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10/8/1997 - Britain's Labour Party Attacks Sexist MPs

A Labour party spokesman said that Labour officials are listening to recordings of all parliament debates since last May's elections, and are drawing up a list of Conservative party members who make sexist and snide remarks to the women. They plan on taking the names of the guilty men to house speaker Betty Boothroyd.

The Labour Party says that since an unprecedented 101 women were elected to Parliament, Conservative men have made sexist comments and accused the women of ignorance about debate procedure. The spokesman said the investigation was a "result of complaints" and that it was "part of a wider look at ways of modernising the House of Commons. It's not just a boys' club anymore."


10/8/1997 - 13-year-old Begins at Oxford

Sufiah Yusof, a mathematical genius who was home-taught by her math-researcher parents, is the second-youngest student ever to enroll at Oxford. The previous prodigy was Ruth Lawrence, who entered the math program at age 12 in 1982 and graduated with a first-class honors degree.

She will live at home with her Pakistan-born parents and four siblings, three of whom are scheduled to attend Oxford next year. Her father said he does not foresee any problems, because Sufiah "has always mixed with people a lot older than herself. She is very mature."

Yusof, who is also a champion tennis player, arrived on Monday at St. Hilda's, Oxford's last remaining all-women's college, for a three year maths degree. "As soon as all the fuss dies down I intend to study as hard as I can," she said.


10/8/1997 - Vote on D&X Abortions Expected

Final passage of a measure outlawing certain late-term D&X abortions is expected to pass in the House today. It will then go to President Clinton, who vetoed a similar bill last year because it did not contain an exception for women whose health or lives were in danger. Since the current bill still does not allow for these exceptions, Clinton is expected to veto it again. Congress was unable to previously override the veto, lacking only three votes in the Senate.

The House is also expected to approve a Senate amendment that would allow doctors who are prosecuted under the ban to present evidence from state medical licensing boards at trial, a move opposed by the American College of Obsetricians and Gynecologists and the American Medical Women's Association. A vote to override Clinton's expected veto will most likely occur during next year's election campaigns.


10/8/1997 - First Ladies Meet for Women's Summit

Nineteen women from the Americas, including Hillary Rodham Clinton and Panamanian first lady Dora Boyd de Perez, met with representatives of the World Bank and the United Nations today in Panama City for a summit on the problems facing women and children in the Americas.

Each first lady will address the summit on issues such as health and education for females, women's leadership roles, sexual and labor abuse of children, improved education for women and children, and support for rural women wanting to earn an income.


10/8/1997 - Britain's Labour Party Attacks Sexist MPs

A Labour party spokesman said that Labour officials are listening to recordings of all parliament debates since last May's elections, and are drawing up a list of Conservative party members who make sexist and snide remarks to the women. They plan on taking the names of the guilty men to house speaker Betty Boothroyd.

The Labour Party says that since an unprecedented 101 women were elected to Parliament, Conservative men have made sexist comments and accused the women of ignorance about debate procedure. The spokesman said the investigation was a "result of complaints" and that it was "part of a wider look at ways of modernising the House of Commons. It's not just a boys' club anymore."


10/8/1997 - 13-year-old Begins at Oxford

Sufiah Yusof, a mathematical genius who was home-taught by her math-researcher parents, is the second-youngest student ever to enroll at Oxford. The previous prodigy was Ruth Lawrence, who entered the math program at age 12 in 1982 and graduated with a first-class honors degree.

She will live at home with her Pakistan-born parents and four siblings, three of whom are scheduled to attend Oxford next year. Her father said he does not foresee any problems, because Sufiah "has always mixed with people a lot older than herself. She is very mature."

Yusof, who is also a champion tennis player, arrived on Monday at St. Hilda's, Oxford's last remaining all-women's college, for a three year maths degree. "As soon as all the fuss dies down I intend to study as hard as I can," she said.


10/7/1997 - U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentence for Abortion Doctor Murderer

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld the death sentence for Paul Hill, who was convicted of murdering an abortion doctor and a volunteer clinic escort in 1994.

