States, Feds Spar Over Medical Marijuana
By Pamela M. Prah, Staff Writer
GAY MARRIAGE: Admitting there was " no realistic chance" of passing same-sex marriage legislation this year, Rhode Island's openly gay House speaker, Gordon D. Fox, threw his support to civil unions instead. In New York , gay marriage advocates are hoping former President Bill Clinton's support of a marriage equality measure there will prod lawmakers to approve it. As president, Clinton upset many in the gay community when he signed the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as exclusively the union of one man and one woman. And in California, supporters of Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the state, say the ruling by a federal judge that struck down that measure should be thrown out now that the judge has admitted he is gay.
GAMBLING: Several states with significant gambling markets, including Nevada and New York , are cutting funds for gambling-addiction programs, raising concerns that prevention and treatment of the problem will suffer, The Wall Street Journal reports . But in Maryland , with two casinos newly opened and more on the horizon, state officials unveiled a toll-free help line and programs to strengthen the social safety net for people addicted to betting. As Stateline reported last week , overall state tax gambling revenues climbed to $7.6 billion last year, a 3 percent increase.
IMMIGRATION: A program crucial to President Obama's bid to toughen enforcement of immigration laws faces growing resistance from state governments, The New York Times reports . Illinois plans to pull out of the program, known as Secure Communities, under which the fingerprints of every person booked by the police are checked against federal databases for immigration violations. Some officials in California , Maryland and Massachusetts also have concerns.