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10/2/1997 - Promise Keepers Hold No Promise for Women

Washington DC -- On the eve of the Promise Keepers event in Washington, D.C., 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.


10/2/1997 - 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.


10/2/1997 - RU-486 Could Combat HIV

A study published in Nature Medicine reports that the drug RU-486 could be helpful in treating people with HIV.

The researchers found that RU-486, which is also used as a method of early abortion, weakens the HIV-produced proteins and glucocorticoids that suppress the immune system. Vpr, one of the proteins, kills infection-fighting cells and inhibits immune-cell growth. RU-486 reduced Vpr-induced cell destruction by 60%. While further research is needed, these findings are encouraging, because other studies show HIV is much less likely to multiply when Vpr is not present.

RU-486 currently is not available in the U.S.


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.