A Connecticut lawyer had appealed on the grounds that Hill should not have been permitted to act as his own trial lawyer. The Supreme Court said Hill, who did not authorize any appeals on his behalf, had "knowingly and intelligently waived" the right to a lawyer. There have never been allegations regarding Hill's mental competency.

Hill, 43, was convicted of murdering Dr. John Bayard Britton and his volunteer escort James Barrett, outside a Pensacola, Florida abortion clinic. He also shot and injured Barrett's wife.

Hill says he welcomes his execution, because he believes it will incite more people to use violence against abortion providers, thereby preventing abortions. "I think I can save more people dead than alive," he said.


10/7/1997 - Judge Extends Block on Abortion Waiting Period Law

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb extended the temporary restraining order on an abortion waiting-period law in Wisconsin on Friday. She said the state must prepare materials for the abortion providers to distribute before the law can be enforced.

The law has had the restraining order on it since April 1996, when Gov. Thompson signed it into law and Planned Parenthood challenged it. Under the new law, physicians must provide state-published information 24 hours before a woman can get an abortion, except in cases of rape or incest. The State Department of Health and Human Services plans to have materials ready by the end of the year, which will include a list of county services for pregnant women and a brochure about fetal development. Crabb denied Planned Parenthood's request to further block the enforcement of the law until they reviewed the material for accuracy.


10/7/1997 - Lesbian Named to Top Clinton Post

Clinton's administration announced on Oct. 1 that longtime lesbian activist Virginia Apuzzo had been appointed to one of 18 Assistant to the President positions, making her the highest-ranking openly gay or lesbian person ever in the government.

Apuzzo will work in Management and Administration, directing White House management and administrative functions and overseeing all Executive Offices agencies. She has been head of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Mario Cuomo's liason to the lesbian and gay community in New York, and Vice Chair of the NY AIDS Advisory Council.

Brian Bond, executive director of the Victory Fund, said "By judging applicants on their qualifications rather than their sexual orientation, President Clinton continues to set a shining example for all fair-minded employers to follow."


10/7/1997 - Japanese Women Seek to Stop Subway Molestation

Tired of being grabbed and fondled on Tokyo subways, Japanese women are speaking out and asking police for help in stopping "chikan," or subway molesters. Police have asked the train companies to consider single-sex cars for women and children, a scenario not seen in 40 years.

Subway molestation has been a well-known problem for years, and the train companies are increasing their campaign against the harassment. Posters in subways tell women to beware of and immediately report molesters. Announcements are being made in the stations and in the cars to warn molesters that they are being watched. "We are asking women who have suffered from abuse to report cases before the fondlers escalate their attacks," said a police spokesman. At one train station, police have arrested 34 men so far this year, almost double last year's number. Women are also becoming more aggressive, complaining publicly and shouting in the subway to humiliate the grabber.

Many men in Tokyo openly look at pornography or at comics depicting graphic rape scenes while on the subways, in front of women and children. Teenage girls in school uniforms are victimized most often, because many Japanese men find the outfits sexy. The subways are so crowded that it is often hard to tell who is doing the grabbing. While some women support the establishment of women-only train cars, others are worried that any woman who rode with men would be seen as wanting to be fondled.


10/7/1997 - Gay Paper Switches to Corporate Ownership in NYC

Many gays and lesbians are worried about the Washington Blade's New York counterpart, set to debut later this month. An employee-owned production in D.C., the Blade in New York will split ownership 50-50 between Blade employees and a large corporation.

"There is a concern any time a corporation comes in with big money ... this is about selling ads [and] corporatizing gay culture," said Troy Masters, publisher of a gay biweekly in New York. Don Michaels, publisher of the Washington Blade and the New York Blade News, said that the New York publication would differ from the D.C. Blade because its reporters would not practice advocacy journalism, but "follow the objective journalist style of reporting ...We have a deadline mentality."

Playwright and gay activist Larry Kramer thinks the gay community won't be interested in the New York Blade News, which he predicts will be "a timid piece of toilet paper that people can wrap their old fish in." In response to criticism that the paper should be owned by gays and take a stance on gay issues, Michaels said, "So what? A paper like this has been needed in New York for a long time."


