Archive for the ‘Don’t Ask Dont Tell’ Category

>DADT fright

December 20, 2010

>President Obama’s stock has gone up, as his “promise” to get Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repealed on his watch is taking place.

Whenever progress by an oppressed group takes place, those who oppose such actions ramp up their rhetoric, and that is certainly happening now.

American Family Association radio host Bryan Fisher said that other countries that allowed gays to serve openly in their armies only did so because they knew they could depend on the might and the strength and the power of our military. He said they could depend on us to intervene and “wherever necessary to pull their fannies out of the fire and squash the forces of tyranny wherever they raised their ugly heads around the world.”

Now, he says, “Those days are now gone. We will no longer be able to bail out these other emasculated armies because ours will now be feminized and neutered beyond repair, and there is no one left to bail us out. We have been permanently weakened as a military and as a nation by these misguided and treasonous Republican senators, and the world is now a more dangerous place for us all.”

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council was just as bad. “Today is a tragic day for our armed forces. The American military exists for only one purpose – to fight and win wars. Yet it has now been hijacked and turned into a tool for imposing on the country a radical social agenda. This may advance the cause of reshaping social attitudes regarding human sexuality, but it will only do harm to the military’s ability to fulfill its mission”

The Alliance Defense Fund has released a statement, ” “The Senate’s cave-in to pressure from activists to impose homosexual behavior on our military will place our troops’ religious liberties in unprecedented jeopardy. Indeed, the first official casualty of this hurried vote may well be the religious freedom of chaplains and Service members.”

This is all just hype with a purpose of raising money from those easily frightened.

“Impose homosexual behavior on our military?” Who in their right mind thinks this repeal imposes any sexual behavior on anyone? What it imposes is a sense of fairness, and justice. And it takes away the requirement that someone who swears to integrity must lie in order to serve.

My idea of a (male) Marine is a tough, well disciplined guy, for whom thoughts of sex are far from the front of their mind. I have a friend, gay, who is a former Marine, who is 6 foot 5 inches tall and weighs 230 pounds. He is solid muscle, and tough as a rock. He served in Iraq. He was a leader among the men he served with (and they knew he was gay). I would put my money on this man against any straight Marine you can find.

I have another friend, straight, who is a former marine. Oddly enough, he and my other friend share the same first name. He is tough also, not quite as big, but just as tough and disciplined. He also served in Iraq. He told me it makes not an ounce of difference who is next to him in combat, as long as he could shoot straight. He is sure he served with people who are gay, and it doesn’t bother him. Every Marine, by definition, should feel this way. If not, maybe he doesn’t have any business being a Marine.

The crybabies are concerned about troops in combat, but here is the deal. Since there are already gay men in the military, how does this policy change make any difference? A gay Marine is not going to suddenly declare, “I’m gay,” in the foxhole and make advances on his fellow fighters.

And they worry about the showers. Well listen, and listen closely. Straight men have showered with gay men at the gym, in the NFL locker room, at work places, in high school, in coal mines, in the MLB locker room, in the barracks, at the YMCA, in the doctor’s lounge, at the pool, at the auto plant, in middle school, in the NBA locker room, and at the Country Club, and while the gay men might take a look at the straight men, in all honesty, the straight men are looking too. And I know this because straight men compare themselves to others. That’s just a fact. So if a straight man, military or not, is being looked at by an unknown gay guy, what difference does it make if it is a known gay guy? Grow up.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, my idea of a military man is someone who is disciplined enough, and mature enough, and secure enough, to not be bothered by this. And those who are, maybe they should step back and examine their own sexuality and insecurities, and they might be surprised with what they discover.

And for someone like me, a citizen who depends on the military for my freedom, I am just thankful that we have men, and women, who are willing to step up to the task of serving this way, and I don’t mind of they are straight. Or gay.

>Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Haiku

December 17, 2010

>I admit it. I follow the Washington stories a little too closely. Often if I am working at home I have the TV on in the next room and can hear MSNBC so when a critical vote is taking place or a particularly interesting comment coming from a legislator I can run in there and watch. I’m a political wonk, or at least I would be if I were younger (by definition a wonk is a young person).

