U.S. Marine charged with murder of transwoman in Philippines

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Prosecutors in the Phillipine Islands today (Monday, Dec. 15) charged a U.S. Marine in the October murder of a transwoman.

According to the Associated Press, Prosecutor Emilie de los Santos found “probable cause” that Marine Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton attacked Jennifer Laude after learning she was trans. He has been in custody since shortly after the October incident.

“It’s murder,” de los Santos said after filing the charge against the 19-year-old Pemberton. “It was aggravated by treachery, abuse of superior strength and cruelty.”

Pemberton will not be allowed to post bail, she said. Murder is punishable by up to 40 years in jail, reported The Guardian.

“This is not an ordinary murder. This is heinous because she was beaten up,” the Laude family lawyer, Harry Roque, told reporters.

Pemberton and friends met Laude and other woman the night of the murder. According to witnesses, Pemberton and Laude checked into a motel, and Pemberton fled after he killed Laude.

Marine Lance Corporal Jairn Michael Rose was among those with Pemberton that night. He told prosecutors Pemberton admitted to the murder back at their ship.

“I think I killed a he/she,” Pemberton said, according to Rose.

The incident reignited a debate between the Philippines and the United States regarding custody of U.S. military personnel accused of crimes in the Phillipines. U.S. officials evenutally agreed to move Pemberton from custody aboard a U.S. Navy vessel into the custody of Phillipino officials.

The case is a haunting reminder to transgender activists of the case of  U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith, who was sentenced to 40 years in jail in 2006 after being found guilty of raping a transwoman. He was, however, acquitted in 2009 after his accuser recanted her statement.

—  James Russell

Suspect in Log Cabin assault is servicemember; incident may still be classified as hate crime

Officer Laura Martin

The suspect accused of assaulting a member of Log Cabin Republicans and calling him a “faggot” on Saturday at the Hilton Anatole is a member of the military, according to Laura Martin, the Dallas Police Department’s LGBT liaison officer.

Martin said a police report from the incident indicates that the suspect, a 27-year-old male, is a supervisor or sergeant in the military who was responding to perceived sexual harassment of a subordinate. Other sources suggested that the suspect is a member of the Marines. The suspect’s name is being withheld because Dallas Voice doesn’t typically identify people charged with misdemeanors.

DPD declined to release a copy of the police report from the incident, which occurred at about 1 a.m. Saturday in the lobby bar of the Hilton Anatole, where Log Cabin was holding its National Convention.

Martin said even though the victim has chosen not to press charges — meaning the case will not be prosecuted — DPD may classify the incident as an anti-gay hate crime for the purposes of reporting it to the FBI. She said the police report indicates that someone at the victim’s table — but not the victim — “catcalled” and made sexual gestures toward someone at the suspect’s table, adding that both the suspect and the victim were intoxicated at the time of the incident.

“Someone who was at the complainant’s [victim's] table saw someone who he thought was attractive at another table. When he pointed him out and when the guy got up to to go to the restroom, at least one person catcalled him and made sexual gestures in an obvious manner,” Martin said. “So he went back to his table and told his supervisor, who is also in the military. The supervisor went over then to the table where the guys were to say, ‘Please stop.’ When he went over there to the table the complainant [victim] stood up as he was addressing the group, and the arrested person viewed that as aggressive toward him, so he pushed him down, and that’s how he became injured. I don’t know if the complainant was standing up because he needed to go to the restroom, or if he was standing up to argue, or if he was standing up to stretch his legs, but the guy who was arrested said he viewed it as aggressive.”

—  John Wright

What’s Brewing: Cop resigns over anti-gay posts; gay spider monkeys to get Valentine’s Day treat

Elton and David, gay spider monkeys

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. A sheriff’s lieutenant in Colorado has resigned after he was caught posting racist and anti-gay comments on news websites using his work computer. For example, here’s what Lt. Jeff Engor of the Douglas County sheriff’s department wrote below a story about the repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell” in December: “New miltary [sic] slogans: The few, the queer, the Marines! Butt Rangers lead the way! Be as gay as you can be! Aim for a high hard one, Air Force! Join the Navy, see naked men!” There’s no word on whether Engor was simultaneously crusing Manhunt on the same computer.

2. A zoo in the UK is preparing a special Valentine’s Day treat for two gay spider monkeys. The monkeys, who share an enclosure, have been a couple since last March and have since been renamed Elton and David, after Elton John and his partner. For their first Valentine’s Day together, the zoo has announced that it will be giving the monkeys a romantic meal of fruit and nuts. Wow, talk about a brilliant marketing scheme. No one had even heard of these monkeys before!

3. As we noted below, our new so-called anthem, Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” was released this morning. But seriously, and we don’t mean to sound like haters here, but if it’s really a gay anthem, why is Gaga partnering for the release with Target?

