Log Cabin urges court to sustain DADT case

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — A gay rights group is asking a federal appeals court in California to keep considering whether a trial judge properly struck down the U.S. military’s ban on gays serving openly in the military.

Lawyers for Log Cabin Republicans filed a brief Monday, Jan. 10 arguing that because the ban has not been lifted, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals needs to maintain its schedule in the government’s challenge to the lower court’s ruling.

It came in response to a Justice Department motion seeking to suspend the case for at least three months. The department faces a Jan. 24 deadline for submitting opening arguments.

Government lawyers say putting the appeal on hold would allow the Pentagon to focus on training troops and other tasks necessary for completing the repeal of the ban.

Congress has agreed to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

—  John Wright

The Nooner: Rebecca Drysdale, Log Cabin Republicans, next week’s deep freeze

Your gay lunchtime quickie from Instant Tea:

• Lesbian comic Rebecca Drysdale releases must-see, profanity-laden “It Gets Better” video. (Above, NSFW)

• Cross-dressing suspect charged in Houston-area bank robbery.

• Log Cabin Republicans welcomes 112th Congress: “The 2010 election was an historic victory for the GOP, and Log Cabin Republicans is committed to moving forward as part of a stronger, more inclusive Republican Party focused on the issues that unite us as Americans.•

Deep freeze headed to N. Texas: “Record lows aren’t in the forecast, but the frigid weather is expected to arrive Monday and stick around through at least Friday, with highs hovering near freezing and lows in the teens, said meteorologist Jason Dunn of the National Weather Service’s Fort Worth office.”

• Gay-friendly Dallas-based dating website Match.com sued over fake profiles.

—  John Wright

New Year. New Congress. New Senate Rules?

As the 112th Congress convenes for the first time on Wednesday, senators are expected to consider revising Senate rules to address procedural dysfunction highlighted during the 111th Congress.  Increased use of Senate rules for the purpose of obstructionism during the 111th Congress led to, among other things, delayed executive branch appointments, including a virtual standstill on the appointment of equality-minded judges, and multiple filibusters to delay passage of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal legislation.   In response, HRC has joined a coalition of groups calling on the Senate to prioritize open debate, increase transparency and accountability, and prevent needless partisan obstructionism.

Proposed reforms to Senate rules include eliminating “secret holds,” a tactic that allows any senator to anonymously block a vote on a presidential nomination.  In addition, a central topic in the discussion of reform is the filibuster.  As the coalition notes, “[t]hough the Senate averaged approximately one filibuster per year until 1970, senators in the past two sessions have used this tactic roughly 70 times per year.”  A filibuster was invoked on 139 occasions during the 111th Congress, a record high and also a 100% increase from the 110th Congress.  This abusive use of the filibuster has led to a new standard in the Senate that requires senators to meet a 60 vote threshold for a large number of votes.  Potential filibuster reforms include reducing the threshold number of votes required to avoid a filibuster and requiring senators who invoke a filibuster to remain on the Senate floor while the filibuster is taking place.

While there were landmark achievements in the 111th Congress for the LGBT community – including passage of a hate crimes bill and the legislative repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” – the exploitation of current Senate rules led to delays and partisan warfare over both bills.  It is time for the Senate to take a hard look at whether its current rules lead to unnecessary partisan obstructionism, safe havens for senators to avoid discussing substantive issues, and distortion of the views and beliefs of the American people.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

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What’s Brewing: Navy investigates sex videos; Prop 8-backing pastor accused of pedophilia

1. The Navy has launched an investigation into a series of raunchy sex videos that were shown to the crew of an aircraft carrier deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007. A Navy spokesman called the videos, uncovered by The Virginia-Pilot newspaper, “clearly inappropriate.” Gee, ya think? The videos, which contain anti-gay slurs and simulated sex acts, reportedly were produced by Capt. Owen Honors, who at the time was second-in-command of the carrier, the USS Enterprise. Powers has since taken command of the carrier, which is scheduled to deploy in a few weeks. This is just a wild guess, but we’re saying Honors won’t be aboard the ship when it leaves Norfolk.