10/7/1997 - U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentence for Abortion Doctor Murderer

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld the death sentence for Paul Hill, who was convicted of murdering an abortion doctor and a volunteer clinic escort in 1994.

A Connecticut lawyer had appealed on the grounds that Hill should not have been permitted to act as his own trial lawyer. The Supreme Court said Hill, who did not authorize any appeals on his behalf, had "knowingly and intelligently waived" the right to a lawyer. There have never been allegations regarding Hill's mental competency.

Hill, 43, was convicted of murdering Dr. John Bayard Britton and his volunteer escort James Barrett, outside a Pensacola, Florida abortion clinic. He also shot and injured Barrett's wife.

Hill says he welcomes his execution, because he believes it will incite more people to use violence against abortion providers, thereby preventing abortions. "I think I can save more people dead than alive," he said.


10/7/1997 - Judge Extends Block on Abortion Waiting Period Law

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb extended the temporary restraining order on an abortion waiting-period law in Wisconsin on Friday. She said the state must prepare materials for the abortion providers to distribute before the law can be enforced.

The law has had the restraining order on it since April 1996, when Gov. Thompson signed it into law and Planned Parenthood challenged it. Under the new law, physicians must provide state-published information 24 hours before a woman can get an abortion, except in cases of rape or incest. The State Department of Health and Human Services plans to have materials ready by the end of the year, which will include a list of county services for pregnant women and a brochure about fetal development. Crabb denied Planned Parenthood's request to further block the enforcement of the law until they reviewed the material for accuracy.


10/7/1997 - Lesbian Named to Top Clinton Post

Clinton's administration announced on Oct. 1 that longtime lesbian activist Virginia Apuzzo had been appointed to one of 18 Assistant to the President positions, making her the highest-ranking openly gay or lesbian person ever in the government.

Apuzzo will work in Management and Administration, directing White House management and administrative functions and overseeing all Executive Offices agencies. She has been head of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Mario Cuomo's liason to the lesbian and gay community in New York, and Vice Chair of the NY AIDS Advisory Council.

Brian Bond, executive director of the Victory Fund, said "By judging applicants on their qualifications rather than their sexual orientation, President Clinton continues to set a shining example for all fair-minded employers to follow."


10/7/1997 - Japanese Women Seek to Stop Subway Molestation

Tired of being grabbed and fondled on Tokyo subways, Japanese women are speaking out and asking police for help in stopping "chikan," or subway molesters. Police have asked the train companies to consider single-sex cars for women and children, a scenario not seen in 40 years.

Subway molestation has been a well-known problem for years, and the train companies are increasing their campaign against the harassment. Posters in subways tell women to beware of and immediately report molesters. Announcements are being made in the stations and in the cars to warn molesters that they are being watched. "We are asking women who have suffered from abuse to report cases before the fondlers escalate their attacks," said a police spokesman. At one train station, police have arrested 34 men so far this year, almost double last year's number. Women are also becoming more aggressive, complaining publicly and shouting in the subway to humiliate the grabber.

Many men in Tokyo openly look at pornography or at comics depicting graphic rape scenes while on the subways, in front of women and children. Teenage girls in school uniforms are victimized most often, because many Japanese men find the outfits sexy. The subways are so crowded that it is often hard to tell who is doing the grabbing. While some women support the establishment of women-only train cars, others are worried that any woman who rode with men would be seen as wanting to be fondled.


10/7/1997 - Gay Paper Switches to Corporate Ownership in NYC

Many gays and lesbians are worried about the Washington Blade's New York counterpart, set to debut later this month. An employee-owned production in D.C., the Blade in New York will split ownership 50-50 between Blade employees and a large corporation.

"There is a concern any time a corporation comes in with big money ... this is about selling ads [and] corporatizing gay culture," said Troy Masters, publisher of a gay biweekly in New York. Don Michaels, publisher of the Washington Blade and the New York Blade News, said that the New York publication would differ from the D.C. Blade because its reporters would not practice advocacy journalism, but "follow the objective journalist style of reporting ...We have a deadline mentality."

