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10/2/1997 - Promise Keepers Seek Domination of U.S. Politics

Despite Promise Keepers claims that their organization is not political, more and more evidence reveals their far-right religious agenda to control U.S. politics and impose their Christian views on the nation.

Founder Bill McCartney has told followers to "take this nation for Jesus Christ!" and said that they would contend for "truth" in the schools and legislatures. He fought for a Colorado bill that banned civil rights for homosexuals, a law later overturned by the Supreme Court for its unconstitutionality. In a popular book sold at Promise Keepers rallies, author (and financial backer of PK) Bill Bright says that Christians must become "actively involved in restoring every facet of society, including government, to the biblical value of our Founding Fathers." Bright insists that the U.S. needs to be turned over "to God, from the top down, where our laws are made." PK board member Rev. James Ryle believes that the PK are an army made to destroy sinners and non-Christians, prophesised in the Bible.

Intolerance of other religions and viewpoints is a hallmark of Promise Keepers tenets. At a PK rally, Jerry Falwell said "It appears that America's anti-Biblical feminist movement is at last dying, thank God, and it is possibly being replaced by a Christ-centered men's movement."


10/2/1997 - Landrieu Exonerated in Election Investigation

By a 16-0 vote, a Senate comittee yesterday found no grounds to overturn Sen. Mary Landrieu's (D-La.) 1996 election.

Her Republican rival, Louis Jenkins, made allegations of electoral fraud, but the committee found that Landrieu had not violated any laws. Committee Chairman John Warner (R-Va.) said that despite finding a few "isolated instances" of fraud, "no evidence has been uncovered that Sen. Landrieu was involved in any fraudulent election activities."

The lengthy probe angered Democrats with its "unwelcome baptism of fire" for the newly-elected Landrieu. "Never again should a legally [elected] and certified senator be held hostage by wild, reckless and unproven allegations by the disgruntled loser," Landrieu said.


10/2/1997 - Two Female VMI Women Among 90 Punished for Shaving Heads

After a head-shaving party last weekend, about 90 freshman cadets at the Virginia Military Institute have been punished, including two women. All have been confined to campus until their hair grows back to "regulation length," said officials.

Each year, freshmen usually do something together as a sign of bonding, such as wearing t-shirts one day instead of regulation shirts. Only two members of the Alpha and Bravo companies did not shave their heads, including one woman.


10/2/1997 - Women's Progress on Corporate BoCatalyst, a non-profit group that studies women in business, reported that the number of Fortune 500 companies with more than one woman on their board increased from 146 in 1994 to 181 this year, a smaller increase tha

Catalyst, a non-profit group that studies women in business, reported that the number of Fortune 500 companies with more than one woman on their board increased from 146 in 1994 to 181 this year, a smaller increase than in previous years. The number of women directors also slowed, rising only 3%. Women make up under 11% of Fortune 500's 6,081 board seats.

Some women on the boards were not surprised. "When there's one woman on the board, you can easily lapse into less eagerness for the second or third," said Reatha Clark King, member of four major corporate boards. Sheila Wellington, president of Catalyst, said most of the 81 companies with all-male boards "are not committed to the talents women bring."

Last year, Catalyst found that every Fortune 500 company that lacked women corporate officers also lacked a woman on the corparate board. "It's slow bringing people around to recognizing the advantages of broadening the diversity of the board," said King.


10/1/1997 - British Lesbians Get Employment Benefits

The European Court of Justice upheld the right of homosexuals to the same employment perks as heterosexuals. Yesterday's preliminary ruling will have "wide wide implications" for British companies if it is approved by the full court next year, said employment lawyers. "Lesbians and gay men will for the first time feel confidentabout coming out at work because they know that if anything happens to them, they will be protected by law," said Stonewall director Angela Mason.

