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News stories tagged with "equality"

US Army photo of women training for combat. Photo: <a href=""></a>
US Army photo of women training for combat. Photo:

Soldiers welcome news on women in combat, with some reservations

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced Wednesday that a ban on women serving in combat roles in the military will be lifted over the coming years.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand called it a proud day for our country. She issued a statement, noting that she fought for a Defense Department feasibility report on lifting the ban.

She writes, "This decision finally opens the door for more qualified women to excel in our military and advance their careers, and obtain all of the benefits they have earned."

And, officially recognizing women in combat "will strengthen our country both morally and militarily."

Around heavily-deployed Fort Drum, soldiers generally welcomed the news - with some caveats.  Go to full article
Sister Jennifer Votraw (Source: Dioc. of Ogdensburg website)
Sister Jennifer Votraw (Source: Dioc. of Ogdensburg website)

For Roman Catholic leaders, same-sex marriage is a blow to marriage

A growing number of Americans see same-sex marriage as a civil right. But for the Roman Catholic Church, legalization of gay marriage represents another erosion of traditional marriage. In the eyes of the Church, the institution of marriage has already been battered by high divorce rates and by more children being born out of wedlock. Brian Mann spoke in-depth with Sister Jennifer Votraw. She's chancellor and director of communications for the Diocese of Ogdensburg.  Go to full article
NYS Conservative Party chairman Michael Long
NYS Conservative Party chairman Michael Long

NY opponents of same-sex marriage promise fight for "traditional" values

Despite this week's decisions in New York and California, supporters of same-sex marriage still face a lot of opposition. A Gallup poll conducted earlier this month found that 56% of Americans oppose granting marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples. 40% support the idea. Republican leaders in New York haven't said yet whether they'll fight Governor Paterson's decision. But the state's Conservative Party issued a statement describing the move as misguided and undemocratic. Brian Mann spoke with the party's top official, Michael Long. Long says this decision will trigger a statewide battle over the definition of marriage.  Go to full article

SLU plans teach-in marking MLK Day

The spring semester starts Monday on many college campuses across the region. It's also Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a national holiday. Across the country, millions will honor King's legacy by taking part in a variety of community service projects and remembrances. St. Lawrence University will hold a day-long "teach-in" that will include music, films, lectures and a special evening service in the chapel. Todd Moe has more.  Go to full article
Fred Phelps (Source:  WBC)
Fred Phelps (Source: WBC)

Radical Anti-Gay Group Targets Plattsburgh Mayor and Local Churches

A radical anti-gay group from Kansas plans to picket churches in Plattsburgh this weekend. The Reverend Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church have targeted Plattsburgh because the city's popular Republican Mayor, Dan Stewart, is an openly gay man. Stewart will host the Mayor's Cup celebration this 4th of July weekend. Phelps is an extremely controversial figure. His organization has begun picketing the funerals of soldiers who die in Iraq. A press release issued by his church says, "Thank God for improvised explosive devices killing Americans in strange lands." According to Phelps, the bloodshed in Iraq and Afghanistan are God's retribution for America's tolerance of gays. Brian Mann will be covering the story this weekend. He spoke with Martha Foley.  Go to full article

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