If I must deliver myself from the world of politics and social progress, I change the channel to Adult Alternative music and have in the background music by such artists as Dave Barnes (Little Lies):

or T J Moss Band (It’s Over):

Anyway,last year I made it a point to be in front of the TV on Christmas Eve to watch the Senate vote on Health Care Reform.

Tomorrow the Senate is supposed to vote on the Dream Act and on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal.

Supposedly Reid has 61 votes for DADT repeal, but not for the Dream Act.

The votes are being scheduled for Saturday because a Democrat Senator’s prostate gland has got to go next week. He’s having pre-surgery testing done today, but will be on the Senate floor on Saturday, and out next week.

Only mean spirited Republicans would think that denying legal status to someone who has laid their life on the line for our freedom is cool.

The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act would give conditional legal status to qualifying undocumented youths who attend at least two years of college or join the military, provided they arrived here under age 16 and meet several other strict criteria.

But recall, most Republican Senators also think it is cool to have those fighting for you to lie about themselves if they are gay or lesbian. I wrote a poem.

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Haiku

We serve with honor
Life on line and we could die
For this we must lie

Anyway, there is so much going on tomorrow that I can’t sit around waiting for the Senate to act. Santa’s got some shopping to do.

But I will have my Android with me, so I will be able to follow what is going on and at least give a shout out on Facebook if something good happens.

And on Sunday, don’t forget “Hollywood Holidays: Songs from the Silver Screen,” a collection of seasonal songs from the cinema by the Magic City Choral Society, at 6:00, at the Alys Stephens Center. It’s Free!!!

>Lame ducks

December 16, 2010

>I usually don’t write the title to my post before I know what I’m going to say, so this could go anywhere.

I mean, I could write a post about the Oregon football team, and from there pile accolades on Auburn and Cam Newton and Nick Fairley and Gene Chizik.

No one expected Auburn to be in the position they are in today; a number one ranking in the BCS and a confirmed date to play for the national championship in January.

But we watched them win their first game against Arkansas State, and felt good. Then we watched them win their second game, an SEC game against Mississippi State, and felt good. Against Clemson, we felt some good fortune was being bestowed on the team, with an overtime win. Against South Carolina, (the first time), we knew there was some magic. And so on.

My point is, our confidence in our team developed over a period of several weeks, until we had no doubt we could win our final regular season game against Alabama, and follow that with a huge win over South Carolina in the SEC championship game.

Now we face the Ducks. But these are not lame ducks, they are fast paced offense, high flying, high scoring ducks. Auburn is favored by 3 points.

So if I am to write about lame ducks, I guess it will be the ones in Washington.

And because Democrat senators, led by majority leader Harry Reid, want to pass several important pieces of legislation before this congress adjourns, they may have to limp right up until Christmas Eve.

Oh horrors, Republicans scream. “Disrespecting” of one of the “holiest holidays” said Republican minority whip Jon Kyl and “sacrilegious” said Republican Senator Jim DeMint.

But our troops can fight for us on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and our loved ones (or ourselves) can work on Christmas Eve, or Christmas Day (nurses, doctors, police, firefighters, convenience store attendants and others).

Harry Reid does not take such insults sitting down.

I don’t need to hear the sanctimonious lectures of Senator Kyl and DeMint to remind me of what Christmas means. . . . Some of my Republican colleagues have the nerve to whine about having to stay and actually do the work that the American people pay us to do. We make large salaries . . . we could work as most Americans do during the holidays. . . . It’s offensive to me and millions of working Americans across this country for any Senator to suggest that working through the Christmas holidays is somehow sacrilegious or disrespectful.

And remember, it’s because of the Republicans’ purposeful slowdown of the legislative process that these bills have not been passed already.

And because of the Republicans, the American people have not developed a confidence that the lame duck session will pass meaningful legislation. Every day is a surprise.

But look. We’ve given the Republicans every thing they asked for in the Tax bill, (which was not a compromise by any stretch of the imagination). If we don’t at least get the arms control treaty passed, and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repealed, and get the DREAM act passed, Democrats, and most Americans, will be hugely disappointed.

So come on Harry, get moving. Give us something to celebrate this Christmas. Even if we have to wait until Christmas Eve. The rest of America is working. We see nothing wrong with you all continuing your work as well.

