What’s Brewing: NY marriage update; UMC pastor convicted; Gates unlikely to certify DADT repeal

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

1. After a week of negotiations, the New York State Senate may finally vote today on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s marriage equality bill. If the Senate doesn’t vote on the bill before it adjourns, it’s likely Cuomo would call a special session. Legislative leaders reportedly have agreed “conceptually” on language that would expand religious protections to satisfy some Republicans, but the amendments hadn’t been printed, so there was nothing to vote on Wednesday night. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama will speak at a gay campaign fundraiser today in Manhattan, and groups including GetEQUAL are planning a “A Demonstration for Full Equality” outside.

2. In a setback for those who’ve been defying the church’s ban on officiating same-sex weddings, a Methodist pastor was found guilty Wednesday of marrying a lesbian couple. A jury of 13 clergy members that unanimously convicted the Rev. Amy DeLong is expected to announce her punishment today, which could range from suspension to defrocking. DeLong was found not guilty of a second charge that she is a “self-avowed practicing homosexual,” after she declined to answer whether her relationship includes sexual contact.

3. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is unlikely to certify the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” before he steps down at the end of this month, leading to concerns about further delays in ending the ban on open military service.

—  John Wright

What’s Brewing: Gates may certify DADT repeal this month; GOP debate touches on LGBT issues

Defense Secretary Robert Gates

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the Associated Press he may certify the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” before stepping down at the end of this month, which could allow the ban on open service to end sometime in September. Gates said he will certify DADT repeal this month only if all of the service chiefs recommend it. If not, it will be left to his successor, Leon Panetta.

2. Republican presidential candidates responded to questions about both same-sex marriage and DADT repeal during their debate Monday night in New Hampshire. Watch their responses below, but here’s our takeaway: If Texas Gov. Rick Perry decides to seek the GOP nomination, he’ll have a hard time setting himself apart from other major candidates based on his anti-gay views.

3. What’s with the straight men posing as lesbians in the blogosphere?

—  John Wright

What’s Brewing: Airman discharged under DADT; Dallas makes list of ‘surprising’ gay places

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. A member of the Air Force was discharged under “don’t ask, don’t tell” in April, the first discharge since President Barack Obama signed a bill to repeal the ban on open service in December. Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, said: “This discharge underscores the need for the President, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the Secretary of Defense to certify ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal and put this ugly chapter in American history behind us. It also highlights the undeniable and unfortunate fact that service members remain under investigation and at risk of discharge.”

2. Three activists from GetEQUAL, including former Senate candidate Jim Neal, were arrested Thursday during a protest at the Capitol in North Carolina targeting a state constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. Watch video from the action below.

3. Dallas appears at No. 6 on AlterNet’s list of “6 Surprising Places It’s Great To Be Gay.” We’re not sure some of the places on the list, including Dallas and Atlanta, should be all that much of a surprise to anyone. But here’s the conclusion from AlterNet’s Heather Cronk: “Make no mistake – Dallas isn’t a queer utopia and there is still a real need for conversations along the lines of race and class. But the city’s gay bar culture is one of the most vibrant and most diverse in the country.”

—  John Wright

House committee adopts anti-gay amendments

Aubrey Sarvis

Amendments not likely to pass in the Senate, but could resurface in conference committee

LISA KEEN | Keen News Service
lisakeen@me.com

The full U.S. House Armed Services Committee approved three amendments late Wednesday night, May 11, that seek to delay implementation of repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and to reiterate Congress’s support for the Defense of Marriage Act.

The votes were largely along partisan lines and are unlikely to be sustained in the Democratic-controlled Senate, even if they are approved by the Republican-dominated House.

But the question is whether they might survive a Senate-House conference committee, when compromises have to be hammered out between two increasingly contentious parties.

None of the proposed amendments sought to undo what Congress did last December when it passed legislation to repeal the military’s ban on openly gay people, but each provided yet another forum for debate over repeal.

