Blended families and same-sex parents are increasingly vying for space with the nuclear family on the small screen in line with shifts in Western society. "Television is much better than cinema at picking up on changes in society, at responding to them in a fast and varied way," said the French film critic Xavier Leherpeur. "That is especially true when it comes to gay marriage and gay rights." Worldwide some 20 countries now allow gay marriage in all or part of their territory, including 16 out of the 50 US states.
By David Alexander MANAMA (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Saturday the United States would maintain a wide array of military forces in the Middle East to ensure security in the volatile region despite diplomatic overtures toward Iran over its nuclear program. Hagel, in prepared remarks to the Manama Dialogue security forum in Bahrain, said the Pentagon had no plan to adjust its military presence or planning in the region as a result of an interim accord on Tehran's nuclear enrichment program. The Pentagon chief, seeking to reassure the wary Gulf Arab leaders about Washington's intentions, said even as diplomacy moves forward, U.S. security guarantees will be backed by a fierce array of aircraft, ships, tanks, artillery and 35,000 troops. The Pentagon chief also proposed new steps to improve regional security, including boosting missile defense and allowing the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council to purchase U.S. defense systems as an organization to encourage regional partnerships.