The Duluth News Tribune reports a Minnesota Senate committee has passed a bill that would let voters next year decide whether to ban gay marriage in Minnesota’s Constitution.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill 8-4 April 29 with all Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed. The vote came after two hours of testimony and an hour-long debate between senators.
Gay marriage is already illegal in Minnesota law but the amendment would give voters the choice of locking it into the state constitution. Similar bills died in the state Senate numerous times in past years, but Republicans newly in charge of the Legislature are making a new push.
Braves coach fined, suspended for slur
Advocate.com reports Major League Baseball has suspended Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell, who allegedly hurled antigay slurs at spectators attending a game in San Francisco between the Giants and the Braves.
McDowell was suspended for two weeks without pay May 1. He also was fined an undisclosed amount.
MLB commissioner Bud Selig said homophobic statements “simply cannot and will not be tolerated.” He added, “I understand that Mr. McDowell is very contrite about his conduct, and hopefully this incident will be used to increase public awareness of the importance of sensitivity to others.”
Gay-Lesbian center in Memphis struggling
Tennessee State News reports a nonprofit center that has provided services to gays and lesbians in Memphis for 22 years is facing possible closure.
Like other nonprofits struggling in the weak economy, the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center is seeing fewer donations and grant opportunities. It already has cut back its $125,000 budget.
Board chair Christy Tweddle said that even laying off the executive director would not save enough money to keep the center, founded in 1989, open for long.
A fundraising drive seeks to raise $45,000 by the end of May.
— Larry Nichols