VA hospital still reviewing lesbian vet’s complaint

Officials to decide on discipline for nurse accused of anti-gay tirade

Esther Garatie

Esther Garatie

JOHN WRIGHT  |  Senior Political Writer
wright@dallasvoice.com

Officials at the Dallas VA Medical Center are expected to decide within weeks whether to discipline a nurse accused of discriminating against a lesbian Marine veteran who sought mental health treatment.

The VA Medical Center has placed the nurse, Lincy Pandithurai of Cedar Hill, on administrative duty pending the outcome of its investigation into a complaint from 28-year-old Esther Garatie of Irving.

Garatie, a former Marine lance corporal who was honorably discharged in 2006, said she sought treatment for severe depression and possible post-traumatic stress disorder — including thoughts of suicide — on Oct. 12.

Garatie alleges that during a two-hour tirade, Pandithurai told her she was living in sin and said that was the reason for her mental health issues. Garatie said the nurse advised her to accept Jesus and become straight.

Monica A. Smith, a spokesman for the VA Medical Center, said this week that the hospital’s investigative board completed its inquiry into Garatie’s complaint on Friday, Dec. 2. The investigative board’s report will now be forwarded the hospital’s Executive Office.

“The Executive Office, Human Resources, and the Office of General Counsel will review the board’s report and determine what, if any, actions are necessary,” Smith said. “We expect this will take no longer than a few weeks.”

More than 16,000 people have signed a petition at Change.org calling for the VA Medical Center to terminate Pandithurai based on Garatie’s complaint. Garatie has also filed a complaint against Pandithurai with the Texas Board of Nursing.

Both the VA Medical Center and the Board of Nursing have policies prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Pandithurai didn’t return phone messages from Dallas Voice seeking comment about the complaints.

Since Dallas Voice first reported on the complaints in late October, both the Dallas Observer and the Dallas Morning News have published articles.

Jessica Gerson, Garatie’s close friend who’s been assisting her with the complaints, said this week that the ex-Marine is holding up well despite the publicity. However, Gerson said the VA Medical Center is still “dragging their feet on providing real therapy.”

Gerson said Garatie has finally been assigned a permanent therapist but won’t be able to see the doctor until Dec. 16.

“This is rather disheartening, as you might imagine, but unfortunately not particularly surprising at this point,” Gerson said in an email this week. “The publicity has been hard for her, particularly the need to relive what happened at the VA (and some of her other traumatic experiences) over and over again, but she’s been a real trouper, as ever.

“She’s such a private person that this publicity has been deeply uncomfortable for her, not only because of the need to relive her experiences, but also simply because she’s the kind of person who prefers to stay quietly in the background,’ Gerson said. “It’s taken a great deal of courage for her to set her preference for privacy aside enough to seek justice for what happened.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 9, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Now that several gay kids are dead, Mormon leader suddenly chooses to mouth off in anti-gay tirade

A gay kid just killed himself. Several in fact. And this bigoted piece of scum thought it was a good time to deliver yet another anti-gay tirade. (Did he even bother mentioning the suicides? Even that witch Maggie Gallagher felt the need to at least mention the kids, before going on to defend her hate.)

These are the bigots who took away our right to marry in California.  Who tell our children that they don’t deserve to love or be loved.  That God would never want us to be gay.  It’s bigots like this who are responsible for our children thinking they have no option other than suicide.

Boyd K. Packer, president of the Mormon “Quorum of Twelve Apostles”:

“There are those today who not only tolerate but advocate voting to change laws that would legalize immorality, as if a vote would somehow alter the designs of God’s laws and nature,” Boyd K. Packer, president of the church’s Quorum of Twelve Apostles, said in a strongly worded sermon about the dangers of pornography and same-sex marriage. “A law against nature would be impossible to enforce. Do you think a vote to repeal the law of gravity would do any good?”

Good one! By the way, what does nature say about polygamy?

[T]he power to create offspring “is not an incidental part of the plan of happiness. It is the key — the very key.” Some argue that attraction that is “impure and unnatural” is “pre-set and cannot [be] overcome, Packer said. “Not so! Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone? Remember he is our father.” Alluding to the Utah-based church’s support of laws such as California’s Proposition 8 that would define marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman, Packer said, “Regardless of the opposition, we are determined to stay on course.” “We cannot change; we will not change,” the senior apostle declared unequivocally.

