Cities stage gay-pride events
SAN FRANCISCO - Loud sirens, flashing lights, and countless rainbow flags and banners accompanied uniformed police officers, cheerleaders, and politicians who marched in San Francisco's gay-pride parade Sunday, the 42d year the city has celebrated the lesbian, gay and transgender community.
More than 200 floats made their way through the Castro district and down Market Street, the main thoroughfare.
Organizers said San Francisco's weekend is the largest LGBT gathering in the nation, but thousands were also celebrating in Chicago and New York City, where parade-goers toasted the anniversary of the state's same-sex marriage law.
In Chicago, crowds gathered on the North Side, with many saying it was time for Illinois to allow gay marriage. The parade came weeks after 25 couples there sued for that right.
New York's march exuded diversity, from grand marshal Cyndi Lauper to the mayor, the police commissioner, and the governor. - AP
3 missing after Okla. train crash
GOODWELL, Okla. - Three Union Pacific Railroad crew members are missing after two freight trains collided in the Oklahoma Panhandle.
Union Pacific spokeswoman Raquel Espinoza said an eastbound train and a westbound train crashed Sunday morning near Goodwell, near the Texas border. Espinoza said a two-person crew was aboard each train, and officials are unable to account for two engineers and a conductor. She said the other conductor appeared to be uninjured. - AP
Social media ban for offenders OKd
INDIANAPOLIS - A federal judge has upheld an Indiana law banning registered sex offenders from accessing Facebook and other social networking sites used by children.
Judge Tanya Walton Pratt said in an 18-page order Friday that the state has a strong interest in protecting children and that the rest of the Internet remains open to those who have been convicted. "Social networking, chat rooms, and instant messaging programs have effectively created a 'virtual playground' for sexual predators to lurk," Pratt wrote.
Though the law doesn't list which websites are banned, court filings have indicated the law covers Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Google Plus, chat rooms, and instant messaging services. - AP