Media Trail

Lawrence King trial opening

The Los Angeles Times reports that opening arguments for the trial of Brandon McInerney, charged with the 2008 murder of his classmate Lawrence King in Oxnard, Calif. , began July 5.

McInerney, who was 14 at the time of the murder, is being tried as an adult for first-degree murder and a hate crime. If convicted, he could face 53 years to life.

The defense hopes to reduce the charges to voluntary manslaughter, arguing that an immature McInerney was provoked by King’s alleged sexual attraction to him. A voluntary manslaughter conviction would preclude a life sentence, and make McInerney eligible for release before he is 40.

DOJ denounces DOMA

Advocate.com reports the Department of Justice filed a brief July 1 that argues strongly for the repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.

Since the Obama administration stopped defending DOMA, which only recognizes marriages between opposite-sex couples, Republicans in Congress have taken up the defense of the law, hiring a private attorney to do so. The Department of Justice’s 31-page brief was a response to a June 3 filing by that lawyer, Paul Clement. The standard response in such cases has been to send the letter issued by Attorney General Eric Holder in February, which states that the administration no longer will defend DOMA.

The brief urges an appeals court in San Francisco not to dismiss federal employee Karen Golinski’s suit against the U.S. Office of Personnel Management seeking benefits for her wife, Amy Cunninghis, and instead to find DOMA unconstitutional.

Two gay soldiers and friends assaulted

TheDenverChannel.com reports that two gay soldiers serving at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, Colo., and their friends were assaulted at a fast-food restaurant July 2.

The soldiers, who need to remain anonymous to protect their careers, said their group, which included a go-go dancer still in his stage outfit, arrived at the restaurant after spending time at a nightclub. One of the soldiers said the assailants verbally harassed them because of the dancer’s costume, shouting racial and antigay slurs, and that the confrontation quickly escalated into physical violence.

If the assailants are arrested, they may face hate-crime charges.

NY couples apply for marriage

CBS New York reports that pre-applications for New York state same-sex marriage licenses were available starting July 5.

The certificates will be issued on July 25, a day after the Marriage Equality Act takes effect, but most couples will have to observe the 24-hour waiting period after receiving their licenses to marry.

If there is enough demand, the City Clerk’s Office in New York City is prepared to extend its hours and make more judges available to perform civil ceremonies.

— compiled by Chandlee Taylor