The committee debated for more than 40 minutes on an amendment over whether to require that each of the chiefs of the four combat branches of the military provide written certification to Congress before repeal can be implemented. The amendment passed 33-27.

Committee members then debated for less than 20 minutes on an amendment to reiterate that the Defense of Marriage Act applies to the military. The amendment passed 39-22.

And they debated for 13 minutes on an amendment to reiterate that decisions concerning use of military facilities and personnel for conducting same-sex wedding ceremonies are governed by DOMA. That amendment passed 38-23.

Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, called the amendments “an assault on our nation’s senior military leaders and rank-and-file service members, who are marching toward open military service successfully.

“These adopted amendments to delay and derail repeal are a partisan political attempt to interject the same-sex marriage debate and other unrelated social issues into the [budget authorization legislation] where they have no place,” said Sarvis.

Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said the amendments were intended “to slow down open service and perpetuate scare tactics about the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’”

Three different Republican members of the House Armed Services Committee proposed the amendments during the full House Armed Services Committee consideration of the annual bill authorizing how the Department of Defense can spend its funding. The overall bill is known as the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (or bill Number H.R. 1540). Fiscal Year 2012 begins Oct. 1.

San Diego Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter first introduced his measure, called the “Restore Military Readiness Act,” as a stand-alone bill, in January. It has 25 co-sponsors.

It seeks to require that certification of military readiness to implement repeal of the ban on gays in the military be done by the chiefs of the four branches of the military, in addition to the certifications already required from the president, the Secretary of Defense, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Hunter, in debate, claimed that “60 to 70 percent” of Navy Seals oppose repeal of DADT. The Seals have been the subject of enormous public attention and praise recently, after successfully capturing and killing terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden.

San Diego Democrat Rep. Susan Davis, the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee which received Hunter’s original measure, reminded the full committee that the four service branch chiefs testified at Congressional hearings that they believe their views are heard and respected by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen.

Rep. Hank Johnson, a Democrat from Georgia, lamented that the House continues to debate DADT repeal.

“Having openly gay people serve in our military is not apocalypse,” said Johnson, “it’s a sign of progress.”

He also reminded committee members that when President Truman moved to integrate the military, there were some who opposed it.

“I think it’s a similar situation here with ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’” said Johnson.

Ohio Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan read a letter from a gay veteran from World War II, supporting repeal of DADT.

Currently, President Obama, Gates and Mullen are expected to certify the military as ready to implement repeal of DADT this summer. The repeal would then take effect 60 days later.

Given how difficult it has been for the Senate and House to agree on budget matters in recent months, it seems possible that the 60-day waiting period will expire and DADT will be repealed long before a Senate-House conference committee will have a chance to tackle the issues.

The second amendment came from Missouri Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler. It seeks to emphasize that DOMA still applies to DOD regulations and policies.

Hartzler said the amendment would address situations such as the recent conflict over whether Navy chaplains could preside over same-sex marriages and allow such ceremonies to take place on military bases.

Rep. Randy Forbes, a Republican from Virginia, and others claimed the amendment was necessary because the Obama administration was “not enforcing” DOMA, so it is necessary to reiterate Congress’s support for the law. No one spoke to correct that claim.

The Obama administration made clear it would continue enforcing DOMA until such time as the courts may find it unconstitutional. But it did say it would no longer defend DOMA as passing all constitutional levels of scrutiny in all federal courts.

The third amendment, from Missouri Republican Rep. Todd Akin, would prevent the use of military facilities or personnel for marriage ceremonies between same-sex couples.

Akin’s amendment, like that of Hartzler, was in reaction to an April 13 memo from the Navy’s Chief of Chaplains recommending military facilities be available for use at same-sex marriage ceremonies in states where marriage licenses are available to same-sex couples. The chief also recommended military chaplains be allowed to participate in such ceremonies, if their religious beliefs allow them to.