Playwright and gay activist Larry Kramer thinks the gay community won't be interested in the New York Blade News, which he predicts will be "a timid piece of toilet paper that people can wrap their old fish in." In response to criticism that the paper should be owned by gays and take a stance on gay issues, Michaels said, "So what? A paper like this has been needed in New York for a long time."


10/6/1997 - Feminists Protest Promise Keepers' Rally

Several hundred feminists, gays and lesbians, atheists, and liberal activists challenged the Promise Keepers during a protest on Saturday, carrying signs and chanting.

A press conference was held by the protesters, featuring Ellie Smeal of the Feminist Majority, Patricia Ireland of the National Organization for Women, Al Ross of the Center for Democracy Studies, Pamela Coukous of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and Kerry Lobel of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, among others.

Feminist Majority president Smeal said "The Promise Keepers are preaching that men are ordained to lead -- women to submit or follow. We have been there, done that. These out-moded attitudes have led time and time again to low pay, low status, and the abuse of women."

NOW president Ireland challenged the Promise Keepers to keep some new promises -- to respect women's equality, uphold civil rights for women, people of color, and gays and lesbians, and to uphold religious freedom.

Many women came to speak out against the Promise Keepers political agenda. "They have a long-term agenda that is being funded by the religious right," said 46-year-old Connie Hannah, who thinks the organization is a threat to civil rights, women's rights, and democracy.

Twenty-year-old Wendy Weinhold of Nebraska said she objected to the Promise Keeprs because "they say it is the men who must lead in the household. They don't talk about equality; they talk about submission."

Georgetown student Angie Warren said, "They're calling for a return to traditional values, and it seems like it took us so long to get away from some of those values -- like having one head of a family. Why can't women head it, too?"

Promise Keepers president Tony Evans claimed PK didn't intend to "force our religious ideas on anyone," yet many Promise Keepers spoke about the need to outlaw abortion and equal rights for gays and lesbians. One pro-PK woman grabbed a NOW member and began speaking in tongues, and the protesters were repeatedly asked to submit to Jesus Christ as their "Lord and Savior."

Geraldine Brittain, 76 and Jewish, said the Promise Keepers movement "smacks of fascism. I think it's fanatical, and it scares me." Despite PK founder Bill McCartney's insistence that "we are not out to divide this nation," a group of men told the feminists that Jews killed Jesus, and only Messianic Jews were invited to speak at the rally.

A day after the rally, McCartney said that he plans to make Promise Keepers a global endeavor and convert more people to Christianity. He repeated to the Washington Post that homosexuality is "an abomination" and a sin, and that men must take authority in the home. Despite their new global plan and PK vice-president Raleigh Washington's statement that PK men "will enter the political sphere" because "there is no way the group can restrict itself when it comes to public policy," McCartney continues to tell the media that there is no political agenda. But, he added, if God told him to run for President, he'd "be a fool not to."


10/6/1997 - First Swedish Female Lutheran Bishop Named

Christina Odenberg officially became Sweden's first Lutheran Bishop on Sunday, six months after being elected by the Lund diocese, a diocese where 36% of vicars are women.

The ceremony was attended by notable women such as Barbara Harris, the first female American Episcopalian bishop, Marita Ulvsko, Sweden's minister of cultural and religious affairs, and Birgitta Dahl, parliament's speaker.

Every Protestant church in Scandanavia was represented at the ceremony, but the Roman Catholic church, which disapproves of ordaining women, was absent. A supporter of women's roles in the church, Lutheran Archbishop Kg Hammar said "The fact that they have the backing of the clergy fills me with confidence for the future."

Parliament voted last year to completely separate church and state by the year 2000, which will make it a fully secular state.


10/6/1997 - U.S. Supreme Court Will Look at Affirmative Action

The U.S. Supreme Court began their 1997-98 term today, which will run from October to June. In January, the Supreme Court will look at a case where affirmative action was used to increase diversity. The case concerns Sharon Taxman, a white teacher in New Jersey who was laid off while an equally qualified black teacher was kept for racial diversity.

The Supreme Court has restricted governmental affirmative action programs in the past several years. President Clinton stated that he believes the school board was wrong in this case, but that programs that increase diversity should be preserved.