Advocate General Michael Elder said Lisa Grant had been sexually discriminated against because her employer, South West Trains, refused a rail pass to her lover Jill Percey, when it had granted one to her male predecessor's common-law wife. Ms. Grant and Ms. Percey said they were "ecstatic" about the ruling.


10/1/1997 - NY Lt. Gov. Defects to Democratic Party

Lt. Gov. Elizabeth McCaughey Ross of New York announced publicly that after multiple disagreements with Republican Gov. George Pataki, that she was now a Democrat.

McCaughey Ross said she had received a "welcoming" phone call from President Clinton, despite her harsh criticism of Hillary Rodham Clinton's health care plan in a 1994 New Republic article. She called the Democratic Party "the place for working parents and children." McCaughey Ross has not stated whether or not she will seek an elected office again.


10/1/1997 - Anti-Abortion Congressmen Withhold U.S. Funds to U.N.

Ambassador Bill Richardson said Monday that conservative Congressmen were responsible for the delay in U.S. paying the U.N. one billion dollars in arrears.

Anti-abortion Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J., was partially responsible for withholding the funds to the entire U.N. because he claimed three U.N. agencies performed or promoted abortion. Despite the fact that the agencies only offered abortion to rape victims, or women who insisted they would self-abort, Smith claimed the U.N. was taking advantage of "poor and vulnerable women around the world."


10/1/1997 - Hillary Clinton Fights for Child Care

Hillary Clinton said Tuesday night that she would use an Oct. 23 White House dinner to propose a national registry to trace child-care workers' employment histories, so that working parents could know more about their child's caregivers.

Clinton, a long-time advocate of government-subsidized child care, said it was important to "provide the kind of quality care parents need," especially since the new welfare reform bill will require more parents to work. She wants the national registry to include information on day-care workers convicted of crimes, and those fired from child care jobs. Details are still being worked on by White House policy analysts, such as how it would be paid for and administered, and how people's privacy would be protected.


10/1/1997 - Clinic Bomber Convicted

On Tuesday, September 30, a federal jury convicted Brian Ratigan on five counts for his involvement in a bank robbery and Planned Parenthood clinic bombing in Spokane, Wash. last year.

Ratigan, a militia member and white supremacist, was a member of the "Phineas Priests" who were anti-government and used the Bible to justify deadly violence against banks and clinics. Prosecutors said Ratigan was the one who planted a pipe bomb that shattered the clinic, which did not even perform abortions, and was one of the four men who robbed a nearby bank later that day. Ratigan denied the charges, but testified that the Bible says banking and abortion are sins punishable by death.

Ratigan and the three other men face mandatory life prison terms at their sentencing next month.


10/1/1997 - Teen Murders Ex-Girlfriend, Mother and Student

High school junior Luke Woodham was arrested yesterday for slashing his mother's throat and his shooting rampage which left two dead and at least six wounded.

Woodham opened fire in the school's commons area with a rifle, "shooting anybody he could find," said freshman Mark Wilkerson. Officials closed the school immediately after the shooting, and the injured students were taken to the hospital.

Police Chief Bill Slade said Woodham was angry at his ex-girlfriend, one of the two students killed, and that "he felt he had been wronged."


10/1/1997 - Promise Keepers Supporters Attack Feminists

In a press release yesterday, Focus on the Family (FOTF), who has contributed money and volunteers to Promise Keepers, called the National Organization for Women an "extremist organization that advocates polygamy" and "anti-woman."

FOTF criticized the tongue-in-cheek bumper stickers sold by NOW, which include "Sorry I missed church, I've been practicing withcraft and becoming a lesbian." Amy Stephens, FOTF Manager of Youth Culture, said she used to be a feminist and abortion rights activist and that NOW activists were conspiracy theorists and anti-women. Caia Hoskins, FOTF Manager of Public Policy Information, called NOW "paranoid" and stated "strong women don't fear strong men."


