Prop. 8 decision cheers gay marriage supporters as Supreme Court awaits

In a landmark victory for gay rights advocates, a federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled California’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional.

A court-ordered stay on gay and lesbian marriages, however, remained in place while proponents of Proposition 8, the ballot measure outlawing same-sex marriages, prepare to appeal.

In a 2-1 decision, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued withering criticism of an electorate the court said used its “initiative power to target a minority group and withdraw a right that it possessed,” violating the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection.

“Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California,” Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote for the majority, “and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.”

The case has long been thought destined for the U.S. Supreme Court. It may still be, though the narrow grounds on which the appeals court ruled Tuesday – focusing on California law and ignoring the broader question about whether same-sex couples may ever be denied the right to marry – cast doubt on the prospect. Continue Reading…

Former Miss California Nicole Johnson Breaks Up With Olympic Hero Michael Phelps (Photos)

Johnson, seen here on the left, was Miss California in 2010. She was first runner-up in 2007.

Former Miss California Nicole Johnson Breaks Up With Olympic Hero Michael Phelps: Michael Phelps is on the market.

The New York Post reports that the Olympic hero has broken up with his longtime girlfriend, former Miss California Nicole Johnson.

“The couple broke up a few weeks ago, and Phelps is telling friends he’s single,” writes the Post.

The 26-year-old swimming champ and the former pageant queen had been dating on and off for several years, according to the Post, and she had even traveled with him to the FINA World Championships in Shanghai in July.

Johnson (right) claims to be a big MMA fan but says Toddlers and Tiaras is one of her guilty pleasures.

 

She was born July 12, 1985 in Westlake Village, Calif.

During her 2010 run as Miss California, she was sponsored by INTA Gems and Diamonds, Agua Caliente and Tony Bowls.

Johnson traveled with Phelps in July to the FINA World Championships in Shanghai.

Nicole formerly worked for Mercedes-Benz before being crowned Miss California and served as finance assistant at the dealership.

In 2007, Johnson graduated with honors from USC with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and focused on sports entertainment during her undergrad years. Are there any pageant girls that don’t claim to be interested in sports?

Dynasty Star Heather Locklear Admitted to Hospital

Dynasty Star Heather Locklear Admitted to Hospital: Heather Locklear was taken to a southern California hospital for precautionary reasons Thursday after an emergency call was made from her home, authorities said.

Paramedics and sheriff’s deputies responded on Thursday afternoon to Locklear’s home in Westlake Village, which is 35 miles (56 kilometres) northwest of Los Angeles.

Locklear was taken to Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, where a spokeswoman told KCAL-TV the actress was stable and her parents were by her side. Continue Reading…

Halle Berry Olivier Martinez Engaged

Halle Berry Olivier Martinez Engaged: Halle Berry is reportedly engaged to her boyfriend, French actor Olivier Martinez, according to a source. Martinez, who dated Australian pop star Kylie Minogue for four years until 2007, proposed the 45-year-old with an emerald and diamond ring over the holidays, a source told Us Weekly
magazine.

According to the source, the twice-divorced actors had given up on being married, but changed her mind, as “she trusts Olivier.”

“He makes her feel safe. He’s a keeper!” the Fox News quoted the source as saying. Meanwhile, Star magazine has claimed that Berry, who has a three-year-old daughter with her ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry, is hoping to have a baby with her fiance.

“Halle would love to have more kids, but she knows it might be difficult because of her age and the fact that she’s diabetic,” a source said. “If they can’t conceive, they’d definitely consider adoption,” source added.

The wedding is most likely to take place in California in early summer.

Halle Berry is reportedly engaged to her boyfriend, French actor Olivier Martinez, according to a source. Martinez, who dated Australian pop star Kylie Minogue for four years until 2007, proposed the 45-year-old with an emerald and diamond ring over the holidays, a source told Us Weekly Magazine.

Man Accused of Killing Women Defends Grim Photos

Man Accused of Killing Women Defends Grim Photos: A former photographer accused of killing four Northern California women with matching initials in the 1970s and 1990s defended disturbing pictures of women that were found in his Nevada home, saying they were created for magazines that featured such work.

The comments by Joseph Naso, 78, came during a preliminary hearing Tuesday in his murder trial. Naso has pleaded not guilty to the murders and is representing himself in what will likely be a death penalty case. Read More…

Paralyzed Woman To Drive Your Education Learning To Move

Paralyzed Woman To Drive Your Education Learning To Move: North Carolina woman who left behind him final August despite a unique crash got married in her body paralyzed movement is determined to bring back and what a baby one day.

“You look citizenry walk your wheelchair, citizenry, Joe, are learning to stand away from” Rachelle Chapman, 26, a recent phone conversation and that’s exactly what he told MSNBC. Read More…