During this term, the Court will also look at whether the federal civil rights law that covers workplace sexual harassment also applies to same-sex harassment.


10/6/1997 - Pope Condemns Abortion in Brazil

In Rio de Janeiro this weekend, Pope John Paul II spoke out against divorce, sex outside marriage, birth control, and abortion, calling it "the shame of humanity."

Although Brazil is officially the world's largest Roman Catholic country, only 13% of those baptized Catholic consider themselves "practicing." The Pope's message was seen as old-fashioned in an increasingly liberal country, one where over half the population approves of sex outside marriage and birth control. There is also popular support for a law currently being considered by congress that would permit public hospitals to perform abortion in cases of rape, or to save the mother's life.

"I don't think the church can tell a woman, if she's been raped or her life is in danger, that she is a sinner for having an abortion," said Viviane Correia Andrade, 17. Marcia Fontes Queles, a 29-year-old single mother of three children, said "I am a good Catholic and I love the Pope, but I don't think two people should stay together if they don't love each other anymore," she said.


10/6/1997 - Feminists Protest Promise Keepers' Rally

Several hundred feminists, gays and lesbians, atheists, and liberal activists challenged the Promise Keepers during a protest on Saturday, carrying signs and chanting.

A press conference was held by the protesters, featuring Ellie Smeal of the Feminist Majority, Patricia Ireland of the National Organization for Women, Al Ross of the Center for Democracy Studies, Pamela Coukous of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and Kerry Lobel of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, among others.

Feminist Majority president Smeal said "The Promise Keepers are preaching that men are ordained to lead -- women to submit or follow. We have been there, done that. These out-moded attitudes have led time and time again to low pay, low status, and the abuse of women."

NOW president Ireland challenged the Promise Keepers to keep some new promises -- to respect women's equality, uphold civil rights for women, people of color, and gays and lesbians, and to uphold religious freedom.

Many women came to speak out against the Promise Keepers political agenda. "They have a long-term agenda that is being funded by the religious right," said 46-year-old Connie Hannah, who thinks the organization is a threat to civil rights, women's rights, and democracy.

Twenty-year-old Wendy Weinhold of Nebraska said she objected to the Promise Keeprs because "they say it is the men who must lead in the household. They don't talk about equality; they talk about submission."

Georgetown student Angie Warren said, "They're calling for a return to traditional values, and it seems like it took us so long to get away from some of those values -- like having one head of a family. Why can't women head it, too?"

Promise Keepers president Tony Evans claimed PK didn't intend to "force our religious ideas on anyone," yet many Promise Keepers spoke about the need to outlaw abortion and equal rights for gays and lesbians. One pro-PK woman grabbed a NOW member and began speaking in tongues, and the protesters were repeatedly asked to submit to Jesus Christ as their "Lord and Savior."

Geraldine Brittain, 76 and Jewish, said the Promise Keepers movement "smacks of fascism. I think it's fanatical, and it scares me." Despite PK founder Bill McCartney's insistence that "we are not out to divide this nation," a group of men told the feminists that Jews killed Jesus, and only Messianic Jews were invited to speak at the rally.

A day after the rally, McCartney said that he plans to make Promise Keepers a global endeavor and convert more people to Christianity. He repeated to the Washington Post that homosexuality is "an abomination" and a sin, and that men must take authority in the home. Despite their new global plan and PK vice-president Raleigh Washington's statement that PK men "will enter the political sphere" because "there is no way the group can restrict itself when it comes to public policy," McCartney continues to tell the media that there is no political agenda. But, he added, if God told him to run for President, he'd "be a fool not to."


10/6/1997 - First Swedish Female Lutheran Bishop Named

Christina Odenberg officially became Sweden's first Lutheran Bishop on Sunday, six months after being elected by the Lund diocese, a diocese where 36% of vicars are women.

The ceremony was attended by notable women such as Barbara Harris, the first female American Episcopalian bishop, Marita Ulvsko, Sweden's minister of cultural and religious affairs, and Birgitta Dahl, parliament's speaker.