>Response to Western Star bigotry

November 24, 2010

>Bessemer’s Western Star is published by Trib Publications, Inc., and their president, Bob Tribble, exhibited his lack of education and his bigotry in a recent editorial. You can read it here.

Three letters appeared in today’s Western Star in response. One is from me, the others are from Elisa Macon and Trey Noland. This will make for a long blog post, but I am posting all three letters here. Click “Read more” to view the letters.

Trey Noland is a former Assembly of God minister and foreign missionary.

Dear Editor,

In his editorial regarding the repealing of DADT, Mr. Tribble manages to present himself as level-headed and makes sense until the last 4 paragraphs of the letter. That is where his logic is replaced by superstition (disguised as faith).

Mr. Tribble, as do many religious men and women, begins to claim to know what “God calls” and what “God wishes”. I would say Mr. Tribble may know as much about God as he does about gays. Just like his knowledge of gays is obviously prejudiced, here-say, and stereotyped perception (it’s ridiculous to claim all gays are covering up misery and unable to find peace)…so his understanding of God is prejudiced by his own perceptions and what others have told him about God.

Now, that’s a common human trait and not so horrible in and of itself. However, Mr. Tribble is going beyond just believing something…he is using his personal understanding and beliefs to condemn others.

There are only seven scriptures which address homosexuality in the Bible. Every one of those scriptures refer to either rape, sexual idolatry, or pederasty between two people of the same sex.

There was no concept of modern-day, committed, monogamous gay relationships…not to mention any understanding by Biblical authors of recent advancements in science that suggest one’s orientation is innate and unchangeable. Even if one believes the Bible to be without error, it is arrogant to believe your understanding is without error. Mr. Tribble and other Christians (myself included) need to keep this in mind before we speak out in condemnation of others.

Trey Noland

**********

Elisa Macon is a Birmingham Realtor, and former educator.

Dear Editor,

A recent letter writer spoke in support of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Please allow me to offer a different opinion.

It is wrong to expect our distinguished men and women in uniform to lie about who God made them to be. There is no honor in suppression of the truth. Therefore, DADT is wrong. Period.

The letter writer continued to share his opinion of homosexuality. He stated opinion as fact, and he was wrong on at least three very important points:

1. “The Bible is clear about homosexuality.” This is a false statement. As all Biblical scholars know, the King James version of the Bible is a translation from original language, and there was no term related to sexual minorities when the Bible was written. The translation of “homosexual” in Romans is from a word meaning “weak-spirited” and referred to those who refused to acknowledge Christ in public. The passage from Leviticus is also often quoted, but those who follow Christ know that He said the law (Leviticus) is to be put away, and He is the new high priest. Those laws were to a specific people at a specific time of near-extinction, and no one obeys these laws today (unless you sacrificed a calf on your front lawn last Saturday). There are in fact beautiful homosexual love stories in the Bible, including Jonathan and David. Read it for yourself. Finally, Sodom and Gomorrah had nothing to do with homosexuality, but with inhospitality and greed; again, stop taking passages out of context and read the whole Bible for yourself.

2. “Homosexuality is a sin.” This is a false statement. Sin is an act, not a state of being. For instance, according to the Bible, judging and condemning others is a sin, because it is a chosen act; but Jesus himself embraced diversity in making sure we understood that there is no male or female, no Jew or Greek, but that we are all the same in God’s eyes. Homosexuality and other sexual minorities are just beautiful diversities in creation, like height and hair color. Though redheads are in the minority, it is not a sin to be born red-headed. It is a sin, however, to turn souls away from Christ’s love through discrimination, as this letter-writer has done.

3. “Gay lifestyles can never produce peace and happiness in their hearts.” This is a false statement. First, gay is not a “lifestyle” any more than being short or tall is a “lifestyle”- again, it is a creation by God. But those who are living God’s will for their lives are filled with the fruits of the Spirit- love, joy, peace- whether gay or straight. The only misery comes from denying who God made you to be. This letter-writer obviously lives in misery, but there is no misery in truth. God blesses and loves his gay children who have the courage to acknowledge Him and be honest about who He created them to be.

This letter writer would do well to observe Jesus’ commandments to love God with all his heart and love his neighbor as himself. This includes everyone- every “whosoever” God ever made.

Elisa Macon

**********

My letter. Y’all know who I am.

