The United States Senate has failed our military and failed the American people.
Despite hundreds of thousands of calls and emails demanding an end to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” – and despite military leaders imploring the Senate to repeal the law this year instead of leaving it to the courts — the Senate today voted to leave prejudice and bigotry on the books.
Since it appears Congress won’t repeal the law this year, the fate of lesbian and gay service members now rests in President Obama’s hands. To make good on his commitment to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 2010, President Obama needs to immediately issue a stop-loss order halting military discharges. At the same time, the Administration must immediately cease defending DADT in federal court.
In his State of the Union address last January, President Obama said he would work with Congress to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” this year. But despite the House successfully voting to repeal the law, the Senate continued its filibuster.
Now it’s up to President Obama to clean up Congress’s mess. And the first step is for his administration to stop defending the law in court and embroiling “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in seemingly endless legal wrangling.
Also, as Commander in Chief, the President can issue an executive order to retain any soldier deemed necessary in a time of war – even though Congress has failed to remove the law from the books. President Obama must issue that order and end the discharges now.
We need President Obama to take immediate action to end this law that has hurt our families, our soldiers, and our national security by costing us thousands of the best and brightest service members who should be defending our nation.
Political science major John Blake asked Messina about the failure to repeal “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” the military policy that prevents gays from being open about their sexuality while serving in the military. The U.S. Senate voted Tuesday against repealing DADT “for largely partisan reasons,” Messina said, but he’s confident DADT will be struck down.
“We’re going to get that done this year,” he said.
I don’t care if Joe Solmonese’s and the HRC’s rhetoric is now up to the point it should have been all along — I’m still going to hold Joe Solmonese, Jim Messina, and President Obama’s whole administration accountable for their promises on repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. They all have until December 31st to deliver on their promises.
To not hold them accountable would be to give a pass to the HRC and to the White House when they can’t — or in the case of the Obama Administration’s Department of Justice, won’t — deliver to their broad constituencies what the HRC and the Obama Administration promised to LGBT community members on repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Pam’s House Blend – Front Page
Artsy film director Darren Aronofsky (Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, The Wrestler) just released the trailer Black Swan, a psychological thriller where veteran ballerina Nina (Natalie Portman) competes against newcomer Lily (Mila Kunis) to play the lead in Swan Lake. Apparently Portman goes looney and the women make out like wild geese somewhere in the process. But since the film doesn't come out until December, we thought we'd share five other artistic lesbian thrillers that'll keep you (in)sane until then.
Judicial candidates John Loza, Tonya Parker among 4 LGBTs running in local races in 2010
By John Wright | News Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
IN THE RUNNING | Dallas County District Clerk Gary Fitzsimmons, clockwise from top left, County Judge Jim Foster, attorney Tonya Parker and former Councilman John Loza are LGBT candidates who plan to run in Dallas County elections in 2010. The filing period ends Jan. 4.
Dallas County has had its share of openly gay elected officials, from Sheriff Lupe Valdez to District Clerk Gary Fitzsimmons to County Judge Jim Foster.
But while Foster, who chairs the Commissioners Court, is called a “judge,” he’s not a member of the judiciary, to which the county’s voters have never elected an out LGBT person.
Two Democrats running in 2010 — John Loza and Tonya Parker — are hoping to change that.
“This is the first election cycle that I can remember where we’ve had openly gay candidates for the judiciary,” said Loza, a former Dallas City Councilman who’s been involved in local LGBT politics for decades. “It’s probably long overdue, to be honest with you.”
Dallas County’s Jerry Birdwell became the first openly gay judge in Texas when he was appointed by Gov. Ann Richards in 1992. But after coming under attack for his sexual orientation by the local Republican Party, Birdwell, a Democrat, lost his bid for re-election later that year.
Also in the November 1992 election, Democrat Barbara Rosenberg defeated anti-gay Republican Judge Jack Hampton.
But Rosenberg, who’s a lesbian, wasn’t out at the time and didn’t run as an openly LGBT candidate.
Loza, who’s been practicing criminal law in Dallas for the last 20 years, is running for the County Criminal Court No. 5 seat. Incumbent Tom Fuller is retiring. Loza said he expects to face three other Democrats in the March primary, meaning a runoff is likely. In addition to groups like Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, he said he’ll seek an endorsement from the Washington, D.C.-based Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, which provides financial backing to LGBT candidates nationwide.
Parker, who’s running for the 116th Civil District Court seat, declined to be interviewed for this story. Incumbent Bruce Priddy isn’t expected to seek re-election, and Parker appears to be the favorite for the Democratic nomination.
If she wins in November, Parker would become the first LGBT African-American elected official in Dallas County.
Loza and Parker are among four known local LGBT candidates in 2010.
They join fellow Democrats Fitzsimmons and Foster, who are each seeking a second four-year term.
While Foster is vulnerable and faces two strong challengers in the primary, Fitzsimmons is extremely popular and said he’s confident he’ll be re-elected.
“I think pretty much everybody knows that the District Clerk’s Office is probably the best-run office in Dallas County government,” Fitzsimmons said. “I think this county is a Democratic County, and I think I’ve proved myself to be an outstanding county administrator, and I think the people will see that.”
Randall Terrell, political director for Equality Texas, said this week he wasn’t aware of any openly LGBT candidates who’ve filed to run in state races in 2010.
Although Texas made headlines recently for electing the nation’s first gay big-city mayor, the state remains one of 20 that lack an out legislator.
Denis Dison, a spokesman for the Victory Fund, said he’s hoping Annise Parker’s victory in Houston last week will inspire more qualified LGBT people to run for office.
“It gives other people permission really to think of themselves as leaders,” Dison said.
The filing period for March primaries ends Jan. 4.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 18, 2009.