**Important News Headlines**

From Koinonia House


Vermont Begins Hearings on Same-Sex Marriage Bill – March 17, 2009
Nine years after it played host to a bitter fight over civil unions, Vermont’s Statehouse is again a gay rights battleground. More than 200 same-sex marriage opponents, cheering and wearing buttons that read “Marriage — A Mother & Father for Every Child,” converged Monday on Montpelier as lawmakers began a week’s worth of hearings on a bill that would allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. If approved, Vermont would join Massachusetts and Connecticut as the only U.S. states that allow gay marriage. CNS News

Late-Term Abortionist George Tiller Goes To Trial – March 17, 2009
Jury selection for the trial of infamous abortionist George Tiller started on Monday. Tiller is charged with 19 counts of performing late-term abortions without getting the independent 2nd opinion required by Kansas law. Oral arguments and testimony are scheduled to start March 23. If convicted, Tiller faces one year in jail or a $2500 fine for each count. AP

EU and Israel Destined to Bump Heads – March 16, 2009
Netanyahu’s government is unlikely to work toward a two-state solution to the Palestinian issue, which will stiffen relations with the European Union. When asked what the EU’s relationship would be with the new Israeli government, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said. “We will be ready to do business as usual, normally with a government in Israel that is prepared to continue talking and working for a two-state solution. If that is not the case, the situation would be different.” Very vague, Mr. Solana. Haaretz

AIDS Rate in Washington DC Compares to Uganda – March 16, 2009
According to a new CDC report, an entire 3 percent of the Washington DC population is HIV positive, compared to the national average of .4 percent. The 40-49 age group is hardest hit in the US capital; 1 out of 14 has the virus. The number could be higher, since many people haven’t been tested. According to the report, men having sex with men is the highest cause of transmission, followed by heterosexual sex and intravenous drug use. BBC

California Supreme Court Hears Same-Sex Marriage Arguments – March 06, 2009
The state Supreme Court heard Thursday oral arguments challenging the legality of Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that state voters approved last November banning same-sex marriage. A central question the court faces is whether Proposition 8 amounts to a violation of human rights or falls within the limits of people’s power to change the state’s Constitution. And if the ballot measure stands, what would be the status of some 18,000 same-sex marriages already performed? The Christian Science Monitor

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