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November 19, 2003 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-11-19

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 19, 2003


Mass. court upholds gay marriage

BOSTON (AP) - In the nation's most far-reach-
ing decision of its kind, Massachusetts' highest court
declared yesterday that the state constitution guaran-
tees gay couples the right to marry - a ruling cele-
brated with a popping of champagne corks and the
planning of spring weddings.
"Without a doubt, this is the happiest day of our
lives," said Gloria Bailey, who with her partner of
32 years was among the seven gay couples who had
sued the state in 2001 for refusing to issue them
marriage licenses.
In its 4-3 decision, the Supreme Judicial Court
gave the Legislature six months to rewrite the state's
marriage laws for the benefit of gay couples.
Although courts in other states have issued similar
rulings, some legal experts said this one goes further
in its emphatic language and appears to suggest that
gay couples should be offered nothing less than mar-
riage itself - and not a lesser alternative such as
civil unions, which are available in Vermont.
The ruling was another milestone in a year that has
seen a significant expansion of gay rights around the
world, including a U.S. Supreme Court decision in
June striking a Texas ban on gay sex. Canadian
courts also legalized gay marriage over the summer.

"We declare that barring an individual from the pro-
tections, benefits, and obligations of civil marriage
solely because that person would marry a person of the
same sex violates the Massachusetts Constitution,"
Chief Justice Margaret Marshall wrote.
The dissenting justices argued that the court was
treading on lawmakers' territory. "Today, the court
has transformed its role as protector of rights into the
role of creator of rights, and I respectfully dissent,"
Justice Francis Spina wrote.
The decision prompted complex legal questions
about the next step and about when the nation's first
gay marriage licenses will be issued, if ever.
Republican Gov. Mitt Romney denounced the rul-
ing but said there is little the state could do beyond
pursuing a constitutional amendment.
"I agree with 3,000 years of recorded history. I
disagree with the Supreme Judicial Court of Massa-
chusetts," he said. "Marriage is an institution
between a man and a woman ... and our constitution
and laws should reflect that"
But the soonest a constitutional amendment
could be put on the ballot is 2006, potentially open-
ing a window of a few years in which gay marriage
licenses could be granted.

Bush defends Iraqi war in visit to Britain
As police braced for massive demonstrations against the war in Iraq, President
Bush opened a state visit with America's staunchest ally yesterday, arguing that
the use of force sometimes is the only way to defend important values.
Bush's three-day state visit comes at a time of mounting death tolls among
coalition troops, fresh terror threats and widespread unhappiness among the
British and other Europeans over Prime Minister Tony Blair's close support for
Bush's Iraq policies.
The president and his wife, Laura, were greeted yesterday evening at Heathrow
Airport by Prince Charles. The Bushes then flew on a U.S. Marine helicopter to
Buckingham Palace, where they were spending three nights as the guests of
Queen Elizabeth II.
Hundreds turned out for the first of a number of planned protests on yesterday,
and London police prepared for larger demonstrations over the next few days,
including a march tomorrow past Parliament that organizers said could draw
100,000 demonstrators. In a speech today, Bush will argue that war is sometimes
necessary as a last choice, said a senior administration official traveling with him
on Air Force One. "History has shown that there are times when countries must
use force to defend the peace and to defend values," Bush was to say.
Synagogue bombers inspired by al-Qaida
Turkish authorities concluded yesterday that two deadly synagogue bombings
were carried out by Turkish militants inspired by - and perhaps working for -
the al-Qaida terror network. The finding fuels growing suspicions that Osama bin
Laden's reach extends to NATO's sole Muslim member.
As the government wrapped up DNA tests on the remains of the two suicide
bombers, hundreds of Jewish and Muslim mourners buried the six Jews who died in
Saturday's blasts, which also killed 17 Muslims and wounded more than 300 people.
Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said the bombers, who detonated their explo-
sives-laden trucks outside Istanbul's main synagogue and a second one three miles
away, were Turks and that they had Turkish accomplices in planning the attack.
"It will be determined whether these people worked directly with al-Qaida or
are just sympathizers," Gulsaid by telephone from Stockholm, Sweden.
"The first impression is that these people seemed to have the same mindset of
al-Qaida, they have the same concept, they are from the same school," he said.
Bin Laden's terror network claimed responsibility for the bombings Sunday in
messages to two Arabic-language newspapers.

