A call for ad rates made us realize we had been the victim of discrimination

The Dallas Voice classified department received a call today from an agency asking for rates. That’s not unusual. But the client was an unexpected one — the U.S. Army.

The “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal law says that gays and lesbians can serve. What it doesn’t assure is any equality. There is no mandate to seek out gay and lesbian recruits. No general handed down orders to make sure there are plenty of LGB troops.

What the call indicates is that recruiters are ahead of the vocal opponents of repeal. Now that they can recruits gays and lesbians — why not?

What the call also pointed out was another unintended consequence of DADT. The law hurt LGBT businesses. While the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard were spending money advertising in every other media outlet, gay media received none of that income.

Not only was the federal government discriminating against gay and lesbian soldiers, but by not advertising in LGBT publications, they were discriminating against LGBT businesses. Ironically, it wasn’t until the Army came to us for a rate card that we realized we were among the victims of DADT.

—  David Taffet

What’s Brewing: Round-Up co-owners Gary Miller, Alan Pierce named Pride grand marshals

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. Round-Up Saloon co-owners Gary Miller and Alan Pierce have been selected as grand marshals of the 28th annual Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade, set for Sept. 18, according to an announcement by the bar this morning on Facebook. The Round-Up celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2010.

2. A former U.S. Navy commander has been censured for allowing an ensign to receive anti-gay call signs including “Romo’s Bitch,” “Fagmeister” and “Gay Boy.” Ensign Steve Crowston, an East Texas native and avid Dallas Cowboys fan, filed a complaint against Cmdr. Liam Bruen over the incident. Bruen abruptly retired from the Navy in May. Read our previous coverage of the case here.

3. The festivities continued Monday in New York, with 46 gay couples tying the knot in a joint ceremony at Niagara Falls, and three more marrying on stage at a Broadway theater following a performance of Hair. Watch video of the post-Hair ceremonies below. Meanwhile, an anti-gay group has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn marriage equality.

—  John Wright

Navy Wrongly Accused Hazing Sailor

JOSEPH ROCHA X390 (FAIR USE) | ADVOCATE.COMNavy officials said Thursday that they had wrongly accused Chief Michael
Toussaint of abusing former petty officer third class Joseph Rocha while
stationed in Bahrain.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  David Taffet

Steve Crowston’s Navy Commander Dubbed Him ‘Fagmeister’ + ‘Romo’s Bitch.’ Now Who’s The Bitch?

Ensign Steve Crowston, a junior Navy officer, didn't appreciate being nicknamed "gay boy" and "fagmeister" by comrades and senior officers, so he filed a harassment complaint last February — and saw his case dismissed in May. Bullshit, thought Crowston, who filed an appeal two months later, and added to his complaint that he was since subject to retaliation over his initial complaint. Things just came down in his favor. Finally.

CONTINUED »


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—  David Taffet

Navy: Ensign Unfairly Disciplined After Anti-Gay Harassment Complaints

You may remember the story of Steve Crowston, an ensign in the US Navy, who filed anti-gay harassment complaints last year against his commanding officer after being taunted with nicknames such as “Gay Boy,” “Fagmeister,” “Cowgirl,” and “Romo’s Bitch.” Crowston claimed that, after filing the complaint, he was then unfarily reprimanded. An investigation by the US Navy has now concluded that he was indeed the victim of reprisal.

6a00d8341c730253ef013486374b72970c-800wi The The Virginian-Pilot reports:

"In a Feb. 2 letter to Crowston, the Navy IG said its investigation found that he was improperly punished because of his complaints. A letter from the Defense Department IG to the Navy IG, sent two weeks earlier, states that the Defense Department reviewed the Navy's investigation and supports its conclusions."

"'Based on our review, we agree that Cmdr. Liam Bruen, Commanding Officer, Strike Fighter Squadron 136, issued Ensign Crowston an unfavorable fitness report in reprisal for his protected communications,' the Defense Department letter says. Christopher, who is not named in either letter, is now the commanding officer of Strike Fighter Squadron 136, which is deployed aboard the Norfolk-based aircraft carrier Enterprise. Bruen is assigned to the carrier John C. Stennis."

"Neither of them could be reached Wednesday. Crowston said he considers the IG findings an overdue victory. "I've always known it was reprisal," said Crowston, now at Naval Special Warfare Group 2 at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek. "There are rules against reprisal, and they were broken. It was time for the Navy to acknowledge that." The Navy IG letter says Crowston may now petition to have the bad performance report removed from his file."


Towleroad News #gay

—  David Taffet

Glenn Close Slams Antigay Navy Vid

GLENN CLOSE X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMGlenn Close is deeply offended by her appearance in a raunchy antigay
video made by a high-ranking Naval officer and shown to troops on the
aircraft carrier USS Enterprise.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

Navy Officer Removed From Post

Owen Honors x390 (.gov) | advocate.comThe Navy officer behind a series of videos featuring simulated sex and
antigay slurs has been permanently removed from his post as commander of
the USS Enterprise.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

Zoe Dunning on why that goofy Navy video matters

Zoe Dunning is a Naval Academy graduate, retired Navy Commander, and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal advocate who stood alongside President Obama when he signed the repeal bill last month. I remember Zoe’s name from back when we were fighting to lift the ban in 1993. Zoe came out that year, while in the Navy Reserves, and subsequently won her court battle to stay in the military. She served our country as an openly gay service member for 13 years.

