National & World News

National News

Report: Repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

A study by senior US military leaders urges the end to the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy for gays serving in the armed forces. The report, commissioned by the Palm Center at the University of California-Santa Barbara, included ten findings and four recommendations, the research center said on its Web site. Key findings: The policy prevents some gay service personnel from performing their duties, gays already serve openly, and “military attitudes” toward gays and lesbians are changing. “Evidence shows that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly is unlikely to pose any significant risk to morale, good order, discipline, or cohesion,” the report stated. The study by retired military personnel recommended that Congress return authority for personnel policy under the DADT law to the Defense Department. In addition, it recommended that language of Defense Department directives be neutral regarding sexual orientation. Any changes to existing policy “must not create an unacceptable risk to the armed forces’ high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability,” the study group stated.

Wisconsin Gays Warned of Big Marriage Penalty

Gay couples in Wisconsin have been warned that they could face jail time and fines if they marry outside the state. Under a little-known state law, Wisconsin residents can be prosecuted if they enter a marriage outside the state that would be illegal in Wisconsin, with penalties that include a $1,000 fine and up to nine months in prison. In 2006, voters approved a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman. After the California Supreme Court ruled a state ban on gay marriage unconstitutional, Fair Wisconsin, a gay rights group, e-mailed 10,000 of its supporters, the Milwaukee Journal reported. The group warned two couples, who said they were considering California weddings, of the potential consequences. “I’d rather be prosecuted than persecuted,” one person responded. Julaine Appling, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Family Council, said the state should enforce the law.

Antigay Group To Boycott McDonald’s

The American Family Association (AFA) announced a boycott of McDonald’s Corporation because of the fast-food chain’s support of a gay business group. According to AFA President Tim Wildmon, McDonald’s refused to end its involvement with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, The Washington Post reported. McDonald’s, which joined the chamber several months ago, has a representative on the board of directors. “We’re saying that there are people who support AFA who don’t appreciate their dollars from the hamburgers they bought being put into an organization that’s going to fight against the values they believe in,” Wildmon said. AFA has boycotted a number of other companies, including the Walt Disney Company, for “its embrace of the homosexual lifestyle,” and Target Brands Inc., for referring to “holiday” in ads instead of Christmas. The group recently ended a boycott of Ford Motor Company after the automaker dropped most of its ads in gay publications.

World News

Commission: Catholic Magazine Not Hateful

A small Roman Catholic magazine was not creating hate literature by publishing materials that oppose homosexual rights, a Canadian commission has ruled. The Canadian Human Rights Commission found that Catholic Insight did not promote hatred against gays and lesbians, despite its outspoken stance, The National Post reported. The legal battle, brought by gay activist Rob Wells, lasted more than a year, costing the magazine $20,000 in legal fees. Yet, despite his legal victory, Reverend Alphonse de Valk, Editor of Catholic Insight, was hesitant to celebrate, because the case could be appealed. “It’s good news, of course,” he stated following the ruling. “But I don’t want to start celebrating prematurely. If it’s appealed to the court, then we may be spending another year on this.” The Post said Volk adamantly has denied Wells’s allegations that the publication was hate literature, alleging the activist misconstrued published works to make his case.

© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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