Dear Editor,

A recent editorial in the Western Star (written by their out of state owner) urges congress and the military to keep the current “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in place.

The writer bases his position on the errant belief that military chaplains would have to leave the service if they could not preach against homosexuality. As the acting chairperson of Equality Alabama I feel that this issue should be addressed, but it was another statement in the editorial that motivates me to respond.

“Homosexuals call themselves gay but that is only an attempt to cover up their misery. Gay lifestyles can never produce peace and happiness in their hearts,” the writer says.

Across this state gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals are leading happy and fulfilled lives, some in partnered relationships, and others as singles.

To assume that all gays are trying to “cover up their misery” is ludicrous, and stems from outdated mid 20th century beliefs that homosexuality is a mental disease, which we now know it is not.

It is true that some gays suffer from low self esteem and depression but so do some heterosexuals. And many of the problems that those gays have stem from the uneducated and hateful rhetoric they hear from people like this editorial writer.

At a time when anti-gay bullying and LGBT teen suicides are in the news, one would think that an editorial writer could show more compassion and sensitivity toward their gay readers.

As for the issue of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, 75% of Americans (ABC News/Washington Post 2010), including 60% of churchgoers (Gallup, 2009) are in favor of repeal. The recently leaked military survey reveals that those currently serving are also comfortable with lifting the ban, and that there will be little if any effect on the operations or effectiveness of our military.

Let’s base our support for repealing the policy, or lack thereof, on whether it would affect military readiness and on the wishes of the American people, not on hateful rhetoric based on decades old research.

LGBT soldiers are serving and are dying for our country now. If they can die for our country, they should be able to do so without being asked to lie about who they are. Where is the honor in that? Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell should be repealed now.

Joe Openshaw
Equality Alabama Interim Chairperson
Bessemer, Alabama

>The vigil and the editorial

November 22, 2010

>Over the weekend I spoke at the vigil held in memory of Tre’ Juan Figures, the 12 year old Anniston boy who killed himself one year ago after being pressured by gang members to join their group, and bullied because he wouldn’t join.

The speakers were Jason Childs, founder and director of Center for Progress in Alabama, State Representative Barbara Boyd, Grace Episcopal Church (Anniston) Youth Minister Andy Harris, and myself, Joe Openshaw, Interim Chair for Equality Alabama.

Jason Childs speaking at the vigil

Jason Childs organized the event to honor Tre’s memory and to bring attention to the continuing problem of bullying in this state.

State Representative Barbara Boyd told of her own experiences with bullying as a child and encouraged others with her story of success and how she overcame the perils of her childhood.

Andy Harris spoke about the choices we make stressing that we can (and should) choose kindness. He also spoke of his parents, both of whom took their own lives.

Jason Childs shared that when he was asked why he was holding a vigil for a child he didn’t even know and was asked what Tre’ was to him, he had to answer, “Nothing. That’s the problem.”

He explained that he will never know the difference this boy could have made as an adult, what he would have become, what the world is missing because of this loss, what the true cost of his untimely passing is.

I spoke about Equality Alabama’s efforts in getting Alabama’s anti-harassment policies strengthened, and said that this one tragedy was enough, we don’t need another tragedy to remind us that something needs to be done.

Here are my remarks.

Tre Juan Figures Vigil http://d1.scribdassets.com/ScribdViewer.swf?document_id=43620284&access_key=key-2mor88p7uueube9ile88&page=1&viewMode=list

Tre’s mother gave an emotional interview to the media. Here is Jason Childs and Veronica McGee, Tre’s mom.

Here is a story about the event on ABC 33/40, and here is one from CBS 42, where you can read about or watch video of Ms. McGee.

Also

Also over the weekend my editorial that I wrote for the Mobile Press-Register was printed and posted online, here.

The editorial also covers bullying among teens, but also the bullying that occurs in the military because of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Thank you Frances Coleman of the Press Register for asking me to do this.

This editorial has gotten at least 38 facebook posts, by far the most of any Press Register editorial of late, including those concerning the oil spill. To me this means that this is an issue of major importance to the public. The more people that read and understand these issues, the more pressure will be put of our state legislators and school board members, and on congress regarding DADT, to make a change. Please share.

>In a cave

November 18, 2010

>The Alabama Baptist Convention yesterday passed a resolution calling on President Obama to “abandon his efforts to normalize homosexuality in the United States Military.”