10/1/1997 - Clinic Bomber Convicted

On Tuesday, September 30, a federal jury convicted Brian Ratigan on five counts for his involvement in a bank robbery and Planned Parenthood clinic bombing in Spokane, Wash. last year.

Ratigan, a militia member and white supremacist, was a member of the "Phineas Priests" who were anti-government and used the Bible to justify deadly violence against banks and clinics. Prosecutors said Ratigan was the one who planted a pipe bomb that shattered the clinic, which did not even perform abortions, and was one of the four men who robbed a nearby bank later that day. Ratigan denied the charges, but testified that the Bible says banking and abortion are sins punishable by death.

Ratigan and the three other men face mandatory life prison terms at their sentencing next month.


10/1/1997 - Teen Murders Ex-Girlfriend, Mother and Student

High school junior Luke Woodham was arrested yesterday for slashing his mother's throat and his shooting rampage which left two dead and at least six wounded.

Woodham opened fire in the school's commons area with a rifle, "shooting anybody he could find," said freshman Mark Wilkerson. Officials closed the school immediately after the shooting, and the injured students were taken to the hospital.

Police Chief Bill Slade said Woodham was angry at his ex-girlfriend, one of the two students killed, and that "he felt he had been wronged."


10/1/1997 - Promise Keepers Supporters Attack Feminists

In a press release yesterday, Focus on the Family (FOTF), who has contributed money and volunteers to Promise Keepers, called the National Organization for Women an "extremist organization that advocates polygamy" and "anti-woman."

FOTF criticized the tongue-in-cheek bumper stickers sold by NOW, which include "Sorry I missed church, I've been practicing withcraft and becoming a lesbian." Amy Stephens, FOTF Manager of Youth Culture, said she used to be a feminist and abortion rights activist and that NOW activists were conspiracy theorists and anti-women. Caia Hoskins, FOTF Manager of Public Policy Information, called NOW "paranoid" and stated "strong women don't fear strong men."


10/1/1997 - British Lesbians Get Employment Benefits

The European Court of Justice upheld the right of homosexuals to the same employment perks as heterosexuals. Yesterday's preliminary ruling will have "wide wide implications" for British companies if it is approved by the full court next year, said employment lawyers. "Lesbians and gay men will for the first time feel confidentabout coming out at work because they know that if anything happens to them, they will be protected by law," said Stonewall director Angela Mason.

Advocate General Michael Elder said Lisa Grant had been sexually discriminated against because her employer, South West Trains, refused a rail pass to her lover Jill Percey, when it had granted one to her male predecessor's common-law wife. Ms. Grant and Ms. Percey said they were "ecstatic" about the ruling.


10/1/1997 - NY Lt. Gov. Defects to Democratic Party

Lt. Gov. Elizabeth McCaughey Ross of New York announced publicly that after multiple disagreements with Republican Gov. George Pataki, that she was now a Democrat.

McCaughey Ross said she had received a "welcoming" phone call from President Clinton, despite her harsh criticism of Hillary Rodham Clinton's health care plan in a 1994 New Republic article. She called the Democratic Party "the place for working parents and children." McCaughey Ross has not stated whether or not she will seek an elected office again.


10/1/1997 - Anti-Abortion Congressmen Withhold U.S. Funds to U.N

Ambassador Bill Richardson said Monday that conservative Congressmen were responsible for the delay in U.S. paying the U.N. one billion dollars in arrears.

Anti-abortion Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J., was partially responsible for withholding the funds to the entire U.N. because he claimed three U.N. agencies performed or promoted abortion. Despite the fact that the agencies only offered abortion to rape victims, or women who insisted they would self-abort, Smith claimed the U.N. was taking advantage of "poor and vulnerable women around the world."


10/1/1997 - Hillary Clinton Fights for Child Care

Hillary Clinton said Tuesday night that she would use an Oct. 23 White House dinner to propose a national registry to trace child-care workers' employment histories, so that working parents could know more about their child's caregivers.

