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Friday, January 14, 2005

Gay rights row over US golf club


A Georgia golf club that is resisting an order to grant spousal benefits to members in same-sex partnerships has sparked a battle over gay rights.

The Atlanta club's defiant stand has angered gay activists and prompted threats of criminal prosecution and fines from city officials.

Now a bill has been submitted to the local legislature which would repeal the city's anti-discrimination law.

Atlanta is home to the largest gay community in the American South.

Republican Representative Earl Ehrhart, who sponsored the proposed bill, says it would forbid the state or any local government from penalising private groups for engaging in what he describes as lawful expression.

"What these militant homosexuals are seeking is special rights, not equal rights," Mr Ehrhart wrote in a recent editorial in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the city's largest newspaper.


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