But on Tuesday, May 10, Navy Chaplain Chief Mark Tidd “suspended” his earlier recommendations, saying they needed to undergo “additional legal and policy review and interdepartmental coordination.”

ABC News reported that a group of 63 Republicans had sent a letter to the Secretary of Navy, expressing objections to Tidd’s initial recommendations.

“Make no mistake,” said SLDN’s Sarvis, “these votes should be a wake-up call to supporters of open service that our work is not done. Our commitment to timely certification and repeal must be redoubled as we move to the House floor to defend the progress we have made to ensure that LGB patriots can defend and serve the country they love with honesty and integrity.”

Rep. Steven Palazzo, a Mississippi Republican, was reportedly ready to introduce an amendment to delay implementation of DADT repeal in order to develop and issue new regulations concerning how to handle service members who have religious or moral objections to openly gay people in the military. He did not do so.

© 2011 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.

—  John Wright

LCR convention draws prominent Republicans

Attorney Dan Woods, right, speaks to the media at the United States District Court in Riverside, Calif., after making arguments on the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy last October. Woods, who represents Log Cabin Republicans who are the plaintiffs in the case, will be in Dallas this weekend to speak at the LCR National Convention. (Francis Specker/Associated Press)

DADT attorney Dan Woods, former Congressman Bob Barr slated to speak at gay Republican gathering at the Anatole Hotel

JAMES BRIGHT | Contributing Writer
editor@dallasvoice.com

Several prominent GOP members will be spending some time in Dallas this weekend to participate in the Log Cabin Republicans’ annual convention, which will take place at the Hilton Anatole Hotel.

The event, which began Thursday, April 28, and runs through Sunday, May 1, will include discussions and speeches from politicians, lawyers and members of the media.

Dan Woods, lead attorney in LCR’s lawsuit challenging the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell policy,” will be speaking at the convention about the importance of the case, its current standing and some of the war stories involved in the suit.

“People think this case is over and it’s not,” Woods said in a recent interview. “Our case is alive and kicking.”

Woods said there are two different things going on with the case: Although LCR won at trial, the government has decided to appeal the decision. After months of legal arguments and appeals from both sides oral arguments are supposed to begin next week.

Despite the legal battle and action in Congress to repeal the anti-gay law, Woods said as of this point the repeal of DADT is not in effect. He said that steps have to be taken to get the military ready and although there are some efforts in this area service men and women are still suffering from this legislation.

“There is no timetable as to when this repeal will become affective,” Woods said. “Although the numbers are smaller the government is still investigating people under ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’”

Another problem Woods said he has run into is that many potential presidential candidates have made stopping the repeal part of their platform. Political issues are key in this legislation’s evolution, according to Woods.

“The government has said they don’t want the courts deciding how our military is run. What’s really going on is President Obama wants to take credit for all this to help his next campaign,” Woods said.

In addition to talking about the current status of DADT, Woods said he will talk about some of those suffering from this legislation.

“We are going to focus on stories about those affected by ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and the heart-breaking tales of how it impacted them and the unit they worked on,” he said.

One such servicemember, according to Woods, was Alexander Nicholson, who was kicked out of the Army because he was caught writing a letter to a former boyfriend. Another story involved a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserves whose name cannot be used.

“This is just another story where someone is being denied their constitutional rights while they work to protect ours,” Woods said.

LCR Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper said the repeal of DADT is a front page and front burner issue for the organization.

“We can’t take our eye off it,” he said.

The convention will also feature as keynote speaker former Congressman Bob Barr.

Barr, who ran as the Libertarian candidate in the 2008 presidential election, served in the House of Representatives as a Republican from Georgia from 1995 to 2003. During his time in office he authored and sponsored the Defense of Marriage Act, which was enacted as law in 1996.

At the federal level the legislation recognized marriage as being between a man and a woman and declared that individual states can choose not to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

Barr apologized in 2008 for his role in creating the legislation and now supports the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal DOMA.