Clinton, a long-time advocate of government-subsidized child care, said it was important to "provide the kind of quality care parents need," especially since the new welfare reform bill will require more parents to work. She wants the national registry to include information on day-care workers convicted of crimes, and those fired from child care jobs. Details are still being worked on by White House policy analysts, such as how it would be paid for and administered, and how people's privacy would be protected.


9/30/1997 - Feminist Majority Commends Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban's First Year, Calls For Stepped Up Enforcement

Washington DC -- Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal joined Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-New Jersey) and other women's rights and domestic violence leaders at a Tuesday, September 30 news conference in praising the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban on the law's one year anniversary.
"The Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban is one of the most significant advances in the drive to end domestic violence. This law has already saved some women's lives by keeping guns out of the hands of abusers. In 1997, over 2,000 gun permits were denied because applicants had previous domestic violence convictions," said Smeal.

"With this record of success, how can anyone even attempt to argue that the law should be repealed or weakened? Allowing convicted abusers to possess guns invites deadly abuse. Allowing police officers who have been convicted of domestic violence to keep their guns and to remain in a position responsible for intervening in domestic violence disputes creates a public safety crisis of major proportions for women."

"Rather than eliminating retroactivity from the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, we should focus on how the law can be more aggressively enforced. We know that 2,000 is just the tip of the iceberg."

"And rather than seeking exemptions for police officers and military personnel who are abusers, we should be concerned with why we are recruiting so many abusers for these positions. One half of all 911 calls are related to domestic violence. Victims of domestic violence should expect a sympathetic officer to respond to 911 calls, not one who has committed domestic violence himself. Police family violence is a horrific problem that threatens the lives of women and children associated with the abusing officer and undercuts legal protection for all domestic violence victims within the officer's jurisdiction," Smeal concluded.

The Feminist Majority has worked over the past year to stave off attempts to gut the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban. The Feminist Majority's sister organization, the Feminist Majority Foundation, sponsors the National Center for Women and Policing, an organization of women police officers committed to improving police response to domestic violence and increasing the representation of women in law enforcement.


9/30/1997 - Feminist Majority Commends Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban's First Year, Calls For Stepped Up Enforcement

Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal joined Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-New Jersey) and other women's rights and domestic violence leaders at a Tuesday, September 30 news conference in praising the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban on the law's one year anniversary.

"The Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban is one of the most significant advances in the drive to end domestic violence. This law has already saved some women's lives by keeping guns out of the hands of abusers. In 1997, over 2,000 gun permits were denied because applicants had previous domestic violence convictions," said Smeal.

"With this record of success, how can anyone even attempt to argue that the law should be repealed or weakened? Allowing convicted abusers to possess guns invites deadly abuse. Allowing police officers who have been convicted of domestic violence to keep their guns and to remain in a position responsible for intervening in domestic violence disputes creates a public safety crisis of major proportions for women."

"Rather than eliminating retroactivity from the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, we should focus on how the law can be more aggressively enforced. We know that 2,000 is just the tip of the iceberg."

"And rather than seeking exemptions for police officers and military personnel who are abusers, we should be concerned with why we are recruiting so many abusers for these positions. One half of all 911 calls are related to domestic violence. Victims of domestic violence should expect a sympathetic officer to respond to 911 calls, not one who has committed domestic violence himself. Police family violence is a horrific problem that threatens the lives of women and children associated with the abusing officer and undercuts legal protection for all domestic violence victims within the officer's jurisdiction," Smeal concluded.

The Feminist Majority has worked over the past year to stave off attempts to gut the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban. The Feminist Majority's sister organization, the Feminist Majority Foundation, sponsors the National Center for Women and Policing, an organization of women police officers committed to improving police response to domestic violence and increasing the representation of women in law enforcement.


