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NATIONWIDE: Calif. court backs gay nuptials

Within a week, two federal appeals courts have delivered major victories to proponents of same-sex marriage and moved the issue closer to Supreme Court review. But neither case would require the justices to decide whether the Constitution provides a right for gays to marry. On Tuesday, the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco said it would not reconsider a panel's 2-1 ruling that struck down California's Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to a man and a woman. And last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit in Boston ruled that part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it denies equal treatment of same-sex couples legally married in states that permit it. Appeals of the two decisions are expected to reach the Supreme Court in the fall.


NEW JERSEY: Son of late representative wins

Donald Payne Jr. defeated five other challengers to win a Democratic primary in the Newark area to succeed his late father in Congress. He also won a special election to finish out the 12th term of his father, who died in March. Elsewhere, Republicans picked state Sen. Joe Kyrillos to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez in November. Voters in Essex, Hudson and Union counties chose to send Payne, the Newark City Council president, to Washington to assume the seat of his late father. Donald Payne Sr. was New Jersey's first black representative in the 10th Congressional District.


ARIZONA: 5 bodies found in SUV in desert

A sport utility vehicle found burning in the desert with five bodies in it was registered to the home of a missing family of five, including three children, Tempe police said Tuesday. A family acquaintance told police on Monday he was concerned after receiving a note from James Butwin with instructions on operating his construction business without him, police said. Investigators found "suspicious and concerning" evidence in the home, and began treating it as a murder-suicide. The Pinal County sheriff's office was investigating the discovery Saturday of five bodies burned beyond recognition in a white Ford Expedition 35 miles south of Phoenix.

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