07-16-2018  3:31 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Experience the Culture at the Second Annual Pan African Festival of Oregon

Event will take place from 12 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. August 11 ...

Oregon Humane Society Photo Contest Now Open

Submissions for annual pet photo contest open until August 15 ...

Mark Christopher Lawrence to Perform at Harvey’s Comedy Club July 13-15

Former Big Mike of “Chuck” will perform at 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 7:30 Sunday ...

Dragon Fest 2018

Lions, dragons and breakdancers descend on Seattle’s Chinatown-International District for the Pacific Northwest’s largest...

Slain retired police officer feared son would kill her

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Newly available court documents provide details about last month's killing of a retired policewoman in Central Oregon.The body of Gayla Smith was found wrapped in blankets in her Crooked River Ranch home. Police arrested her adult son, 29-year-old Gavin Smith-Brown.The...

Stranded woman drank water from moss after California crash

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An Oregon woman who was badly injured and stranded for a week after her Jeep plunged 250 feet over a cliff into the ocean near Big Sur in California says she survived by drinking fresh water dripping from moss until she was rescued by a couple hiking along the beach.From...

Amazon's Prime Day runs into early snags

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon's website ran into some early snags Monday on its much-hyped Prime Day, an embarrassment for the tech company on the shopping holiday it created.Shoppers clicking on many Prime Day links after the 3 p.m. ET launch in the U.S. got only images of dogs — some quite...

Man who was hitting woman dies after witnesses intervene

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — Police say a man who was assaulting a woman in Yakima is dead after he was struck with a baton or baseball bat as witnesses intervened.Authorities say the fight happened late Sunday night outside the Connections Transitional Apartments. Officers arrived to find a...

OPINION

A Letter from America’s Children

American children struggling with poverty, violence and homelessness, deserve media coverage, too ...

Rep. Maxine Waters Takes Strong Stand for Fair Housing

Congresswoman Maxine Waters recently stepped up to file legislation designed to cure many of regressive ills pushed by Secretary Carson ...

10 Indoor Plants Every Pet Lover Must Have

Dr. Jasmine Streeter shares her tips on stress-busting plants ...

NAACP Statement on Nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court

NAACP opposes Kavanaugh's confirmation to the D.C. Circuit ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Black students wrongly accused of leaving without paying

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police in a St. Louis suburb are reviewing what happened after 10 black college students were stopped by officers and escorted with squad cars back to a restaurant after being wrongfully suspected of leaving without paying.The incident occurred earlier this month in Clayton....

California man gets home detention in Maxine Waters threat

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles man who threatened to kill Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters in a profanity-laced voicemail was sentenced Monday to six months of home detention.Anthony Scott Lloyd, 45, also was sentenced in federal court in Los Angeles to three years of probation and 100 hours...

Hulk Hogan reinstated into wrestling Hall of Fame

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. has reinstated Hulk Hogan to its Hall of Fame, three years after he was found to have used racial slurs in a conversation caught on a sex tape.The Connecticut-based company made the announcement in a statement Sunday."This second...

ENTERTAINMENT

Union opens probe into veteran Broadway actor's suicide

NEW YORK (AP) — A Broadway union is investigating a veteran actor's suicide, which happened about a week after his friends say he was subjected to a grueling, demoralizing rehearsal.Actors' Equity said it has retained a lawyer to examine the events surrounding the June 29 death of Jeff...

Stevie Nicks and LeAnn Rimes share heartbreak in new duet

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Stevie Nicks cried on her living room floor when she first saw LeAnn Rimes perform "Borrowed" on her TV in 2013.The song, about an intimate, yet fleeting romance between Rimes and her lover, came out on Rimes' "Spitfire" album when Nicks became enamored with it. The...

1st Comic-Con of the MeToo era grapples with harassment

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Comic-Con, the annual gathering of over 130,000 fans, artists, collectors and geek culture savants, has already been changed by the #MeToo and Time's Up era, with at least one notable figure stepping aside due to sexual misconduct allegations. But questions remain about...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Amazon's Prime Day runs into early snags

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon's website ran into some early snags Monday on its much-hyped Prime Day, an...

World Cup win gives France new set of heroes, needed boost

PARIS (AP) — The welcome was grand, the emotion visceral as France's victorious World Cup team rolled down...

Stranded woman drank water from moss after California crash

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An Oregon woman who was badly injured and stranded for a week after her Jeep plunged 250...

Statelessness a hurdle for some rescued Thai boys

MAE SAI, Thailand (AP) — The 12 boys and coach of the Wild Boars youth soccer team who were rescued from a...

World Cup win gives France new set of heroes, needed boost

PARIS (AP) — The welcome was grand, the emotion visceral as France's victorious World Cup team rolled down...

