gay-rights law.
Maine was the fifth state to approve gay marriages when Gov. John Baldacci signed the legislation on May 6.
Pa. Lutherans reject gay ordination
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Lutherans in southwestern Pennsylvania are calling on the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America not to allow individual congregations to ordain ministers in same-sex relationships.
The ordination recommendations were included in a proposed social statement drawn up over a period of years.
The 430 clergy members who voted June 19 represent 201 congregations of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. They overwhelmingly approved the call to reject the proposed changes.
Opponents argued that such a practice would violate biblical teaching and church tradition and lead to more division if clergy members accepted in one congregation or synod could not serve in another.
— Larry Nichols