42- Short news From the international front

Picture: Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia
20 arrested in Saudi gay wedding
RIYADH — Saudi authorities arrested 20 young men after raiding a suspected gay wedding in the southern town of Jizan, a newspaper reported Wednesday. The detainees, who were among some 400 men attending “the wedding party of two men” Tuesday, had been “emulating women,” the Al Watan paper said.
In all, some 250 people were detained in the police raid on the party but the rest were later released. Police had “arrested the wanted people and released those who have nothing to do with the matter,” the paper quoted a police commander as saying.
Some guests were also seen chewing qat, an illegal narcotic widely used in neighboring Yemen, on a hill above the square where the party was being held, Al Watan said.
Homosexuality is illegal in conservative Saudi Arabia, which metes out strict punishments based on Sharia, or Islamic law.
U.S. military discharges 726 personnel for being gay in 2005
The U.S. military discharged a total of 726 service members last year for being gay, a 10 percent increase on 2004, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.
The Army, the largest branch of the U.S. military, discharged 386 gay personnel, followed by the Navy with 177, the Air Force with 88 and the Marines, the smallest force, with 75, the newspaper quoted figures released by the gay rights group, the Service members Legal Defense Network, as saying.
A sharp increase occurred at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where in 1999 a soldier was bludgeoned to death in his barracks by fellow soldiers who thought he was homosexual. In 2004, 19 service members from the base were discharged and the number climbed to 49 in 2005.
The overall number of service members who were dismissed because they were found to be gay or because they disclosed their sexuality fell in the period from 2002 to 2004.
The total of such discharges in 2004 was 653, compared with 770 in 2003, 885 in 2002 and 1,227 in 2001. Under a policy introduced by the Clinton administration known as “donʼt ask, donʼt tell,” the military cannot inquire into service membersʼ sex lives unless there is evidence of homosexual conduct.