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Nation in brief: Pace remark on gays jeered

Outgoing Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Peter Pace waits to sit  before testifying Wednesday. Associated Press
 (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Outgoing Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Peter Pace waits to sit before testifying Wednesday. Associated Press (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, caused a stir at a Senate hearing Wednesday when he repeated his view that gay sex is immoral and should not be condoned by the military.

Pace, who retires next week, said he was seeking to clarify similar remarks he made in spring, which he said were misreported.

“Are there wonderful Americans who happen to be homosexual serving in the military? Yes,” he told the Senate Appropriations Committee during a hearing focused on the Pentagon’s 2008 war spending request.

“We need to be very precise then, about what I said wearing my stars and being very conscious of it,” he added. “And that is, very simply, that we should respect those who want to serve the nation but not through the law of the land, condone activity that, in my upbringing, is counter to God’s law.”

War protesters sitting behind Pace jeered the four-star general’s remarks, with some shouting, “Bigot!” That led Committee Chairman Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., to abruptly adjourn the hearing and seal off the doors.

Salt Lake City

Rape charge filed in polygamy case

Prosecutors filed a rape charge Wednesday against the ex-husband whose marriage was at the center of polygamous-sect leader Warren Jeffs’ trial.

The charge against Allen Glade Steed came a day after Jeffs was convicted of rape by accomplice.

Steed was 19 and his bride – also his first cousin – was 14 when they were married in 2001. He is accused of having sex with the girl against her will after the arranged marriage.

Steed, now 26, testified at Jeffs’ trial that he did not force himself on the girl and said she initiated their first sexual encounter.

The rape charge was based on a complaint filed by a sheriff’s investigator who said the trial established that the pair had sex and that the woman convinced jurors it was without her consent.

New York

Giuliani campaign drops finance chief

Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani’s top finance official is out in a staff shake-up just days before a fundraising deadline for the White House hopefuls.

Giuliani aides said Anne Dunsmore’s departure was unrelated to fundraising. The third-quarter deadline for all campaigns, Republican and Democrat, is Sunday.

Republican fundraiser Jim Lee will now serve as national co-chairman and head the finance operation.


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