Easthampton, Mass., residents Joe McCoy,
left, and his partner, Stan Chagnon, attend a
a rally yesterday celebrating the ruling.

U.S. mounts air

Military launches
large-scale air operation,
troops fight insurgents
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - U.S.
jets and helicopter gunships
launched the biggest air operation
in central Iraq since active combat
ended, blasting suspected ambush
sites and hideouts with 500-pound
bombs yesterday. Explosions rocked
western Baghdad as American
troops mounted fresh attacks
against insurgents.
While the military stepped up its
campaign to put down anti-U.S. guer-
rillas, it also claimed progress on
another front - preventing foreign
fighters from entering Iraq from neigh-

boring nations to
carry out attacks
on American
Maj. Gen.
Charles Swan-
nack Jr., com-
mander of the
82nd Airborne
Division, said

The stepped-u
operations foll
. S
escalation in in
attacks over th
three weeks.

the number of
U.S. soldiers in Anbar province,
bordering Syria, Jordan and Saudi
Arabia, has been tripled in the past
two months to 20,000. That, he said,
has curbed infiltrations.
"We are not fighting foreign fighters
coming across.-the border in significant
numbers," Swannack said. "We are
fighting mostly ... locals" loyal to
Saddam Hussein's ousted regime.
Insurgents struck again yesterday,
wounding two U.S. soldiers with a
roadside bomb in the northern city of
Mosul, the military said.
The military also said a U.S.
civilian contractor was killed Mon-
day by a land mine near Baghdad.
The air activity yesterday was cen-
tered around Baqouba, 30 miles north-
east of Baghdad.
U.S. jets and Apache helicopter gun-
ships blasted abandoned buildings,
walls and trees along a road where
attacks have been so common that
troops nicknamed it "RPG Alley" after
the rocket-propelled grenades used by
Fighter-bombers dropped 500-pound
bombs and battle tanks fired their
120mm guns at suspected ambush
sites, the military said.
Elsewhere, F-16 fighter aircraft
bombed insurgent targets near the
town of Samara, about 60 miles
north of Baghdad, the military said.

ai in Iraq
U.S. troops fired mortars late yes-
terday on areas used by insurgents
to launch mortar and rocket attacks
against coalition forces in another
night of huge explosions in Sad-
dam's hometown of Tikrit.
One group of Bradley fighting
vehicles and armored personnel car-
rier fired 17 mortar rounds toward a
bunker that was part of Saddam's
former military defenses south of
the town and an outlying farm to
the north.
Lt. Colin Crow, who oversaw the
mortar firing, said the targets were
uninhabited and the attacks were
meant to scare insurgents from
using them as platforms for
"Basically, were kind of claiming
the ground that the
. .#enemy is using at
"P y us," he said.
Owed an "They have to
move further and
ISurgent further out."
e t Meanwhile, U.S.
officials gave more
details of an attack
carried out Sunday.
The Army launched a
short-range missile that hit a house
south of Tikrit owned by Izzat Ibrahim
al-Douri, a former Iraqi official the U.S.
military accuses of being behind many
attacks against coalition forces, a
Defense Department official said,
speaking on condition of anonymity.
There was no indication anyone was
inside at the time.
The stepped-up military opera-
tions followed an escalation in
insurgent attacks over the past three
In response, the U.S. military
announced "Operation Iron Hammer"
aimed at striking at suspected rebel tar-
gets before insurgents have the chance
to attack.
The strategy appeared aimed at
showing U.S. resolve as Washington
prepares to hand over political power
to a new Iraqi provisional government
by the end of June.
However, the heavy hand risks fur-
ther alienating an Iraqi population
already chafing under foreign military
During a news conference in Bagh-
dad, Swannack, whose division is
responsible for Anbar province, said
the robust tactic "demonstrates our
"We will use force, overwhelming
combat power when it's necessary," he

