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NewsWrap
by Raphael Abantés
2004-02-18

This article shared 2588 times since Wed Feb 18, 2004
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A new study from the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military shows the government's central rationale for the military gay ban (that allowing openly gay personnel to serve will undermine unit cohesion in the armed forces) is wrong. American forces had to work with coalition troops from countries that allow openly gay men and women to serve, and there have been no problems —they were accepted by U.S. soldiers. 'This study's conclusions raise serious questions about the soundness of the rationale behind 'don't ask, don't tell,' particularly when most of our leading military allies around the world, particularly Britain and Australia, have integrated openly gay personnel into every branch of their armed forces,' said Aaron Belkin, director of CSSMM.

In a move intended to show opposition to gay marriage, heterosexual married members of the Hammond First Assembly of God Church participated in restating their marriage vows, reports WLS-TV. After the ceremony, several members signed a petition supporting legislation in Indiana to permanently ban the possibility of gay marriage.

As San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to gays and lesbians last week, other states continue to institute or strengthen their laws banning gay marriage. The Idaho House of Representatives passed an amendment to the state's constitution that would ban same-sex marriages, according to the Idaho Statesman. The floor debate surrounding the measure took only 20 minutes.

A small group of students at University of Notre Dame asked for recognition of their LGB support group at the school, reports AP. The group, called Unity in Diversity, said the group would welcome students of any sexual orientation to create a welcoming atmosphere for LGB students at the Roman Catholic institution. The university has turned down requests to recognize gay support groups in the past.

Mary Cheney, Vice President Dick Cheney's openly lesbian daughter, is becoming a target in the battle over gay marriage. Dick Cheney has said he supports the President's stance on gay marriage: marriage is an institution intended for a man and a woman. Mary Cheney is the subject of a new Web site, DearMary.com . Started by a group of gay activists trying to stop a U.S. Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage, the site was created to accept letters to Mary Cheney about her moral responsibility to the cause.

University of Maryland president Dan Mote rejected a proposal to add protections covering gender identity in the university human relations code, reports the Diamondback. The university senate approved the measure but Mote sent the proposed revision to the state attorney general for review. The attorney general advised Mote that the gender identity provision could not be added because there was no legal precedence.

A Colorado University (CU) professor and an alumna are trying to help former student Mara Boyd pay off the school debt incurred when she came out as a lesbian, reports the Daily Camera. Boyd attended CU on a ROTC scholarship. When she came out to her commander, she was ousted from ROTC, lost her scholarship, and was asked to repay more than $30,000 she had already received. A fund has been set up to help Boyd pay.

Kent Greenfield, a Boston College Law School professor, urged students at Northwestern University to fight the Solomon Amendment that requires schools that receive federal funds to allow military recruiters on campus. Schools like Harvard previously banned military recruiters on campus because the military discriminates against gays, but most schools caved to the federal threats. When military recruiters visit the Northwestern law school, the dean issues a statement that the recruiters do not comply with the school's non-discrimination policy.

The gay-straight alliance (GSA) at Centennial High School, in a suburb of Portland, Ore., asked the school board to add sexual orientation to the nondiscrimination statement printed in the student handbook, reports the Oregonian. High school senior Matt Vail, who is openly gay, co-founded the school's GSA two years ago after gay and lesbian speakers were denounced during Diversity Week.

Federal Globe, an organization dedicated to providing support to LGBT employees in the federal government, accused the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) of failing to protect LGBT employees, reports 365gay.com . They recently settled with the IRS on a claim of discrimination. But now, says Federal Globe, OSC has removed all references to sexual orientation from their Web site and brochures. Even the form used to file a complaint no longer contains an option for discrimination based on sexual orientation.

News Tips? RaphaelNews@aol.com


This article shared 2588 times since Wed Feb 18, 2004
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