I asked Zoe if, as someone who served three years aboard an aircraft carrier, she’d be interested in writing for us about why the recent brouhaha over an anti-gay Navy video matters. Here is Zoe’s piece:

The recently publicized video that was filmed on the USS Enterprise a few years back doesn’t shock this retired Navy Commander for its content as much as for its demonstration of complete lack of Executive Officer leadership. I served three years aboard an aircraft carrier and I understand the need to maintain morale and break up the monotony of months at sea with some humor. If this were an underground video made by a young petty officer and distributed throughout the crew over email, it would not make the news. That sort of thing likely happens on a daily basis out at sea.

What makes this news is that the producer, writer, director and main star of these videos is the ship’s Executive Officer (XO for short) and broadcast across the ship’s internal television network to the entire crew. For those who have not served in the Navy, the Executive Officer’s primary responsibility is the ship’s good order and discipline. When someone gets in trouble or violates a regulation, they take the sailor to the XO for punishment. He or she is the Sheriff in town, and the Commanding Officer the Judge. So when the ship’s Sheriff is knowingly producing (on the ship’s equipment) videos that mock and denigrate women, gays and lesbians (and even Surface Warfare Officers), it sends a strong signal to the entire crew as to what is acceptable behavior. Even if someone turned the TV off or walked away, the ship’s chatter the next day would be all about the video. You wouldn’t be able to escape it.

When the XO tries to make a disclaimer each episode that the Commanding Officer (CO) and Admiral don’t know about it and should not be subject to any complaints, he just doesn’t get it. The CO and Admiral are accountable for EVERYTHING that happens on a ship. That’s why it’s such a tough job. That’s why COs are relieved of command when one of their officers runs the ship aground while the CO is sleeping. Accountability doesn’t go to sleep and can’t be swept away with disclaimers. Which is why I think more heads will roll as a result of this investigation.

On a final note, as a retired female Naval officer who watched all military women struggle to be taken seriously by our male counterparts as professional colleagues, I can empathize with how the women on the Enterprise must have felt. Your sheriff that is supposed to protect you from harassment and bullying is calling you “chicks” and incorporating video shots of you dancing or showering naked together. That’s how he thinks of you, and that’s how he wants the rest of the crew to think of you. It’s devastating if you want to serve as a respected peer alongside your shipmates. Talk about a hostile work environment.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Zoe Dunning on why that goofy Navy video matters

Zoe Dunning is a Naval Academy graduate, retired Navy Commander, and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal advocate who stood alongside President Obama when he signed the repeal bill last month. I remember Zoe’s name from back when we were fighting to lift the ban in 1993. Zoe came out that year, while in the Navy Reserves, and subsequently won her court battle to stay in the military. She served our country as an openly gay service member for 13 years.

I asked Zoe if, as someone who served three years aboard an aircraft carrier, she’d be interested in writing for us about why the recent brouhaha over an anti-gay Navy video matters. Here is Zoe’s piece:

The recently publicized video that was filmed on the USS Enterprise a few years back doesn’t shock this retired Navy Commander for its content as much as for its demonstration of complete lack of Executive Officer leadership. I served three years aboard an aircraft carrier and I understand the need to maintain morale and break up the monotony of months at sea with some humor. If this were an underground video made by a young petty officer and distributed throughout the crew over email, it would not make the news. That sort of thing likely happens on a daily basis out at sea.

What makes this news is that the producer, writer, director and main star of these videos is the ship’s Executive Officer (XO for short) and broadcast across the ship’s internal television network to the entire crew. For those who have not served in the Navy, the Executive Officer’s primary responsibility is the ship’s good order and discipline. When someone gets in trouble or violates a regulation, they take the sailor to the XO for punishment. He or she is the Sheriff in town, and the Commanding Officer the Judge. So when the ship’s Sheriff is knowingly producing (on the ship’s equipment) videos that mock and denigrate women, gays and lesbians (and even Surface Warfare Officers), it sends a strong signal to the entire crew as to what is acceptable behavior. Even if someone turned the TV off or walked away, the ship’s chatter the next day would be all about the video. You wouldn’t be able to escape it.

When the XO tries to make a disclaimer each episode that the Commanding Officer (CO) and Admiral don’t know about it and should not be subject to any complaints, he just doesn’t get it. The CO and Admiral are accountable for EVERYTHING that happens on a ship. That’s why it’s such a tough job. That’s why COs are relieved of command when one of their officers runs the ship aground while the CO is sleeping. Accountability doesn’t go to sleep and can’t be swept away with disclaimers. Which is why I think more heads will roll as a result of this investigation.

On a final note, as a retired female Naval officer who watched all military women struggle to be taken seriously by our male counterparts as professional colleagues, I can empathize with how the women on the Enterprise must have felt. Your sheriff that is supposed to protect you from harassment and bullying is calling you “chicks” and incorporating video shots of you dancing or showering naked together. That’s how he thinks of you, and that’s how he wants the rest of the crew to think of you. It’s devastating if you want to serve as a respected peer alongside your shipmates. Talk about a hostile work environment.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Navy Tells Capt. Owen Honors To Sit This One Out While His Videos Are Investigated

Capt. Owen Honors, the chief of the USS Enterprise who was the second-in-command when he filmed those awful "training" videos, has been temporarily relived of his post pending an investigation. The "Support Captain Honors U.S.S. Enterprise" Facebook page has already launched; it's got about 800 members thus far.


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—  admin