In San Francisco, New York, Atlanta, Seattle and cities around the country hundreds of thousands took to the streets yesterday to take part in Gay Pride parades and to celebrate two of the most important victories in the history of the gay and lesbian rights movement. On Thursday the Supreme Court struck down all law banning gay sex and sodomy. A week earlier Canada legalized same-sex marriage.
Police in San Francisco estimated 750,000 took part or watched the festivities. Organizers said 300,000 were in Atlanta. The New York Times reported an estimated 250,000 were in the streets of New York.
On Sunday Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said he would back a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages in the United States. Frist criticized Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling saying, "I have this fear that this zone of privacy that we all want protected in our own homes is gradually… being encroached upon, where criminal activity within the home would in some way be condoned."
The Washington Post is reporting that the U.S. military has decided to put a halt to local elections and self-rule in over a dozen Iraqi cities. Instead they have installed handpicked administrators, many of whom are former Iraqi military leaders.
Iraqi generals, police colonels and people who had close ties to the Baath Party are now mayors of a dozen cities including Samarra, Najaf, Tikrit, Balad and Baqubah.
In Najaf last week, hundreds protested over the canceled elections. One banner read: "O America, where are promises of freedom, elections, and democracy?"
Meanwhile the U.S. yesterday launched at least 20 simultaneous air and ground raids to crack down on Iraqi opposition. At least 60 Iraqis were detained. This comes after the bodies of two US soldiers were found near the town of Balad, north of Baghdad. The total number of U.S. soldiers killed since the start of the invasion has now topped 200, one third have been killed since President Bush announced the end of hostilities.
A Spanish judge has jailed former Argentine naval officer Ricardo Miguel Cavallo without bail on charges of genocide and terrorism for crimes that occurred during Argentina’s military dictatorship. Cavallo was extradited from Mexico to Spain.
Cavallo is accused of kidnapping, torturing and murdering hundreds of people. All told as many as 30,000 people were killed or disappeared under Argentina’s military dictatorship that lasted from 1976 and 1983.
The Iranian government has admitted it arrested more than 4,000 people in an attempt to stop pro-reform and pro-democracy protests; 800 of them were students,
And Hollywood great Katherine Hepburn died yesterday at the age of 96.
Her film career spanned 50 years. She won a total of four Oscars. Hepburn was equally well-known as a role model for women. Her mother had been a leading figure in the suffrage movement and Hepburn herself became a Hollywood-style feminist both on and off screen.