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A year for enduring pop culture icons to shine

Written by JOCELYN NOVECK,
AP writer
Friday, 28 December 2012 11:06

Marilyn Monroe. The Rolling Stones. And Bond – James Bond. What do they have in common?

Sure, one’s long gone, and one’s fictional. But all three marked a golden anniversary in 2012. And after a half-century in our pop-culture consciousness, they each displayed a surprisingly enduring appeal.

Texas Supreme Court to rule on historic church land dispute

Written by AP Thursday, 27 December 2012 12:05

The Texas Supreme Court will decide who owns 52 Fort Worth-area church properties valued at more than $100 million in a case being hailed by lawyers as one of the largest church property disputes in state and U.S. history.

The dispute erupted about five years ago after the Fort Worth Episcopal diocese broke away from the national church in protest of the consecration of a gay bishop, ordination of women and other policies it perceived as too liberal. The Fort Worth diocese claimed it owned the churches and other properties, but in 2009 the national church sued, arguing the breakaway group could not take the buildings and land.

GOP leaders willing to bend on issues after election

Written by THOMAS BEAUMONT
and JOSH LEDERMAN,
AP writers
Thursday, 27 December 2012 05:46

For years, Republicans have adhered fiercely to their bedrock conservative principles, resisting Democratic calls for tax hikes, comprehensive immigration reform and gun control.

Now, seven weeks after an electoral drubbing, some party leaders and rank-and-file alike are signaling a willingness to bend on all three issues and others, including gay marriage.

Adele voted AP Entertainer of the Year

Written by JAKE COYLE,
AP writer
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 11:10

Though Adele didn’t have a new album or a worldwide tour in 2012, she’s still rolling. After a year of Grammy glory and James Bond soundtracking, Adele has been voted The Associated Press Entertainer of the Year.

In 132 ballots submitted by members and subscribers of the AP, Adele easily outpaced other vote-getters like Taylor Swift, “Fifty Shades of Grey” author E.L. James, the South Korean viral video star PSY and the cast of “Twilight.” Editors and broadcasters were asked to cast their ballot for the person who had the most influence on entertainment and culture in 2012.

New year, new laws in the states

Written by AP Friday, 28 December 2012 05:48

As 2013 begins, many states are enacting new laws dealing with gay rights, child safety, abortion, immigration and other perennial concerns.

Some other topics states are dealing with in new laws:

Gay marriage politics keep evolving in New Jersey

Written by AP Thursday, 27 December 2012 11:02

New Jersey’s first openly gay state lawmaker is proposing a ballot measure for voters to decide whether the state should recognize same-sex marriage – a suggestion similar to the one gay-marriage opponent Gov. Chris Christie made less than a year ago.

At the time, Assemblyman Reed Gusciora opposed the governor’s suggestion and compared him to segregationists of earlier decades who wanted civil rights issues decided by majority vote. For that, Christie called the lawmaker “numb nuts.” 

Remembering Richard Adams, early figure in gay marriage

Written by The Associated Press Thursday, 27 December 2012 05:14

Richard Adams, who used both the altar and the courtroom to help begin the push for gay marriage four decades before it reached the center of the national consciousness, has died, his attorney said earlier this week.

After a brief illness, Adams died Dec. 17 at age 65 in the Hollywood home he shared with Tony Sullivan, his partner of 43 years, attorney Lavi Soloway told The Associated Press.

Group handing out free endangered species condoms

Written by AP,
WiG reports
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 07:17

An environmental group were distributing 50,000 free condoms across the United States through the holiday season as part of a campaign aimed at calling attention to the impact of human population growth on wildlife.

The Center for Biological Diversity based in Tucson, Ariz., says that since its population awareness campaign began in 2009, the group has given out 450,000 free endangered species condoms, featuring pictures of polar bears, panthers and other threatened species.

Maryland trolley owner ceases wedding services over gay marriage

Written by AP Friday, 28 December 2012 05:35

Clang, clang, clunk went the trolley.

The owner of an Annapolis, Md., trolley company says he’ll no longer offer wedding services because he opposes same-sex marriage.

Florida's first openly gay state reps ready for session

Written by JOHN KENNEDY,
The Palm Beach Post/AP
Thursday, 27 December 2012 08:53

Florida Reps. Joe Saunders and David Richardson. - PHOTOS: Provided

At the first meeting of a new state House education subcommittee this month, a dramatic moment in Florida history passed virtually unnoticed.

Chicago neighborhood wants Obama library

Written by AP Thursday, 27 December 2012 05:09

Another Chicago neighborhood says it wants to be the future home of the Barack Obama presidential library.

No official plans have been made yet. But residents in the historically black Bronzeville neighborhood say there’s 37 acres there that are a perfect fit.

Illinois clergy members advocate for gay marriage

Written by AP,
WiG reports
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 06:37

A group of clergy members is pushing to legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois. 

More than 200 pastors and rabbis released an open letter recently calling for legislators to approve legislation allowing gay marriage. They say it’s a matter of equality, conscience and justice. The group plans to send the letter to lawmakers.