Wednesday, May 23, 2018
News Roundup

Feds recognize same-sex couples in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday that the federal government will recognize same-sex unions in Utah, marking the latest significant show of support for gay marriage from the Obama administration.

The action means that more than 1,000 same-sex couples who were married in Utah in the past month can file federal taxes jointly, get Social Security benefits for spouses and request legal immigration status for partners, among other benefits.

The declaration by Holder marked the latest chapter in the legal battle over same-sex marriage in Utah that has sent couples and state officials on a helter-skelter wave of emotions over the past three weeks.

A federal judge overturned Utah's ban on same-sex marriage on Dec. 20, and hundreds of couples got married. The U.S. Supreme Court intervened this week and put a halt to the weddings until the courts sort out the matter. Utah then declared it would not recognize the weddings but would allow couples to continue to receive whatever benefits they had obtained before the high court ruling.

The Mormon church weighed in again Friday, instructing local leaders that same-sex wedding ceremonies and receptions are prohibited in its churches and reiterating its belief that homosexuality is not condoned by God.

But for same-sex couples who have experienced a wave of emotions, the show of support from the federal government provided validation and turned a rally at the Utah Capitol into a raucous celebration.

Among the hundreds of people who packed the rotunda for the midday rally were Seth Anderson and Michael Ferguson, the first gay couple to legally marry in Utah following the Dec. 20 ruling. They said they were elated to hear that they will be allowed to file taxes jointly and enjoy the benefits afforded any married couple.

"It is a great feeling to know the federal government stands with us, especially in a state that has for years tried to exclude us," Anderson said.

Comments
Lightning-Capitals: Stat to watch in Game 7

Lightning-Capitals: Stat to watch in Game 7

We asked the Times' Lightning coverage team what's the statistic to watch in tonight's Game 7 of the Lightning-Capitals series (8 p.m., NBC Sports Network). Here's their answers. Share yours in the comments section below:Martin Fennelly, columnist:&#...
Updated: 1 hour ago
At Bay 3, developers of Tampa’s Armature Works transform old industrial space into new co-work offices

At Bay 3, developers of Tampa’s Armature Works transform old industrial space into new co-work offices

TAMPA — The name of the new Bay 3 co-working space at the Armature Works goes back to World War I, when the red-brick warehouse overlooking the Hillsborough River was the maintenance barn for Tampa Electric’s streetcar system.As the name suggests, it...
Updated: 1 hour ago
FDLE: Victim in $480,000 scam is heiress to Wrigley gum fortune

FDLE: Victim in $480,000 scam is heiress to Wrigley gum fortune

A woman state authorities say was scammed out of $480,000 by two of her employees is an heiress to the Wrigley chewing gum fortune.The Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed Tuesday that the victim in the case is Helen Rich, 69, formerly Hel...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Daystarter: All on the line for Lightning; Wrigley gum heiress is scammed; booze at the Magic Kingdom; Kendrick Lamar review

The Daystarter: All on the line for Lightning; Wrigley gum heiress is scammed; booze at the Magic Kingdom; Kendrick Lamar review

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• The forecast calls for partly sunny weather with scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms mainly in the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. The chance of rain is...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning-Capitals: The most compelling Game 7 personality

Lightning-Capitals: The most compelling Game 7 personality

Who is the most compelling personality in Lightning-Capitals Game 7?We asked the Times' Lightning coverage team for their answer. Who's yours? Please share in the comments section and feel free to take issue with our answers.JOIN the Lightning Strike...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Shopping Tampa for Ukraine commandos: Bomb-sniffers, drones and laser-proof sniper scopes

Shopping Tampa for Ukraine commandos: Bomb-sniffers, drones and laser-proof sniper scopes

TAMPA — Like a homeowner combing Home Depot for his latest project, Roman Mashovets spent a good part of Tuesday wandering the floor at the Tampa Convention Center.But instead of nails and plywood, Mashovets — a former Ukraine special operations forc...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Britain’s iconic red phone boxes make comeback; Duterte tells Philippine drug suspects to ‘stay in jail’ to live longer; more in world news

Britain’s iconic red phone boxes make comeback; Duterte tells Philippine drug suspects to ‘stay in jail’ to live longer; more in world news

Philippine prez to drug suspects"You want to live longer? Stay in jail."President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines told drug suspects in a central province Tuesday in his latest televised threats in his bloody anti-drug crackdown. But jails aren’t ...
Published: 05/23/18
Amid gravestones, one man channels pain into reverence

Amid gravestones, one man channels pain into reverence

TAMPA - In Woodlawn Cemetery, just north of downtown, Andrew Lumish knelt in front of a headstone. He scrubbed mold and mildew off the front with a soft brush, leaving his hands covered in a green sludge.He would rinse and repeat the process until th...
Published: 05/23/18
Carlton: Lowering the American flag for the newly dead at school — again

Carlton: Lowering the American flag for the newly dead at school — again

In a scene repeated at public buildings across the country, the American flag in front of the library outside my office window was lowered to half-staff this week.This time for 10 dead in Texas.In February, the American flag was similarly half-staff ...
Published: 05/23/18
John Fogerty, coming to Clearwater, isn’t backing down on protest songs, Parkland and #MeToo

John Fogerty, coming to Clearwater, isn’t backing down on protest songs, Parkland and #MeToo

Fortunate Son, one of the most scathing protest songs from the Vietnam War era. Writing another one with that kind of impact has been a challenge ever since."Back in the ’80s, I had a couple of songs that kind of fell on deaf ears. I said, Well, I gu...
Published: 05/23/18