I don’t know what to say. Me? Speechless?

I mean, it’s to be expected from a group that doesn’t accept that science and medicine consider us normal and that, as their newly elected leader said yesterday, “are often characterized by what they condemn, such as homosexual behavior.”

If the Baptists would only treat homosexuality like Jesus did. Oh, wait. Jesus didn’t say anything about it. Not a single word. (Other than his interaction with this gay man). Are you listening, Baptists?

I am about ready to propose a resolution opposing Southern Baptists.

Since they seem to live in cave, metaphorically, I will send them this song.

Mumford and Sons – The Cave

So make your siren’s call
And sing all you want
I will not hear what you have to say

Cause I need freedom now
And I need to know how
To live my life as it’s meant to be

>Southern Baptists oppose DADT repeal (no surprise)

June 19, 2010

>
I looked back over the archives of this site and was quite surprised at how seldom I write about Southern Baptists. They are all around me, are mostly virulently homophobic, but in the last couple of years haven’t had much to say about the subject.

Part of that may be because they are realizing that the denomination is shrinking, (an article in the Birmingham News a few weeks ago pointed out that teen baptisms was down and so future growth of the denomination was in question) and during their “strategizing” haven’t wanted to seem too mean spirited (but when has that ever stopped them?).

Anyway, in today’s Birmingham News is an article titled “Baptists fear end of Don’t Ask” with the subtitle “Chaplains might lose freedom, group fears.”

It seems that Southern Baptists have more chaplains in the military (448) than any other denominations (Roman Catholic – 252, Assemblies of God – 119, United Methodist – 110, Seventh Day Adventist – 43, Mormon – 37, Orthodox – 25, United Church of Christ – 17, Islam -10, Judaism – 21, Buddhist -1).

The article says there are about 3,000 active-duty chaplains, so those numbers don’t add up. I think the “3,000” includes Reserve and National Guard chaplains, and the other numbers are just Department of Defense numbers.

Here’s the fear.

“Southern Baptists…have told Congress and the Pentagon that chaplains
could lose their freedom to preach and counsel against homosexuality if openly
gay members are accepted by the military.”

I’m thinking that if I’m in Afghanistan and am worried about an IED maiming me or knowing that the next day my unit is beginning a dangerous offensive in which I may be expected to take another person’s (terrorist, woman, child) life and I go to my chaplain for counseling, that I want to hear something other than a preaching about my sexuality.

And under the current policy, since there are no “openly gay” members of the military (wink, wink), and the assumption is therefore that everyone is straight, there is absolutely no reason for a chaplain to be “preaching” against homosexuality anyway.

“Southern Baptist leaders have warned their chaplains may have to leave the
military if don’t Ask/Don’t Tell is repealed”


So if you can’t be over there preaching your intolerance, then you don’t think you can be over there making soldiers feel OK about what they are doing? That is weird, man.


Gays are in the military, and always have been.

Always.

During the Revolutionary War, Friedrich Wilhelm Augustin Ludolf Gerhard von Steuben, who was crucial in the modernization of George Washington’s army, stands out.

This statue of Von Steuben by Albert Jaegers is in Lafayette Park in Washington DC.

From Gay Military Signal:

Von Steuben arrived at Valley Forge, that cold winter of 1778, with a young
French nobleman who was his ‘assistant’ and lover. As he spoke almost no
English, Washington assigned two young inseparable officers, who were fluent in
French and were lovers, to work with Von Steuben to translate his work.
They were 20 year old Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Hamilton (who was also likely to have been this nation’s first mixed race officer) and 24 year old Lieutenant
Colonel John Laurens (who was the son of the President of the Continental
Congress that year, Henry Laurens). Laurens later died in battle, becoming
one of America’s first Gay heroes. Their love letters still exist.

So, Southern Baptists, get over it. We were here before you were.

>In Afghanistan….

September 2, 2009

>The U. S. military does not allow gays to participate openly because “it would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline.”

Of course, “straight” people in Afghanistan who are guarding our embassy can do this:

Granted, these are not military, so they are not America’s best, but still. For more pictures, including pictures of security contractors get their kicks peeing on one another, simulating anal sex, doing “butt shots,” and “eating potato chips out of ass cracks,” go to Gawker.

