WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (November 23-29, 2009)

LAW & POLICY

The Church and the Capital.” Editorial. New York Times. November 23, 2009. Gay people will eventually win full civil rights — including the right to marry — throughout the United States. Between now and then, there will be many more disputes like the one unfolding between the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington and the District of Columbia City Council over a bill recognizing same-sex marriages that could be voted on as soon as next week. City lawmakers who are negotiating with the archdiocese over the language of the bill should try to settle it without acrimony — but not by abandoning the District’s equal-rights tradition or by selling out same-sex couples.
Related Story:
D.C.’s same-sex marriage bill: Finding the right balance.” By Donald W. Wuerl. Washington Post. November 22, 2009.

Spare Change for Homeless? Cuomo Sees a Sham and Sues.” By Manny Fernandez. New York Times. November 25, 2009. In Manhattan, they are as common a sight as the homeless themselves: the United Homeless Organization’s street-corner donation tables, operated with little more than a large plastic jug and a worker pleading for coins and bills for the needy. The workers, clad in aprons bearing the group’s logo, are all homeless or formerly homeless, and the organization says that the donations help pay for food pantries, clothing, detox centers and other services. Skeptical New Yorkers who wondered over the years just where the money ended up wondered just as often if they were perhaps being too skeptical. Until Tuesday, that is, when New York’s attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, described the United Homeless Organization as a sham. His office filed a lawsuit against the group, alleging that its president, a formerly homeless Bronx man named Stephen Riley, and its director, Myra Walker, used tens of thousands of dollars from the group for personal expenses while failing to provide any services for the homeless.

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