DADT is officially gone. Obama will actually have to choose to resurrect the now-dead policy.

“Right now, as of this moment, there is, effectively, no DADT policy in effect.” – Richard Socarides, New York attorney and former Clinton White House adviser on gay rights

This is a rather fine, but important distinction, I think.

A federal judge killed DADT today. Her ruling says the government has to immediately stop the investigations, the discharges, everything. Immediately. That means no one in the government is permitted to do anything related to enforcing DADT. It’s gone.

The injunction goes into effect immediately, said Dan Woods, the attorney who represented the Log Cabin Republicans, the gay rights group that filed the lawsuit in 2004 to stop the ban’s enforcement.

“Don’t ask, don’t tell, as of today at least, is done, and the government is going to have to do something now to resurrect it,” Woods said. “This is an extremely significant, historic decision. Once and for all, this failed policy is stopped. Fortunately now we hope all Americans who wish to serve their country can.”

The only way for DADT to come back is for President Obama to resurrect the policy by asking the court for a “stay pending appeal” – i.e., to stay the enforcment of the district court judge’s order pending appeal, and then appealing the case. Unless and until Obama resurrects DADT, it’s dead. So the stakes are actually higher for the President on this one. DADT is gone. He now has to decide whether he wants to personally bring it back.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Rutgers school paper is pissed off that Tyler Clementi’s death actually meant something

It’s attitudes like the one in this editorial that lead gay youth to not feel secure. Yes, God forbid that one young man’s death actually leads to a push for a more gay-inclusive, gay-accepting, society.

Big ass editorial in the Rutgers school paper, the Daily Targum, about how upset the paper is that Tyler Clementi’s recent decent has to led to an outcry about the recent spate of gay youth suicides nationwide. Here’s a taste of the editorial:

The death of University student Tyler Clementi might have been properly mourned if it were not for the massive rallies and aggressive news coverage that altered the nature of the situation. The truth is that an 18-year-old boy killed himself – he was a student just like the rest of us, someone just trying to receive an education. Yet people’s relentless agendas took his death and turned it into a cause based on false pretenses.

We did not know Tyler. It was barely three weeks into his first year at the University, and most of his neighbors in his residence hall barely knew him. Turning his death into a push for gay rights is a fallacy. Homosexuality is not the only reason for which people kill themselves. In this case, it might have pushed Clementi over the edge, but the fact that he was gay should by no means turn his death into a march for safe spaces. These groups want to be heard. They want the attention. They want their agendas to shine in the limelight.

Let me take a wild guess. The editorial writer is a conservative, straight, and a guy.

As for those horrible activists “wanting their agendas to shine in the limelight”… man what an asshole.  I nearly forgot what it was like to be in college, and to have a Republican man-child writing for the school paper.

What Republican man-child doesn’t get is that had Tyler been straight, had he been filmed having sex with a girl, and had that film made its way online, he might have been freaked, he might have even still committed suicide – maybe.  But the chances are much greater of all that happening when the victim is gay.

When you’re straight and the boys in college see a vid of you screwing a girl, you’re the BMOC.  When you’re a fag and it happens, the entire school mocks you, points at you, and laughs.  It’s just not funny when a guy f-cks a girl.  It’s funny as hell when a dude does it to another dude and the entire world gets to watch, and laugh.

And what about your parents?  Has GOP man-child come out to his parents as straight?  How about to his aunts and uncles, to his cousins, to his childhood friends, to the people on his floor, to the lady at the front desk of his dorm, and to the guy he buys his coffee from on the way to class (let alone every single stranger he sees on his way to class)?  I’m gonna go out on a limb here and suggest that after having been filmed having sex, straight kids don’t need to worry about coming out as “straight” to every single human being they’re going to see for the next few months, if not years.  Gay kids do.  And while straight kids won’t be berated, beaten up, killed, and disowned for being straight – gay kids will.

That’s why what happened to Tyler was such a big deal to so many people across the country.  They could relate.  They could relate to the shame, the embarrassment, the mockery, and ultimately the feeling that you just can’t go on.  Those feelings don’t usually come from being straight.  They come far too often from being gay.

What a lame ass editorial for a school paper to be writing at a school where a kid just killed himself.  How about welcoming the awareness that’s been raised as a result of this death?  The small good that might come from something so bad.

And finally, if the jerk who wrote this editorial thinks that the national attention, sorrow, and rage has been orchestrated by organizations with an agenda, well, then he’s not a very good reporter either.  123,959 people haven’t joined this Facebook page because some activist organization told them to.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Who Believes I Love You Phillip Morris Will Actually Premiere This Winter?

phillipmorriscarrey

For reasons such as this, I won't believe it until I walk up to a cinema, see I Love You Phillip Morris on the marquee, am actually allowed to purchase a ticket to it at the box office, and can walk into a theater that shows, after the words "Feature Presentation," Jim Carrey screwing a guy on screen — but for all intents and purposes the film has a release date, December 3. Oh who are we kidding: I won't believe it until I can go on MovieTickets.com and buy a stub online. Who waits in line at the box office anymore?


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Queerty

—  John Wright

Elisabeth Hasselbeck: ‘I Actually Support Gay Marriage’

Weird, but welcome. Another Republican to the left of Barack Obama on marriage equality.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Is Tom Emmer’s Opposition to Marriage Equality Actually the Least Disgusting Thing About Him?

Tom Emmer, the Minnesota Republican gubernatorial hopeful who believes, like Target, that pharmacists should be able to deny medication to customers based on their personal beliefs, isn't just a repulsive politician, arguing against marriage equality and even workplace benefits for gay staffers. He's also a repulsive human being, as evidenced by his support of the rock band You Can Run But Cannot Hide Ministry. If it sounds like that's a message aimed at homosexuals, well.