Rob Schlein, president of the Dallas chapter of Log Cabin Republicans, said Barr is one of the speakers he is most looking forward to hearing, since the former congressman switched his position on DOMA. Schlein said it’s important for members of the LGBT community to hear this information due to misconceptions about the GOP’s opinion toward LGBT people.

“The Republican Party is one of liberty and freedom,” Schlein said. “Gay people should feel at home in the party.”

Cooper said having Barr available to speak at the convention was a wonderful advantage since he was the father of DOMA,

“We started at the top,” Cooper said. “It’s anti-government for the federal government to have such power over the states like what is granted in the Defense of Marriage Act. It’s going to die, but when that happens is just speculation right now.”

Cooper said communication is an important factor in battling for LGBT rights within the GOP.

“We need to let people know in the gay community who are businessmen, or servicemembers that they have a home in the GOP,” he said.

Cooper said the general consensus surrounding the idea of a gay Republican has become a matter of levity to him.

“I joke for gay Republicans there is coming out twice,” he said. “You come out first when you’re gay and then when you’re a Republican.”

Cooper said marriage equality at large is a growing issue on a broader scale. Although it is unlikely that debate over DOMA will be seen on the floor this year, Cooper said events like these give Log Cabin Republicans a chance to educate the entire party.

“We use traditional conservative values from the 19th century,” he said. “We should not regulate or impede on our neighbors’ rights and someone born differently should not be treated differently.”

Cooper said it is important for the entire GOP to know that Log Cabin Republicans are also interested in pushing the party’s larger and broader agenda.

“We want to educate while working with our fellow Republicans,” he said.

Republicans will be responsible for giving members of the LGBT community the liberties they want, according to Schlein, who said that Democrats are the ones perpetuating limited rights.

“Democrats need these issues to keep winning elections,” he said.

Even Democratic politicians at the top of the federal hierarchy are responsible for limiting LGBT equality, according to Schlein. He said President Obama could have easily repealed DADT when he had the support of a Democratic Congress during his first two years in office.

“He chooses not to repeal it, because he wants to enslave gay people,” Schlein said.

In addition to hearing some of the speakers at the convention, Schlein said he will also go to board meetings since he does sit on the national board of the Log Cabin Republicans.

Cooper said recently the number of supporters and members of Log Cabin Republicans have been increasing somewhat dramatically. The development of LCR candidates is an important issue the organization is tackling according to Cooper.

LCR members are developing relationships in the GOP, but also getting members to run, Cooper said.

“Our numbers are starting to grow as more people come out of the closet and more members start to become more supportive,” he said. “We are at a point in the organization where we have to say, ‘It’s just not enough to be visible. We need gay Republicans to run for office.’”

Ken Mehlman, former head of the Republican National Committee and campaign manager for President George W. Bush’s successful second run for president, will also be speaking at the convention.

And former Sen. Norm Coleman was a late addition to the event. Coleman, who served as a federal senator from Minnesota from 2003 to 2009, now works as an adviser to the Republican Jewish Coalition. He was one of three candidates in the highly publicized 2008 senate election in which the Minnesota Supreme Court handed down a ruling declaring comedian Al Franken the winner of the seat.

Coleman will not actually be at the convention, but has recorded a video message in which he welcomes all members of the GOP into the Republican tent.

Although originally listed as a speaker, Fox News correspondent Margaret Hoover will not be attending the convention. Cooper said her cancellation had nothing to do with the group’s social agenda.

Those interested in the event can register at Logcabin.org.

FULL CONVENTION PROGRAM:

Log Cabin Republicans National Convention and Liberty Education Forum National Symposium Program

WHAT:
Log Cabin Republicans, the nation’s largest organization of Republicans who support fairness, freedom, and equality for gay and lesbian Americans is holding its 2011 National Convention, in coordination with the Liberty Education Forum’s National Symposium.

