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Jun 27, 201311:20 AM

Cheat Sheet: June 26, 2013

Supreme Court ends gay marriage ban

In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court ended the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, effectively extending the many federal benefits heterosexual couples enjoy to homosexual couples as long as the marriage is recognized by the state in which they marry. The ruling also included a ruling of no-decision on California’s Proposition 8, or the gay-marriage ban, opening the door for the state to become the 13th to allow same-sex marriage. Proponents of the decision hail the Supreme Court as defenders of those who seek equal rights under the law, while dissenters argue that it paints those in favor of DOMA as anti-gay or morally corrupt. The case began in 2007 when a same-sex Canadian couple moved to New York and settled. After Thea Spyer passed in 2009, her spouse, Edith Windsor, was under a $360,000 tax bill for Spyer’s estate--a debt a heterosexual spouse would not have to pay. (Source)

NFL tight end arrested

New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested and formally charged today for the murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd. Prosecutors laid the framework of the charges against Hernandez, including murder and weapons violations, and described the evening during which Lloyd was murdered. Hernandez’s defense lawyer argued that the evidence, surveillance tapes and cell phone records, are circumstantial, and Hernandez is not a flight risk because he has never been convicted of a violent crime in the past, and he and his family live in North Attleborough, only 20 minutes from Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA. The judge disagreed, deciding that Hernandez will be held at the Bristol County House of Corrections without bail. Lloyd’s body was found a mile from Hernandez’s 1.7 million dollar home. The Patriots have released Hernandez from the team. (Source)

Coast Guard honored for rescue

While it is with somber stillness that we remember Captain Robin Wallbridge and a ship’s mate of Her Majesty’s Ship Bounty were lost during her sinking last year, more than 20 Coast Guard members received recognition in Elizabeth City today for their efforts to rescue the 14 crewmembers who survived. During the early hours of October 29, 2012, as Hurricane Sandy pelted the Eastern Seaboard, the captain and crew of the Bounty found themselves in dire straits as their ship was taking on water, her pumps had failed and the she was listing at a near 90 degree angle. The storm would go down as one of the deadliest in nearly 40 years, and the ship’s crew were facing 90 mile an hour winds and 30 foot seas as their ship slowly sank into the sea. Rear Admiral Steven Ratti presented the medals to the members who served on that day to save the lives of the Bounty’s crew. (Source)

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