CONTINUED »


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Queerty

—  John Wright

Target’s Anti-Gay Political Donations Are Not Actually New: A History Lesson

Crawling back into the sunlight after a the publicity nightmare it created for itself, Target and CEO Gregg Steinhafel now say the company is "genuinely sorry" for donating 0,000 in cash and services to the political action committee MN Forward. Steinhafel also told employees (and, by proxy, consumers) today, "We remain fully committed to fostering an environment that supports and respects the rights and beliefs of all individuals. " But how can Target remain fully committed to something it never had in the first place?

CONTINUED »


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Queerty

—  John Wright

DART accused of transphobia

Judge reversed order after transit agency fought longtime employee’s gender-marker change last year

John Wright | News Editor
wright@dallasvoice.com

TRANS FRIENDLY? | Judge Lynn Cherry, right, is shown alongside drag performer Chanel during Stonewall Democrats’ 2008 holiday party at the Round-Up Saloon. A few months later, Cherry ruled against a transgender DART employee and overturned a gender-marker change. (John Wright/Dallas Voice)

DART stands accused of bigotry and transphobia after attorneys for the local transit agency intervened in family court last year to challenge a gender-marker change granted to an employee.

According to court records, a transgender DART employee obtained a court order in February 2009 directing all state agencies to correct their records by changing her gender-marker from male to female, including on her birth certificate.

As Dallas Voice reported last week, many Dallas County judges have been routinely granting gender-marker changes to transgender people who meet set criteria — including documentation from licensed medical personnel — since the Democratic sweep of 2006.

The DART employee, who’s name is being withheld to protect her anonymity, later presented the court order to the transit agency’s human resources department and requested that her personnel records be changed to reflect her new gender.

But DART’s attorneys objected to the gender-marker change and responded by filing a motion seeking a rehearing in court. DART’s objections prompted 301st Family District Court Judge Lynn Cherry to reverse her order granting the gender-marker change.

“Where does this stop when an employer can start interfering with your personal life and family law decisions?” said longtime local transgender activist Pamela Curry, a friend of the DART employee who brought the case to the attention of Dallas Voice. “She was devastated. This should be a serious concern to a lot of people — everybody — and I just think this story needs to be told.”

Judge Cherry, who received Stonewall Democrats of Dallas’ Pink Pump Award for her support of the group last year, didn’t respond to messages seeking comment this week.

Morgan Lyons, a spokesman for DART, noted that Cherry reversed her order before the agency actually filed its motion for a rehearing. However, Curry alleges that DART’s attorneys met with Cherry privately and pressured her into reversing the order.

As is common with gender-marker changes, the case file has been sealed, but Dallas Voice obtained copies of some of the court documents from Curry.

In their motion for a rehearing, DART attorneys Harold R. McKeever and Hyattye Simmons argued that Texas law grants registrars, not judges, the authority to amend birth certificates. They also argued that birth certificates could be amended only if they were inaccurate at the time of birth.

“It’s not a DART issue, it’s a point of law,” Lyons told Dallas Voice this week, in response to the allegations of bigotry. “The lawyers concluded that the birth certificate could not be altered by law, unless there was a mistake made when the birth certificate was completed, and again, the judge changed the order before we even wound up going into court with it.”

Asked about DART’s LGBT-related employment policies, Lyons said the agency’s nondiscrimination policy includes sexual orientation but not gender identity/expression. The agency, which is governed by representatives from Dallas and numerous suburbs, also doesn’t offer benefits to the domestic partners of employees.

Lyons didn’t respond to other allegations made by Curry, including that the agency has fought the employee’s transition from male to female at every step of the way.

Curry, who helped the employee file her pro se petition for a gender-marker change, said the employee has worked for DART for more than 20 years and has an outstanding performance record.

The employee began to come out as transgender in 2003 and had gender reassignment surgery more than three years ago, Curry said. Curry said DART supervisors have at various times told the employee that she couldn’t have long hair, couldn’t wear skirts to work and couldn’t use women’s restrooms at work.

The employee has responded by showing up at work in her uniform so she doesn’t have to change and using public restrooms on her bus route, Curry said.

Supervisors have also told the employee she can’t talk to the media and can’t join political groups, such as Stonewall Democrats, Curry said.

“She’s intimidated and she’s scared,” Curry said. “One supervisor even suggested to her that if she doesn’t lay off it, they will mess up her retirement.”

Elaine Mosher, a Dallas attorney who’s familiar with the case, also questioned why DART intervened. Mosher didn’t represent the employee in the case but has handled gender-marker changes for other clients.

Mosher said the employee’s gender doesn’t have any bearing on her ability to do her job at DART.

“My argument in any gender marker matter is, the birth certificate was wrong, that’s why they had to go through the transition surgery, in essence to put them in the correct gender,” Mosher said. “All I can tell you is that it seems strange to me that DART would care one way or another what the gender marker of anybody that works for them is.”

Moster added that she believes someone at DART may have been “freaked out” by the employee’s transition from male to female and developed a “vendetta” against her.

“I wish I had a good explanation for why [DART got involved] other than the fact that I know there are people out there who are utterly blind and prejudiced for no other reason than they are,” Mosher said. “I compare it to some of the nonsense African-Americans had to live through in the ’60s.”

Mosher also said she’s “very surprised” that Cherry reversed the order granting the gender marker change.

Erin Moore, president of Stonewall Democrats, said she’s heard “bits and pieces” of the story but isn’t sure of all the facts.

Moore said in response to her questions about the case, Cherry told her she couldn’t talk about it because it’s still within the timeframe for a possible appeal.

“Lynn is a longtime supporter of Stonewall and I would think she would be fair in the case,” Moore said. “I’m confident she’s an ally to this community.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 19, 2010.

—  admin