WHO:
Alan Kittleman, State Senator (R, MD)
Alex Nicholson, Executive Director, Servicemembers United
Audra Shay, Executive Director, Project GOPink
Bob Barr, Former Congressman (R, GA)
Bob Kabel, Chairman, DC GOP
Chuck Wolfe, Executive Director, Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund
Dan Woods, Partner, White & Case
Dan Zwonitzer, State Representative (R, WY)
Dave Nalle, National Chairman, Republican Leadership Council
David Lampo, Political Director, LCR Virginia
Evan Wolfson, Freedom to Marry
Fred Karger, presidential candidate
Jeff Cook, Allegiance Strategies
Kristen Silverberg, Former Ambassador to the European Union
Len Olds, Chairman Emeritus, Liberty Education Forum
Lupe Valdez, Dallas County Sheriff
Mark Groombridge, United Against a Nuclear Iran
Meg Ten Eyck, Education Manager, The Trevor Project
Mike Gin, Mayor of Redondo Beach and candidate for Congress
Mitchell Gold, Founder, Faith in America
Ned Farr, Director, “A Marine Story”
Richard Grenell, Former Communications Director to the U.S. mission to the United Nations
Richard Tisiei, former State Senator (R, MA)
Roy Ashburn, former State Senator (R, CA)
S. E. Cupp, Conservative political commentator
Sarah Longwell, Berman & Co.
Scott Schmidt, President, LCR Los Angeles

WHERE:
Hilton Anatole
2201 Stemmons Freeway
Dallas, TX, 75207
214-748-1200

WHEN:
April 28 – May 1, 2011

Friday, April 29
9:00 am- 9:45 am
Reagan’s 80-20 Rule: Building new coalitions in our common goal of creating a stronger, more inclusive Republican Party. (Sarah Longwell, and Audra Shay, Dave Nalle)

10:15 am-11:00 am
Ending ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ An inside look at Log Cabin Republicans’ legal and legislative challenges to ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ (Dan Woods, R. Clarke Cooper, Alex Nicholson)

11:05am-11:55 am
Issues Around The Corner. Priorities being tackled by state and local leaders. (Jeff Cook, David Lampo, Evan Wolfson, State Rep. Dan Zwonitzer)

12:10pm-2:00pm
Log Cabin Republicans National Luncheon with remarks by Senator Richard Tisei & Senator Allan Kittleman, with recorded greeting by Congressman Pete Sessions. Introductions provided by Chuck Wolfe of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry, and R. Clarke Cooper of Log Cabin Republicans.

2:15 pm-3:15 pm
Foreign Policy Discussion. An in-depth look at global hot spots with leading foreign policy experts (Richard Grenell and Amb. Kristin Silverberg).

3:20 pm-4:15 pm
On the inside: Leading as Republicans. (Sen. Roy Ashburn, Scott Schmidt, DC Republican Party Chairman Bob Kabel, Presidential Candidate Fred Karger)

Saturday, April 30

9:30 am- 10:25 am
No Longer In Silence, Where We Are in 2011. A discussion of past Liberty Education Forum programs and looking forward to programs for 2011.

10:50am – 11:45am
Faith in America. Mitchell Gold speaks about his organization and book, “Crisis: 40 Stories of Growing Up Gay in America.”

11:55am – 12:55pm
Liberty Education Forum Luncheon featuring Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry and Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez.

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Film Screening: A Marine Story Followed byQ&A with Film Director Ned Farr

3:15 pm- 4:00 pm
It Gets Better. Overcoming bullying and discrimination with Meg Ten Eyck of the Trevor Project.

6:00-9:30 pm
Log Cabin Republicans National Dinner with remarks by S.E. Cupp & Congressman Bob Barr and recorded greeting by Senator Norm Coleman.