Good.  Because it will be a pleasure to continue exposing how hateful and bigoted Mormons really are, and how they won’t be appeased until they force every American to live as Mormons.  It’s the reason they tried to steal Ann Frank’s soul. It’s the reason they had the audacity to baptize Obama’s own mother into Mormonism without his consent.

As Dan Savage has explained all too well, bigotry like this helps convince gay kids to kill themselves.  People who tell them that God would never have made them this way. People who tell them that they’re immoral, that they’re sick, that they don’t deserve to love or be loved.

I know the Mormons like to think of themselves as Christians (well, Christians who believe that Jesus had sex with Mary).  But if they really want people to believe that they’re Christian, maybe they should start acting like one.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

“Dr Laura” Goes Into On-Air Racial Tirade

CNN’s Rick Sanchez is running this story right now and tippy-toeing around the entire conversation; it’s extremely apparent that he is trying hard to explain in a very intelligent way that is also politically correct/ societally acceptable/ sensitive a topic he is very uncomfortable discussing- but the truth is, there is just NO WAY that this is even slightly acceptable.

Is it really so hard to call Laura Schlessinger out as a hateful racist, as well as a known and well documented bigot, CNN? REALLY?

It’s not helping Sanchez that CNN’s sound booth is messing up badly, playing the clips in higgledy-piggledy order…

In my view, Laura has gone even further off the rails than usual- I didn’t think it possible!

She starts by talking the call, listening to the caller, then goes off- HARD, starting by asking for an example because “Sometimes people are hyper-sensitive”!

She listens, then interrupts to say the caller’s example doesn’t sound like racism to her, then slams people voting for Obama, a theme she elaborates upon in some detail after the break. Schlessinger also relates an inane story about basketball and how “white men can’t jump”.

WOW.

Story via HuffPo:

 


Dr. Laura Schlessinger has apologized after a shocking rant on her radio show this week during which she said the n-word 10 times over the course of five minutes.

In conversation Tuesday with a black female caller who was complaining about her white husband’s racist friends and their use of the word, Schlessinger said:



Black guys use it all the time. Turn on HBO and listen to a black comic, and all you hear is n****, n*****, n*****. I don’t get it.

If anybody without enough melanin says it, it’s a horrible thing. But when black people say it, it’s affectionate. It’s very confusing.

More below the fold, including the audio clips via Media Matters.
The show then went to commercial. When they came back on, Dr Laura started in again on the caller:


Schlessinger and the caller then got into an exchange about the use of the word:

CALLER: Is it OK to say that word? Is it ever OK to say that word?

DR. LAURA: It depends how it’s said. Black guys talking to each other seem to think it’s ok.

CALLER: But you’re not black, they’re not black, my husband is white.

DR. LAURA: Oh, I see, so a word is restricted to race. Got it. Can’t do much about that.

CALLER: I can’t believe someone like you is on the radio spewing out the n***** word, and I hope everybody heard it.

DR. LAURA: I didn’t spew out the n***** word!

CALLER: You said “n*****, n*****, n*****” and I hope everybody heard it.

DR. LAURA: Yes they did, and I’ll say it again: n*****, n*****, n***** is what you hear on HBO.

[Crosstalk]

DR. LAURA: Why don’t you let me finish a sentence? Don’t take things out of context. Don’t NAACP me, leave them in context.

The call ended at that point as Dr Laura hung up on  her caller. Unwilling to let it go at that, Schlessinger then told her audience:



“If you’re that hypersensitive about color and don’t have a sense of humor, don’t marry outside of your race.”

Audio via Media Matters.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Her apology, issued the next day:



These are my opening comments from my radio program today:

I talk every day about doing the right thing.  And yesterday, I did the wrong thing.

I didn’t intend to hurt people, but I did.  And that makes it the wrong thing to have done.

I was attempting to make a philosophical point, and I articulated the “n” word all the way out – more than one time.  And that was wrong.  I’ll say it again – that was wrong.

I ended up, I’m sure, with many of you losing the point I was trying to make, because you were shocked by the fact that I said the word.  I, myself, realized I had made a horrible mistake, and was so upset I could not finish the show.  I pulled myself off the air at the end of the hour.  I had to finish the hour, because 20 minutes of dead air doesn’t work.  I am very sorry.  And it just won’t happen again.

I received some letters, and what touched me is that, even though many of you were upset, you still showed friendship for all the years we’ve been together on the air, and for that, trust me, I am very grateful.

At that point, Schlessinger read a few letters of support.

What think you, Blenders?
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—  John Wright