2. California pastor and Prop 8 supporter Tom Daniels is being held on $6 million bail after being charged with multiple sexual assaults of a child. In other words, this guy thinks gays shouldn’t be allowed to marry, but it’s fine for him to rape kids. Daniels, who made two monetary donations to Yes on 8, is senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Rio Linda in Sacramento County.

3. Have we mentioned that there’s no hope for ENDA or DOMA in the new Congress?

—  John Wright

Anti-Gay Christianist Groups Vow To Force Congress To Reverse Repeal Of DADT

Led by the Liberty Counsel, a coalition of anti-gay Christianist hate groups today signed on to a letter vowing to force the next Congress to reverse today’s repeal of DADT. Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver rants:

“This action will be overturned in the next Congress because it breaks the bond of trust that must exist between the military and those who command in the Pentagon and Congress. Today’s vote will prove as costly to its proponents as ObamaCare was to its advocates. We promise a full mobilization of faith-based and policy organizations, veterans, and military families in the states of every Senator who voted for repeal of DADT against the advice of our service chiefs and during a time of war. Those Senators – and the Pentagon leaders responsible for this breach of trust – should understand that they will be the object of concerted political action against them.”

Among the groups signing the letter:

National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Teen Mania Ministries, American Association of Christian Counselors, Let Freedom Ring, Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, American Family Association, Family Research Council; Liberty Counsel, Liberty Alliance Action, Vision America, The Oak Initiative, The Call to Action, Concerned Women for America, High Impact Leadership Coalition, Campaign for Working Families, Conservative Action Project, Traditional Values Coalition, Renewing American Leadership, Conservative HQ, Constitution Party, Bott Radio Network, Center for Military Readiness.

Joe. My. God.

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Accuracy in Media calls for Congress to investigate Obama admin for ‘un-American activities’

Gun up the DeLorean and let’s take a ride in the time machine to the 1950s, courtesy of Accuracy in Media’s Cliff Kincaid.

Kincaid suggests establishing in the new Congress a “House Internal Security Committee,” which sounds curiously like the (House Un-American Activities Committee). Yes, the fringe right has officially called for the raising of Zombie Senator Joseph McCarthy to take care of Nazi Muslim Socialist Humanist Black Panther influences that have taken over our government. (via Right Wing Watch):

Some conservatives have belatedly discovered that Obama has socialist and anti-colonial views. But that is not even half the story. The most important part of the story remains to be investigated by the FBI and, hopefully, by a new House Internal Security Committee. Re-establishment of this committee will demonstrate that the new Congress means business and that it won’t resort to politics as usual and compromise.

All of this requires that the new Congress takes its responsibilities seriously, not only on fiscal issues, but on matters involving the national security and moral integrity of the United States. The liberals will raise a hue and cry, and some conservatives may balk, but it is mandatory and necessary to begin addressing what an old congressional committee used to call “un-American activities” at the highest levels of the U.S. Government.

Perhaps while they are at it, they can call in McCarthy’s gay self-loathing BFF Zombie Roy Cohn to complete the deal.

So who will take on the McCarthy and Cohn roles in the new Congress if Kincaid’s idea takes flight?
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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Sec Def Gates laments that Congress likely won’t repeal DADT this year

STFU. I’ve seriously had enough of that idiot. It’s his fault that we’re still even talking about DADT, because he wanted a study, and he wanted the study to be finished AFTER the elections, blah blah blah. And the President gave in to every single demand. And now, Gates is lamenting that Congress – get that, CONGRESS – may stop DADT from being repealed.

Spare us the crocodile tears.

If this DADT compromise isn’t passed in the next few weeks, it’s all going to be on Barack Obama’s head for deciding to wait until 2010, and then deciding to cave to his Secretary of Defense over and over again.

As I mention below, Senator Reid has his own share of blame in this ongoing fiasco (as do HRC and all of the apologists). But in the end, repeal of DADT was one man’s promise, the President’s. And it’s increasingly looking like he blew it again.




AMERICAblog Gay

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SHOCKER: With Pentagon study complete, Sen. Cornyn has new excuse for opposing DADT repeal

Sen. John Cornyn

With the Pentagon study on repealing “don’t ask don’t tell” to be released today, we inquired of Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn’s office whether he believes it would now be prudent to move forward on this issue during the lame duck session of Congress. After all, Cornyn told us in June he didn’t believe Congress should act on DADT repeal until the study was complete.