—  John Wright

Some Marines worry the gays are too girly

I’m actually glad the NYT included this in their article about DADT. It shows how absurd some of the concern is in the Marines. If this guy would like to find out how girly gay Marines when it comes to fighting, I’m sure some would love to show him.

[A] friend of Private Tuck’s injected a note of skepticism. “It won’t be totally accepted,” said Pvt. Justin Rea, 18, from Warren, Mich. “Being gay means you are kind of girly. The Marines are, you know, macho.”




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Limbaugh On DADT repeal: ‘Does this mean Mrs. Clinton can finally … join the Marines?’




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Amos: Marines Will ‘Step Out Smartly’ to Implement Repeal of DADT

Mentioned briefly in the NYT article I linked to earlier this morning on implementation of 'DADT' repeal was an excerpt of a statement by Marine Commandant General James Amos.

Amos The Stars and Stripes blog has posted his full statement, sent out on Sunday evening, in which the Commandant, who prior to the Senate vote warned of Marines losing legs in battle over the "distraction" of open gays serving beside them, promises to faithfully carry out repeal.

Amos' statement:

"Fidelity is the essence of the United States Marine Corps. Above all else, we are loyal to the Constitution, our Commander in Chief, Congress, our Chain of Command, and the American people. The House of Representatives and the Senate have voted to repeal Title 10, US Code 654 'Policy Concerning Homosexuality in the United States Armed Forces.' As stated during my testimony before Congress in September and again during hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this month, the Marine Corps will step out smartly to faithfully implement this new policy. I, and the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, will personally lead this effort, thus ensuring the respect and dignity due all Marines. On this matter, we look forward to further demonstrating to the American people the discipline and loyalty that have been the hallmark of the United States Marine Corps for over 235 years."


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

General Amos admits that his Marines are an undisciplined basket of lust kittens

Has Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos just come out for the whole Marine Corps?  Why else would he be wiling to imply that the soldiers under his command are so inept and undisciplined that they’d become distracted by the outness of gay fellow soldiers unless he believes they harbor uncontrollable homolust?  Or is this more about the General’s alleged BDSM fantasies?  Maybe he wants to see how bad he has to be before his Commander in Chief disciplines him.  (Don’t hold your breath on that one General, unless holding your breath is part of what gets you off.)  Here is what Amos said earlier today about the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”:

“When your life hangs on a line, on the intuitive behavior of the young man… who sits to your right and your left, you don’t want anything distracting you,” Amos told reporters at the Pentagon.

“I don’t want to lose any Marines to distraction. I don’t want to have any Marines that I’m visiting at Bethesda (hospital) with no legs,” he said.

He added that “mistakes and inattention or distractions cost Marines’ lives. That’s the currency of this fight.”

Just what does basic training in the USMC consist of under Gen. Amos’s guidance, insubordination drills and aphrodisiac injections?  Maybe we should send in Peter LaBarbera to investigate.

All kidding aside, I have friends and family who have been or are currently in the Marines, and to say that this insubordinate bigot dishonors their service is a mammoth understatement.  Here is the response of Aubrey Sarvis, Army veteran and executive director for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network:

General Amos needs to fall in line and salute or resign now.  He implied that repeal will lead to Marines losing their legs in combat.  Those fear tactics are not in the interest of any service member.  The General’s goal is to kill repeal no matter the consequences, perhaps at the dereliction of his other duties.  He had his say before the Senate and House.  General Amos needs to stop lobbying against his Commander-in-Chief, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.  If he cannot do that, the President should ask for his resignation.

Update: President Obama keeps bottoming for the General according to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs (H/T Wonk Room):

Pressed by the Advocate’s Kerry Eleveld on whether Obama was worried about having his own appointee “constantly raising opposition to his own stated belief the the policy needed to be changed,” Gibbs simply reiterated the administration’s talking point on the issue:
GIBBS: I think the President’s views and the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff’s views and the Secretary of Defense’s views are fairly well known. I think the President as Commander in Chief has a strong viewpoint. I think backed up by the survey conducted by the Pentagon as to the attitude of the men and women in our military that this can be done in a way that strengthens our national security, preserves the best fighting force in the world, and most importantly, does away with a policy that he doesn’t think is just.

ELEVELD: I mean, the Commandant is continually challenging the assumptions of the Commander in Chief…

GIBBS: No, I mean, look, I think their views are very well known, just as the Commander in Chief’s views are very well known. I think if you look at the Commander in Chief, the head of the Pentagon, and the head of the Joint Chiefs, you’ll find unanimity in the belief that it’s time to do away with this policy and that’s exactly what the President is working to do.