—  John Wright

Dan Woods, Alex Nicholson to speak at Log Cabin Republicans National Convention in Dallas

Log Cabin Dallas President Rob SchleinROB SCHLEIN | President, Log Cabin Republicans Dallas

Log Cabin Republicans are celebrating many accomplishments this year, but none so much as the defeat of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” From our victorious ruling in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States to securing dozens of GOP votes in Congress to repeal the policy, our members can be proud of the role Log Cabin is playing to end the ban on open service.

Join us in Dallas April 28-May 1 for an insider perspective on how it happened, and where we go from here.

The Log Cabin Republicans National Convention & Liberty Education Forum Symposium are known for bringing together an impressive slate of speakers — and 2011 promises to continue that proud legacy.

Dan Woods is a partner at White & Case and the lead attorney in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States. He will be speaking about the trial verdict which turned the tide in the fight to end DADT, and the ongoing fight at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. For his work on our case, Woods has been named 2010 Attorney of the Year by The Recorder, and is the recipient of the 2011 California Lawyer Attorney of the Year Award.

Alex Nicholson served as Log Cabin Republicans named plaintiff in the suit against DADT, and his testimony was critical to our success. Alex is also the executive director of Servicemembers United, one of the core advocacy groups whose tireless efforts won votes in Congress for repeal and whose work continues as we look ahead to implementation and life after the ban. Alex is a past winner of Log Cabin’s “Uncommon Courage” award and is always a favored speaker at our events.

Last but not least, Log Cabin Republicans own executive director, R. Clarke Cooper, will join the panel with his perspective both as Log Cabin’s lead lobbyist for legislative repeal, but also providing insight as a currently serving captain in the Army Reserve. Little known fact: Clarke was actually in uniform when Judge Virginia Phillips’ injunction against DADT went into effect. Join us in Dallas to hear the reactions of his fellow servicemembers to the verdict!

That’s just a small taste of what we have in store. Between now and April 28, Log Cabin Republicans national headquarters will be releasing more information about the 2011 Log Cabin Republicans National Convention & Liberty Education Forum Symposium — but don’t wait! The 2010 National Dinner sold out early, and you want to secure your place at what promises to be headline news in the fight for a stronger, more inclusive Republican Party.

*Important Note: a special student rate of $200 has been added to the registration page. Contact cberle@logcabin.org for any questions regarding eligibility.

Act now for Log Cabin Republicans special Convention rate of $149/night at the famed Hilton Anatole in Dallas. To take advantage of this rate, call 1-800-HILTONS and mention Log Cabin Republicans. For any questions, contact cberle@logcabin.org. See you in Dallas!

—  admin

Obama rewrites a wee bit of history on DADT repeal

President Obama just said in his press conference, referring to DADT repeal, that people get all upset and think something isn’t happening if it doesn’t happen immediately.

Sorry, but that bird isn’t gonna fly.

DADT repeal was dead in the water. The President’s plan to wait until 2011, endorsed by HRC, was scotched by the GOP takeover of the House – something a lot of us predicted, or at least fretted about, a good year ago. The President and HRC decided to have the Pentagon do a study, due in December, a month after the 2010 elections, thinking they could handle repeal in 2011. They were wrong.

Repeal didn’t take a long time because that was part of the plan. The legislation passed because we got lucky. As you’ll recall, it was dead, having been filibustered repeatedly by the GOP. The only reason it came back up, at the very last minute, was because the GOP filibustered the continuing resolution and Harry Reid had had it, pulled the CR, and suddenly there was one last final chance for DADT repeal (or something short of repeal) to pass.

You’ll recall that HRC sent out an email in December basically calling repeal dead for the year. Was that part of the secret plan too? Here’s HRC’s email, dated December 9, 4:52pm, sent out at literally the same moment that Lieberman, Udall and Collins were announced a last minute effort to get a stand-alone bill passed. HRC had no idea the stand-alone bill was even coming. They thought DADT repeal was dead in the Congress. So with all due respect, the “plan” failed.