Every Protestant church in Scandanavia was represented at the ceremony, but the Roman Catholic church, which disapproves of ordaining women, was absent. A supporter of women's roles in the church, Lutheran Archbishop Kg Hammar said "The fact that they have the backing of the clergy fills me with confidence for the future."

Parliament voted last year to completely separate church and state by the year 2000, which will make it a fully secular state.


10/6/1997 - U.S. Supreme Court Will Look at Affirmative Action

The U.S. Supreme Court began their 1997-98 term today, which will run from October to June. In January, the Supreme Court will look at a case where affirmative action was used to increase diversity. The case concerns Sharon Taxman, a white teacher in New Jersey who was laid off while an equally qualified black teacher was kept for racial diversity.

The Supreme Court has restricted governmental affirmative action programs in the past several years. President Clinton stated that he believes the school board was wrong in this case, but that programs that increase diversity should be preserved.

During this term, the Court will also look at whether the federal civil rights law that covers workplace sexual harassment also applies to same-sex harassment.


10/6/1997 - Pope Condemns Abortion in Brazil

In Rio de Janeiro this weekend, Pope John Paul II spoke out against divorce, sex outside marriage, birth control, and abortion, calling it "the shame of humanity."

Although Brazil is officially the world's largest Roman Catholic country, only 13% of those baptized Catholic consider themselves "practicing." The Pope's message was seen as old-fashioned in an increasingly liberal country, one where over half the population approves of sex outside marriage and birth control. There is also popular support for a law currently being considered by congress that would permit public hospitals to perform abortion in cases of rape, or to save the mother's life.

"I don't think the church can tell a woman, if she's been raped or her life is in danger, that she is a sinner for having an abortion," said Viviane Correia Andrade, 17. Marcia Fontes Queles, a 29-year-old single mother of three children, said "I am a good Catholic and I love the Pope, but I don't think two people should stay together if they don't love each other anymore," she said.


10/3/1997 - Promise Keepers Hold No Promise for Women

Feminist Majority President, Eleanor Smeal, warned: Don't be fooled by their 'touchy-feely' outward appearances; The Promise Keepers are preaching that men are ordained to lead - women to submit or follow. We have been there, done that. These out-moded attitudes have led time and time again to low pay, low status, and the abuse of women.

The submission of women has been the core of all anti-women's rights campaigns. The bible has been used to justify witch burnings, slavery, the defeat the Equal Rights Amendment, and to condemn gay men and lesbians.

What is new about the modern day Promise Keepers is that they have the audacity to advocate male-only gatherings or gender apartheid and male domination in the United States at the turn of the 21st Century.

The shocking tenets of some of PK's leaders set up Uncle Tom as a role model for racial reconciliation today. Gone from their vocabulary are the words equality and social justice. Here are two quotes from Promise Keepers Conference speaker, Bishop Wellington Boone:

"I want to boldly affirm Uncle Tom ... he is a role model."

"I believe that slavery, and the understanding of it when you see it God's way, was redemptive."
We join other national organizations and religious groups such as the National Organization for Women, People for the American Way, and the Unitarian Universalists, in seeking to expose the hidden political agenda of the Promise Keepers. This group's leadership has a clear record of support for anti-abortion, anti-affirmative action, and anti-lesbian and gay legislation.

Serving as one of the Promise Keepers Spokespeople is Mark DeMoss of the DeMoss family, whose foundation pours millions of dollars into religious right causes including the anti-abortion Life, What a Beautiful Choice advertisements against abortion and family planning. McCartney is militantly opposed to women's reproductive freedom, and has been a featured speaker at events of the anti-abortion group, Operation Rescue. During an Operation Rescue rally, which was trying to close a local women's clinic, McCartney declared that abortion had become "a second Civil War."

While in their official speeches, materials and publications, the Promise Keepers avoid explicit anti-abortion statements, further examination uncovers anti-abortion sentiments. Incorporated in their New Man magazine are advertisements for pro-life bank checks and commentary on the guilt and pain of "male post-abortion syndrome." Additionally, some state Promise Keepers' World Wide Web sites include anti-abortion links, revealing their true position on abortion.