National & World News
Obama Backs Off Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
Even though candidate Barack Obama on the campaign trail supported repealing the US military’s ban on openly gay service members, President Obama now is telling the Pentagon and gay rights advocates that his administration will have to study national security implications and get more Congressional support before trying to overturn the policy. Last April, Obama told The Advocate he believed there was “increasing recognition within the armed forces that [Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell] is a counterproductive strategy.” Sources within the Pentagon told The Boston Globe, however, that it will be several months and possibly next year before the process is likely to begin.
$83 Million Spent on Prop 8 Campaign
According to campaign filings released in February, more than $83 million was donated in both support of and opposition to Proposition 8, the ballot initiative in California to overturn same-sex marriage. These latest filings indicate that $28 million was spent just before and right after the November 4 election. Opponents of Proposition 8 raised $43.3 million in 2008, and had a little more than $730,000 left on hand at year’s end. The measure’s sponsors raised $39.9 million, and had $983,000 left over.
Iceland Gets World’s First Openly Lesbian Prime Minister
Johanna Sigurdardottir recently became the world’s first openly gay or lesbian leader and the first woman to take the post in Iceland when she was sworn in as the country’s Prime Minister. She took office less than a week after Iceland’s Cabinet resigned amid fallout from the country’s economic collapse. Minister of Social Affairs and Social Security in the outgoing Cabinet, she has been a member of Iceland’s Parliament for 30 years. The government she is forming will last only until the next elections, which may be held as early as April.