9/30/1997 - Taliban Detains Officials and Journalists in Afghanistan

Armed police of the Taliban extremist group arrested and detained European commissioner Emma Bonino and 18 other European representatives and journalists, including Christiane Amanpour of CNN, for allegedly making a videotape inside a Kabul women's hospital on September 29. The Taliban has imposed a rule against photographing people. Taliban police detained the group for three hours before they were released unharmed.

Bonino, the highest-ranking Western official to visit Kabul since the Taliban took over a year ago, is in charge of the European Union's humanitarian office. The European Union has committed $40 million for emergency aid in Afghanistan.

In response to the arrests, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) held a press conference condemning the Taliban's oppression of women. The Taliban controls the southern two-thirds of Afghanistan, where they have prohibited women from working, going to school, leaving their homes without a close male relative, or appearing in public without a burqa, a head-to-toe garment with only a mesh opening to see through. Maloney has introduced a House Resolution expressing concern for human rights violations in Afghanistan. A similar resolution has already passed the U.S. Senate.

Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy announced last week that 5,000 Canadian women have written letters protesting women's oppression in Afghanistan. Axworthy will deliver the letters to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.


9/30/1997 - Eastern European Women Sold Into Sexual Slavery

Anita Gradin, the European Union's commissioner for Justice and Immigration, said Monday that Eastern Europe was replacing Asia, Latin America and Africa as the top source of female sex slaves. "I would say that proportions now are one-third of the women come from developing countries and two-thirds from Eastern Europe," Gradin estimates. She is seeking U.S. cooperation in fighting the problem, and has asked Hillary Rodham Clinton to warn women about female slavery when she visits Ukraine in November.

Gradin estimated that half a million women are involved in the sex trade each year, with two-thirds coming from Eastern Europe and the rest coming from developing countries. "Young girls from countries such as Poland are promised good-paying jobs in the West in restaurants and beaty parlors, their papers are taken away and then they are forced" into the sex trade, she said.


9/30/1997 - Phillipine President Signs Rape Bill

In an attempt to "ensure that no woman -- including wives -- or man is subjected to sexual acts against his or her will," Phillipine President Fidel Ramos signed a new bill Tuesday that allows both men and spouses to sue for rape.

The bill's author, Sen. Leticia Shahani, said the law makes rape a public rather than a private crime, meaning that anyone can sue on a victim's behalf. The law also adds oral sex, anal sex, and penetration with a foreign object to the definition of rape. When the bill was first introduced in 1989, Shahani said lawmakers objected to the inclusion of marital rape as a crime.

Under the new law, rape is punishable by death in three instances: when a minor is raped, when the rape is committed against someone in police custody, or when the rapist knowingly transmits the AIDS virus.


9/30/1997 - Female Genital Mutilation Banned in New York

New York Gov. George Pataki signed a bill Monday that makes female genital mutilation a felony when performed on a minor. Pataki stated that female genital mutilation is "a practice that disfigures the body and results in lifelong suffering and dysfunction" and will not be tolerated.

Female genital mutilation, practiced mostly in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Africa, can range from cutting off the foreskin on the clitoris to complete removal of all external genitalia, which often results in infection, life-long pain, or even death.

The Centers for Disease Control says that 27,000 females in New York alone have been or will be mutilated. Several U.S. cities have fought immigrants trying to get doctors to perform the procedure in the past few years. Cosmetic piercing and tattooing of adult women's genitals are not covered by the law.


9/30/1997 - Domestic Violence Rising Among Teens

Florida police say juvenile domestic violence has doubled in Dade and Broward counties, and risen 150 percent statewide in the past two years. In a recent Ft. Lauderdale case where a 17-year-old beat his stepmother with a table leg, police and prosecutors said they were not surprised, given that at least one case of juvenile domestic violence is filed every day.

The adult parents of teens are especially vulnerable to assault because they are unable to solicit legal protection from their children. Adults who abuse other adults can request restraining orders against their abusers, but parents who are at risk for abuse cannot legally keep their children away. Local experts were unsure what may have caused the rise in domestic violence.