Continued from Page 1
sive than the European model, is a
cause of religious fervor in America.
"The United States is a consider-
ably less expensive welfare state than
other rich countries," said Inglehart,
referring to the disparity in unemploy-
ment services between the United
States and Europe. "One of the really
clear factors is that economic insecu-
rity leads to the need for a higher
belief. I think that the welfare state
killed off religious participation."
Inglehart also mentioned the rising
Hispanic population as another reason
for the results. In general, minority
populations in America tend to be
more religious.
Social Work Prof. Robert Taylor
said his research supports the claim
that blacks are more religious than
whites, but disagreed with the effect
of socioeconomic status on religious
"Poor blacks are not necessarily
more religious than blacks that have
higher levels of income. Because reli-
gion is fairly strong in the black com-
munity, you see this across
socioeconomic lines," Taylor said.
At the University, students of vari-
ous religions and ethnic origins have
mixed views on the importance of faith
in the country and in the community.
"I think the majority of the people
who attend the University aren't
Christian," said John Downer, presi-
dent of the InterVarsity Christian Fel-
lowship. "That's a concern. I think
faith is something that needs to be
considered. It's always better to think
about something and look for the
truth in that situation."
Downer mentioned that, in times of
academic and financial stress, faith is
very important.
"Even during the difficult times,
God is still there," he said.

A new University study reports that Americans are more religious than citizens of
other countries.

LSA sophomore Michael Dann said
the degree of religious faith varies
amongst Muslim students on campus.
For Dann, who goes by Abdullah,
practicing Islam in America is possi-
ble, but challenging.
"I would say that as far as religious
freedoms, as far as legal issues, it's rel-
atively easy to be a Muslim without
facing any trouble ' from the govern-
ment. That's not to say that there's no
problem," he said. But "as far as the
social aspect, it's not very conducive to
being a Muslim." Muslim students
cannot participate in social activities
such as drinking, an aspect of Ameri-
can culture frowned upon in Islam.
The World Values Survey draws a
significant distinction between the
United States and European nations.
Countries like France, whose main
religion is Catholicism, have seen
declining religious involvement.
"Among older people, Catholi-
cism is quite important. But for
people under 50 years old, the reli-
gion is not very widespread. Among
young people, urban students, there
are may be only a few who practice
their religion," said Engineering
grad student Pierre-Yves Meslin,
who is French.
Meslin explained the historical prece-
dent for this trend, which is markedly
different from the United States' history
of entrenched religious belief.
"In French history, during the revo-
lution, there was a big separation
between the church and state," he said.
As a result, "there was an anti-clerical
spirit that developed."
As a nation founded by and large by
religious refugees, the United States
has a long history of religious partici-
Successive generations of immi-
grants have come to this country for
religious freedom, a phenomenon that
has perpetuated traditional values,
according to a written release.


Prosecutor OK with
sparing life of killer
Like any politician who breaks a
promise, King County Prosecutor
Norm Maleng expected a heavy dose
of criticism for letting the Green River
Killer escape death row. By and large,
it hasn't come.
"When I made the decision, I felt at
peace with it," Maleng says. "I did then,
and I do today."
If that means that Maleng, a tough-on-
crime Republican who has sought the
death penalty 20 times in the 25 years he
has been in office, is remembered for the
execution he didn't seek, so be it, he says.
When Green River Killer suspect
Gary Ridgway was charged in 2001,
Maleng vowed that his office would not
bargain away the death penalty. After
careful consideration, he did just that,
allowing Ridgway to avoid lethal injec-
tion by confessing to dozens of
unsolved murder cases.
On Nov. 5, Ridgway pleaded guilty to
48 murders for a two-decade rampage.
U.S. imposes quotas
on Chinese clothing
The Bush administration increased
trade tensions with China yesterday by
announcing it will limit clothing

imports to protect struggling U.S. com-
panies, even as it searched for a com-
promise to end a bitter trade dispute
with Europe over steel.
Commerce Secretary Don Evans said
the administration was granting an
industry request to impose quotas on
Chinese imports of knit fabric, dressing
gowns and robes and bras. Evans said
the action "demonstrates our commit-
ment to our trade rules and America's
workers." The action was the latest
response by the administration to Amer-
ica's soaring trade deficit with China.
Gov't faces shortage
of Arabic speakers
Despite catch-up efforts, the govern-
ment still suffers from a shortage of
Arabic speakers that gravely hampers
military, diplomatic and intelligence
operations across the Middle East.
In Iraq, the language gap makes it
more difficult for soldiers to protect
themselves. At Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,
it has jeopardized interrogations of sus-
pected al-Qaida terrorists. And on Arab
television stations, it has left almost no
one defending American policies.
Correcting the problem hasn't proved
simple since the Sept. 11 attacks. Ara-
bic and other Middle East languages
are radically different from English.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.

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