Judge backs gay marriage in N.J.
A New Jersey judge ruled Friday that the state must allow same-sex couples to marry, saying that not doing so deprives them of rights that were guaranteed by the U.S. Supreme Court in June. The high court's ruling struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act and meant that the federal government must provide the same benefits to gay married couples as it does to heterosexual married couples. It is the first time a court has struck down a state ban on same-sex marriage as a direct result of that ruling. The decision was a rebuff to Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican who vetoed a bill passed by the Legislature last year that would have allowed same-sex couples to marry. His office said it would appeal to the state's highest court.
Airline pilot has heart attack, dies
A United Airlines pilot died after suffering a heart attack while flying from Houston to Seattle, forcing crew members to make an emergency landing in Idaho while two doctors on board did CPR in the first-class cabin. Pilot Henry Skillern, 63, of Humble, Texas, was alive when firefighters and paramedics ran to his aid Thursday night on the Boise Airport tarmac. He died while being treated at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, spokeswoman Jennifer Krajnik said. Skillern had been a pilot for United Airlines for 26 years. It's rare for a serious malady to strike pilots who undergo regular medical screening to keep their Federal Aviation Administration certification current.