European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - September 11, 1996, Darmstadt, Hesse
Wednesday, September 11, 1996
THE STARS AND STRIPES
Page 5Something in the air?
South African President Nelson Mandela strolls president of Mozambique, Samora Machcl. Surprised through a Johannesburg suburb Sunday with his arm residents of Houghton soon began to speculate: Is the around the shoulder of Graca Machel, widow or the late romance getting serious?Senate votes 85-14 to deny recognition of gay unions
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate gave final congressional approval Tuesday to a bill that would deny Federal recognition of same-sex marriages and let states refuse to sanction such unions licensed in other states. Senators voted 85 -14 for the Defense of Marriage Act, which would define marriage in federal law as a legal union between one man and one woman. The House voted overwhelmingly to pass the bill in July, and President Clinton has said he will sign it.
Senate supporters of the bill called it a common*, sense response to a lawsuit going to trial Tuesday that could lead Hawaii to become tne first state to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
“The traditional family has stood for 5,000 years,” Sen. Phil Gramm, R?Texas, said. “Are we so wise today that we are ready to reject 5,000 years of recorded history? I don't think so.”
Gay marriage “flies in the face of the thousands of years of experience about the social stability that traditional marriage has afforded civilization, ’ said Sen. Robert Byrd, D*W.Va.
The bill does not bar any state from legalizing gay marriages within its own boundaries. But other states would be freed from having to recognize them as lawful. Homosexual couples would remain ineligible for spousal benefits under the Social Security and Medicare programs or for any other federal benefit now reserved for married couples.
The Senate also was to vote Tuesday on a bill that would ban job discrimination against gays.
Majority Leader Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss,, denied al-
-spirited or exclusionary, pre-emptive measure to make sure that a handful of judges in a single state cannot impose a radical social agenda upon the entire nation.”
Opponents criticized the bill as discriminatory, unconstitutional and timed to whip up support for Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole.
The bill violates a constitutional requirement that states must recognize legal contracts in other states, said Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun, D-III.
“We. all recognize this is an inappropriate legislative activity by the federal government,” she said. “This further demonstrates that the Defense of Marriage Act ;s really about the politics of tear and division, and about
inciting people in an area which is admittedly controversial.”
Gay rights activists and conservatives said they lobbied lawmakers until the last minute Tuesday.
“We're definitely lobbying with every ounce of our being,” said David Smith, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, one of the country’s largest gay political groups.
“We have delivered 12,800 letters from HRC members and others throughout the country to senators today, and we’re very much on the phone nationwide,” Smith said Monday.
Conservative groups also were busy lobbying, decry? ing homosexuality as immoral. A group of black ministers complained about the way some gay activists likened their struggle for fair treatment to the civil rights movement.
“As an African American, I am deeply offended by homosexual claims that they suffer the same discrimination that people of color have suffered,” said the Rev. Lester James, a regional director of the Traditional Values Coalition. “Politicians who invoke the images of the civil rights movement and throw around terms like ‘racist’ or ‘bigot* are taking something decent and honorable and using it to disguise bizarre sexual behavior.”
The Family Research Council spent the day making phone calls to senators, group spokeswoman Kristi Hamrick said.
“We’ve certainly been working on this around the clock,” she said. .
Gay rights groups, however, were optimistic of winning the battle over the Senate measure outlawing job discrimination against homosexuals. .
Smith said his group had received word that at least 44 senators would vote for the bill, and members were hopeful they could get the seven more needed for passage.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., originally had planned to introduce the measure bill as an amendment to the Defense of Marriage Act. Bui Republican’s objected, believing the anti-discrimination language would offend conservatives and kill, the marriage bill's chances for passage. .
After two da\s of negotiations last week, the Republican leadership agreed to have the Senate vote separately on the two issues. The House has yet to act on the idea. •Egypt outfits 35,000 for large war games
From The Associated Press
CAIRO, Egy pt — Egypt's armed forces began 10 days of maneuvers Tuesday in what was touted as the country’s largest war games since the end of Egypt’s last war witJi Israel in 1973.
As many as 35,000 soldiers will participate in the air, land and sea maneuvers known as Badr ’96 along the Red Sea coast and near the borders of, Libya and Sudan, military sources said.
Egypt has about 440,000 men in uniform, making its U.S.-equipped army one of the largest in Africa and the Middle East.
“The exercises will increase confidence in the Egyptian army and will prove that the armed forces do not relax during peacetime,” Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi said Monday.
He said the drills were aimed at improving readiness and did not envision arty specific enemy.How soon they forget
HONDARRIB!A, Spain — In 1638, women from this Spanish Basque town dressed as soldiers and joined their menfolk in a victorious battle over the French. ..; e-X;.' A .. ■; ■ ■■
But last weekend, when women dressed as soldiers and tried to join the victory parade, men kept them but with insults and fists, the daily El Pais reported Monday.
Town tradition governs the parade marking the battle at Hondarribia, a fishing port on the French border. Even though women helped win the battle on the field, they are only supposed to carry water containers during the parade, which was held -Sunday/. ■ ■/. :; ■ ■ ■' V ■'War of the Worlds IT
MADRID, St win — Hundreds of panicked Spaniards flooacd TV and radio switchboards with calls last weekend when a newscaster broke in with a report showing space aliens hovering over New York. ; ; '
The purported news flashes that appeared Saturday and Sunday on the Telccinco network were in fact advertisements for the film Independence Day, which opens Friday in Spain.'
The PubliEspana advertising firm figured viewers wouldn't be taken in by tlte spoof of Orson Welles’ “The War of the Worlds'* the 1938 radio play
that created a short but memorable panic in the United States.
“We wanted to do something different, cause some excitement, but certainly not fear,” an advertising executive, Jose l.uis Andarias, said Monday, .Mother Teresa carries on
CALCUTTA, India — Mbther Teresa arrived in a wheelchair Tuesday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the order she founded and urge her followers to keep serving the poor.
“You have to carry on. That is the best way to serve God,” she told 200 nuns ;it the Missionaries of Charity chapel after a one-hour prayer led by Calcutta Archbishop Henry D’Souza.
The nuns, wearing blue-trimmed white habits and holding candles, surrounded the 86-year-old Roman Catholic nun. Mother Teresa thanked her colleagues and other well-wishers from around the world who had prayed for her health.
She returned Friday after two weeks of hospitalization for malaria; a chest infection and cardiac problems. Mother Teresa suffered a heart attack in 1983. Six years later, after a second, stronger heart attack, she was given a pacemaker.Elephant hits photographer
NAIROBI, Kenya — Wildlife photographer Peter. Beard was recovering Tuesday in Nairobi Hospital after being injured by a charging elephant.
Beard underwent surgery Monday to treat a fractured pelvis and thigh injuries after he was tossed by an elephant at Keekorok in the Masai M ara Game Reserve, said a doctor who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Details of the incident were not immediately clear. Beard was apparently traveling with a Kens an family arid friends in the game park, 110 miles southwest of Naiiobi.
Beard reportedly told the doctor that mic 'h the. four elephants he approached in ph- >graph is a upset'and charged, .