With homosexuals now free to serve openly in the U.S. military it didn't take long for a gay officer to climb to the top of the commissioned ranks. Star and Stripes, the Defense Department's semi-official newspaper, proudly reported that the Army has promoted its first homosexual officer to general status. “Army reserve officer Tammy Smith calls her recent promotion to brigadier general exciting and humbling, saying it gives her a chance to be a leader in advancing Army values and excellence,” reported the military newspaper.
A campaign assistant for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney confirmed that the former Massachusetts governor's opposition to the Boy Scouts' ban on homosexual leaders, which he publicly expressed in 1994, still stands. According to the Deseret News, Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul told the Associated Press that Romney is still holding to the political stand he adopted nearly 20 years ago when he said during an unsuccessful run for Ted Kennedy's U.S. Senate that while he supported “the right of the Boy Scouts of America to decide what it wants to do on that issue,” he also felt that “all people should be able to participate in the Boy Scouts regardless of their sexual orientation.”
In the latest demonstration of its disregard for religious freedom, Saudi Arabia has deported 35 Ethiopian Christians it had been holding for several months for the "crime" of praying together in a private home.
Missouri voters Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a "Right to Pray" amendment to the state's Constitution, which will almost surely be challenged in federal court. Amendment 2, approved by a vote of roughly 5 to 1, includes a provision that guarantees students the right to take part in prayer in public schools on a voluntary basis.
Oxford University, which for centuries has set one of the strictest trends for academic propriety, announced that it is doing away with its staid formal academic dress code in favor of one that is more sensitive to transvestites and other “transgender” individuals.