Here’s the response we received moments ago from Cornyn spokesman Kevin McClaughlin:

“There are a handful of time sensitive issues that must be addressed during lame duck. A continuing resolution to fund the government, the medicare reimbursement rate also known as the ‘doc fix,’ and preventing every American from incurring a massive tax increase on the first of the year just to name a few. Sen. Cornyn believes these things should be the focus of the lame duck session.’

So there you have it. Repealing a discriminatory policy that hurts the military and is opposed by the vast majority of Americans is simply not a priority for our junior senator, who by every indication will be joining his party’s filibuster of the Defense spending bill to which the DADT amendment is attached. A better question at this point would probably be whether Cornyn will introduce toxic anti-gay amendments to the Defense bill if Democrats can overcome the filibuster — such as a measure to overturn same-sex marriage in D.C. If you’ll remember, this is what Cornyn tried to do with health care reform.

We still haven’t heard back on a similar inquiry to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s office, but don’t get your hopes up.

—  John Wright

Powell: Don’t pressure Congress to vote if it ‘isn’t ready’ and the DADT study is in

WTF? Let’s see…Gen. Colin Powell’s turn on this is bizarre. While he, as one of the architects of DADT, is now for repeal, apparently the midterm scare is goosing him to urge the political slow-walk now.

Last time I checked, what he’s calling “pressuring” — a.k.a lobbying, calling and holding direct actions to urge Congress to act on legislation before it — is what citizens are encouraged to do. What is the point of electing people to represent you if you aren’t supposed to let them know how important passing a bill or addressing an issue is?

Or do the sensitivities of military homophobes who are queasy about soap dropping in the shower/homos seeing my pee-pee supercede this? Via Igor Volsky @ The Wonk Room:

POWELL: My position has been, it has been 17 years since we put that policy in place. Lots of things have happened. Attitudes have changed within our society. But i always believe, as I believed in 1993, that we have to take into account the views of our military leaders who are responsible for the well-being of the armed forces.

KING: So you support the McCain’s view?

POWELL: Yes. But, you know, our military leaders have now spoken. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense, there is some, some difference of opinion among the chiefs that will have to be resolved. But I wish that we would just let that study be finished, let it be published and let everybody read it and not leak parts of it. And so I share Senator McCain’s view that we ought to let the process unfold and not try to intercept it with court rulings or with people trying to get a vote out of the Congress when the Congress is not ready to vote on it.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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NYT asks how DOJ can still argue ‘with a straight face’ that Congress will end DADT

Like many of us, the NY Times Editorial Board seems skeptical that Congress will end DADT this year (despite repeated promises by the President and Congressional leaders.) Today’s editorial castigates the arguments made by the Obama administration in its recent filing with the U.S. Supreme Court. The Times wonders why DOJ keeps arguing that Congress will end DADT — when that possibility seems more remote by the day:

The Supreme Court’s decision on Friday to allow the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy to remain in effect is a victory for theory over reality and a defeat for America’s system of checks and balances.

It also underscores the bravery and competence of Virginia Phillips, the federal judge who mustered logic and persuasive evidence in September when she struck down the statute enacting the policy. She did the same in October when she issued a ban on its enforcement.

The Supreme Court’s order included no explanation, so it’s sensible to look for that in the Justice Department filing that urged the court to rule as it did. Repeatedly, it mentioned repeal of the law by Congress and the process under way in the executive branch laying the groundwork for that. It said the wrong way to overturn the law is by “judicial invalidation” and the right way is by “repeal of an act of Congress by Congress itself.”

Sometimes the courts have to act when Congress lacks the sense or the courage to do so. The Senate could have joined the House in repealing the antigay law in September. It did not. Given the sharp rightward turn of Congress in the elections, how can the Justice Department now make that argument with a straight face?

Good question.

The President and the Senate are both lacking sense and courage on DADT. We keep waiting for signs of a strategy or a plan from someone. Nothing. Time is running out.




AMERICAblog Gay

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