POLITICO reports Retired Gen. John Shalikashvili’s reaction to Gen. Amos’s absurd statements:

Retired Gen. John Shalikashvili, who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when the 1993 law was first implemented, said Amos’s claims that repeal would risk the loss of life in combat is “grounded in a selective reading of the evidence.”

“General Amos has acknowledged that he is the only Service Chief who has not spoken to colleagues in foreign militaries about their experiences with gay and lesbian service members,” Shalikashvili said in a statement to POLITICO. “Based on conversations with our overseas allies and openly gay U.S. Marines, as well my reading of the extensive research on the topic, I can say definitively that along with Admiral Mullen, I believe that repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ will improve the military rather than posing additional risk to the troops.”

By the way, Speak of the House Nancy Pelsoi tweeted this a few hours ago:

The House will vote on Rep. Patrick Murphy’s standalone #DADT repeal bill tomorrow-Senate action on #DADT is long overdue.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

NYC Gays Bend Over For Marines In ‘Toys For Tots’ Name Scandal

The Marine Corp's Toys For Tots program has realized, after more than 25 years, the annual gay-organized toy drive held in New York City has the exact same name of its holiday charity event started in 1947. So after raising hell about the gays' use of the name and the confusion it creates, the Marines got the gay one to change its name. Robby Browne, the fabulously wealthy real estate executive (who sold Lance Bass his new condo), started the Chelsea Piers event in 1985 and says he "just pulled the name out of a hat" when first coming up with the event. Brown (pictured with Dorris Roberts at last year's event) seems to have done the same in the renaming: Toys For Tots will now be known as "Holiday Gifts for Children and Seniors." Definitely not as catchy. Why not "Gays Give Good Gift" or "Homo For The Holidays Toy Drive"? [photo via]


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Queerty

—  admin

Log Cabin Member Seeks Reinstatement in Marines

LOG CABIN REPUBLICANS X390 | ADVOCATE.COMWill Rodriguez-Kennedy, president of the Log Cabin Republicans’ San Diego chapter, has joined a handful of former service members attempting to rejoin the military. The Pentagon has ordered recruiters to allow gay applicants.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  John Wright

North Texas’ Danny Hernandez now opening for Lady Gaga on ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ speaking tour

We’ve told you about Marine Cpl. Danny Hernandez, the North Texas native and Texas A&M University graduate who was discharged from the Marines under “don’t ask don’t tell” after being outed by a fellow Marine.

Hernandez, who’s from a small town northwest of Fort Worth, is now working with Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, and he spoke at the rally Monday in Portland, Maine, where Lady Gaga would later deliver her “Prime Rib of America Address.” Watch video of Hernandez’s remarks at the rally here.

Hernandez was also interviewed by MTV for a story about the rally yesterday. Video from the MTV interview is above.

Hernandez told MTV that he was initially skeptical about Lady Gaga’s advocacy for DADT repeal, until he got a chance to meet her and tell her his story.

“It was then that I realized she’s serious about making this an issue that people learn about,” Hernandez says. “People were not that aware about ‘don’t ask don’t tell.’ There was a group of people that thought it was repealed already. … She definitely brought light to an issue that many people had no idea was still going on in this county, and so I think a lot of that support has come form the Little Monsters that are so adamant about supporting Lady Gaga. If it’s something she supports, then of course they’re going to support her 100 percent behind that as well.”

And on that note, here’s the latest advisory from SLDN that hit our Inbox at 9 a.m. Dallas time Tuesday:

The final hour has arrived. Today at 2:15 PM ET, the full Senate will determine whether “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) repeal will move forward this year. For repeal to happen, we need 60 votes to break Senator John McCain (R-AZ)’s expected filibuster. All supporters must call their senators now.

Call both your senators at the Capitol switchboard right now and urge them to vote to end the filibuster and move on to a real debate on the Defense bill.

(202) 224-3121

These senators are currently uncommitted on breaking the filibuster and particularly need to hear from us today:

–Susan Collins (R-ME);
–Olympia Snowe (R-ME);
–Mark Pryor (D-AR);
–Richard Lugar (R-IN);
–Judd Gregg (R-NH);
–Jim Webb (D-VA);
–George Voinovich (R-OH);
–Kit Bond (R-MO)

Don’t let opponents of open service hold up critical funding for our troops and prospects for repeal. Supporters of open service must make their voices heard today. If you have already called your senators, call both of them again.

Call the Capitol switchboard and tell both your senators to follow the lead of Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) to stop the filibuster and begin debating passage of the Defense bill.

(202) 224-3121
Speak up for all our service members today and spread the word to your friends: www.sldn.org/gaga
We are almost out of time to contact senators before the vote today. We must call now.

Thank you.

Aubrey Sarvis
SLDN Executive Director

—  John Wright