HRC seems to have forgotten its own email of two months ago. Today, in their magazine, HRC is now claiming that DADT repeal was all part of a well-oiled plan. Uh huh. That’s why HRC announced that repeal was dead just as the legislation, that was ultimately to pass, was being announced. Here’s their magazine today:

A WHITE HOUSE MEETING IN NOVEMBER 2009….

What’s crucial to note, says HRC’s Smith, is that the gears to repeal started rolling intensively in November 2009. That’s when Solmonese, along with Smith, met with Jim Messina, one of President Obama’s deputy chiefs of staff, in his White House office. Solmonese stressed to Messina that HRC was ready to mount a massive campaign to get “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repealed in 2010. It was after this meeting that things began to move, said Smith.

Yeah right. Good try, though.

So, please, stop the “it was all part of our plan” stuff. It wasn’t. If it weren’t for GetEqual, Dan Choi, the gay blogs, our straight blog allies, groups like SLDN, .SU and Palm Center, and lots of current and former gay servicemembers, DADT repeal would not still be on the table.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  David Taffet

Elaine Donnelly: searching hard for relevancy, still beating the DADT drum

The disgraced doyenne of DADT discrimination was belching a lot of hot air at CPAC, try to find some way to keep herself relevant and in the public eye. (Washington Blade):

Donnelly urged for greater deliberation before enacting “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal during a panel titled “How Political Correctness Is Harming America’s Military” at the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference in D.C.

During her CPAC panel appearance, Donnelly denounced the law allowing for repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” that President Obama signed in December, which she said was “rushed through recklessly” in the lame-duck session of the 111th Congress.

“It’s supposed to be a non-discrimination policy,” she said. “But instead of calling it ‘Not “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” … let’s give it a name. We call it the ‘Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Law for the Military’ – ‘LGBT Law’ for short. We have to start thinking about it in terms of what it would do.”

Among Donnelly’s pursed-lip concerns:

  • how will the armed forces “train people to be less sensitive to sexual privacy and modesty.”
  • whether there will be tolerance training in schools on military bases.
  • her old-school lies: military chaplains would have to endorse homosexuality if they had to preach to openly gay people in the military.
  • the fact that this is a slippery slope of equality that will lead to transgender people serving in the military. Well, yes, it is:
Mara Keisling, executive director for the National Transgender Center for Equality, said Donnelly was raising the issue of transgender people in the U.S. military to draw attention to “her last shrill efforts to try to stop “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal,” but added she’s right that trans people shouldn’t be excluded.

“There is no more reason to exclude trans people from service than there is to exclude women, or anybody, African Americans or gay people,” Keisling said. “It’s just all based on old stereotypes that people like Elaine Donnelly use to advance their own causes.”

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  David Taffet

Rumsfeld Endorses DADT Repeal

Shortly after his CPAC appearance, former defense secretary Donald “War Criminal” Rumsfeld endorsed the repeal of DADT.

“First of all, we know that gays and lesbians have been serving in the military for decades with honorable service,” Rumsfeld said. “We know that [repeal of a ban on gays serving openly] is an idea whose time has come.” Rumsfeld says he has “enormous respect” for the ground commanders and service chiefs who have expressed concerns about the impact of gays serving openly on unit cohesion, and he urged the top brass to implement the new law “with care.” But Rumsfeld says that congress, which passed the repeal bill in the waning days of the last session, has expressed the will of the American people.

The Freepers are very unhappy with this.

Joe. My. God.

—  David Taffet

‘Born this way’ from DADT repeal advocate, Lady Gaga

Okay, I’m a music nerd. I’ll admit it. I mostly got to know Lady Gaga because of her activism on DADT repeal — and it was real. Here’s the new song that’s causing a buzz all over the LGBT blogosphere:




AMERICAblog Gay

—  David Taffet