British PM accepts key amendments from hardline Brexiteers

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday accepted amendments to a customs bill put...

Julie Pace the Associated Press

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) -- President Barack Obama could be caught in an election-year bind on gay marriage, wedged between the pressure of supporters who want him to back same-sex marriage and the political perils of igniting an explosive social issue in the midst of the campaign.

Interviews with gay rights advocates and people close to Obama's campaign suggest it is no longer a matter of if, but when the president publicly voices his support. But Obama backers are split over whether that will happen before the November elections.

Gay marriage is already a big issue in a handful of states where it is on the ballot in November, including Maine, where Obama was headlining two fundraisers Friday. He was not expected to wade into the issue during his remarks.

The president also was headlining fundraisers Friday in Vermont, one of six states, plus the District of Columbia, where gay marriage is legal.

Once an opponent of gay marriage, Obama declared in 2010 that his personal views on the subject were "evolving." He has gone no further in public since then.

People familiar with the Obama campaign's deliberations have tamped down expectations that the president might declare his support for gay marriage before the election. They say the campaign's internal conversations on the issue focus instead on how to energize gay and lesbian voters in spite of Obama's lack of clarity on the issue.

Public support for gay marriage is increasing in the U.S., including among the independent voters who are a key to general election success.

But regardless of whether Obama has made up his mind on the subject, it's not the topic his campaign wants to be talking about heading into an election expected to be decided largely on economic issues. As White House and campaign officials learned all too well during the controversy over birth control access earlier this year, stepping into social issues - even those with Democratic support - can quickly throw the president's message off course.

While Obama aides saw the contraception issue as an important appeal to women voters, there may be little election-year payoff for the president taking a stand on gay marriage.

Obama's record on gay rights issues, including the repeal of the military's ban on openly gay service members and an order for the Justice Department not to enforce a provision that defines marriage as between one man and one woman, has already solidified the overwhelming backing of gay rights supporters. His Republican rivals, including GOP front-runner Mitt Romney, not only oppose gay marriage, but also some other legal protections for gays and lesbians.

As for Obama, "The gay rights community is now enthusiastically in his corner in terms of the re-election, so the pressure to deliver before the election is off," said Richard Socarides, a prominent gay rights advocate.

The risk in Obama publicly backing gay marriage before the election is that it could become a rallying cry for conservatives who have thus far been reluctant to get behind Romney.

Still, many Democrats and gay rights advocates believe Obama may end up being forced to take a position on the issue before November.

The most pressing effort comes from within Obama's own party. Several high-profile Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and more than 20 Senate Democrats, want support for gay marriage added to the party's election platform. The platform will be adopted at the Democratic National Convention in early September, where Obama will accept the presidential nomination.

So far, Obama advisers have sidestepped questions about whether he would support a gay marriage plank on the platform.

"We don't even have a platform committee yet, much less a platform," Obama senior adviser David Plouffe said in a television interview.

A person close to the Obama campaign said the president's re-election team is wary of the platform effort and prefers to let the president move on the issue at his own pace.

People familiar with the campaign's thinking requested anonymity in order to discuss internal strategy.

Gay rights advocates hope state ballot initiatives on gay marriage, like the one in Maine, could force Obama to weigh in, as he has on other state issues.

"He's going to be in a lot of situations like this where the issue becomes unavoidable," said Socarides, a former Clinton White House official. "Even though he might want to avoid this, I think he's going to come up right against it in so many situations in the next couple of months."

Obama's reluctance to embrace gay marriage has increasingly put him at odds with a majority of Americans. A Washington Post/ABC News poll this month found that 52 percent felt it should be legal for gay and lesbian couples to get married, while 43 percent said it should be illegal.

Support for gay marriage is highest among Democrats, with 64 percent supportive of the issue. Just over half of independents - 54 percent - back legalized gay marriage, according to the Post/ABC poll. Support among Republicans is the lowest, at 39 percent.

Gay rights advocates say those numbers - particularly the growing support among independents - suggest there would be little political risk for Obama in backing gay marriage. And they say taking a stand in an election year could help boost enthusiasm among gay voters and young people, two core Obama constituencies.

Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said the president's evolution on gay marriage will be personal, not political.

"The president and the president alone will come to a decision," LaBolt said.

Maine's state Legislature approved gay marriage in 2009, but voters rejected it 53 percent to 47 percent that November. Gay marriage supporters believe enough people have changed their minds that the outcome will be different this time around.

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Associated Press Deputy Director of Polling Jennifer Agiesta in Washington and AP writers David Sharp and Clarke Canfield in Portland, Maine contributed to this report.

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