“They have a group of sexual predators, deviants running rampant over there. No, they are not jamming guys in the ass per say [sic], but they are showing poor judgenment [sic].” Most of it appears to have been voluntary, but those who didn’t really want to drink vodka shots out of the clenched butt-cheeks of their male co-workers were penalized and reported barricading themselves in their rooms. And sometimes the behavior extended to the locals:

“An Afghan national employed as a food service worker at the guard corps’ base at Camp Sullivan submitted a signed statement dated August 16, 2009, attesting that a guard force supervisor and four others entered a dining facility on August 1, 2009, wearing only short underwear and brandishing bottles of alcohol. Upon leaving the facility, the guard force supervisor allegedly grabbed the Afghan national by the face and began abusing him with foul language, saying, “You are very good for fXXXing.” The Afghan national reported that he “was too afraid of them I could not tell them any thing.”

These are the people guarding our embassy. I hope Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has her way, no, let me re-phrase this, fires their asses and has them incarcerated where they can have some real fun.

What an embarrassment.

>The Arc of the Moral Universe

July 9, 2009

>Many in the GLBT community feel that two of the many issues facing us are the most important: equality in marriage and repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”

Favorable outcomes are inevitable, the only question is when? “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” to paraphrase abolitionist Theodore Parker (1853) (A phrase made famous by Martin Luther King, Jr in 1967, echoed by Barack Obama in 2008).

Three items of interest that make me think sooner rather than later.

1. Rep. Patrick Murphy D. PA) says it is his job to “quarterback” the effort to pass legislation to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. He has 152 co-sponsors (and need 218 votes to pass). Murphy is an Iraq veteran and a blue dog democrat and recognizes that over 13,000 troops have been discharged, not because of sexual activity but because of sexual orientation.

Like Rachel says, he’s the right guy to be leading this fight.

2. Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has filed a suit in federal court seeking to void the Defense of Marriage Act. She says DOMA is discriminatory and puts her state in conflict with the Federal government.

“Among many of its arguments, Coakley’s suit argues that DOMA requires Massachusetts to violate the constitutional rights of its citizens by treating married heterosexual couples and married same-sex couples differently when doling out Medicaid benefits and Social Security payouts to spouses. Coakley brought up another example: Massachusetts is given federal money to maintain a military cemetery that doesn’t allow the same-sex spouses of fallen soldiers to be buried there.”

My prediction, given the slow pace that lawsuits take, is that congress will overturn DOMA before the lawsuit does. Or, given the slow pace that congress takes, they may sit on their thumbs and wait to see how the court handles it.

At any rate, something will happen.

3. Steve Hildebrand said in an interview with Rex Wockner that President Obama is listening and is on top of things with the gay issues.

Photo Credit Rex Wockner

Openly gay Steve Hildebrand was Barack Obama’s deputy national campaign director. He has spoken with the president in the last couple of weeks. Here are some highlights.

Regarding the justice department brief that upset so many gays: “he did not read the brief in advance but he subsequently has read the brief and was not happy at all with both the direction as well as the language that was used — and that he expects much better from his administration.”

On Don’t Ask Don’t Tell: “Barack Obama as president and commander in chief is, and will continue to go through, a process, methodically, to get the ducks in a row in order to get the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell done in a successful way that isn’t just going to happen overnight.”

On the power of the gay community: “I think too many people in the gay community do not push their elected officials as hard as they should. If you had 20 gay people together in a room and asked how many of them actually have reached out and either called, e-mailed or sent a letter to their member of Congress over the last two months, I would say the vast, vast majority of them will have done nothing…We need more voices, we need louder voices, and we need to tell politicians at every level we’re not willing to take their excuses anymore.”

On gay frustration with the president: “He can’t change the world overnight and — I’m doing my best to say this without providing excuses — but this is a president who was handed a larger number of really big issues to deal with at the beginning of his presidency than any other president in history. He’s got to get an economy moving, he’s got to get the troops out of Iraq, there’s a lot of big, big problems. At the same time, he is working within his administration to try and get in a position to get some meaningful things done to help the gay community achieve equality.”

On Artur Davis (well, not by name, but): “… for too many decades now of people who say, “Yes, we support equality,” but then they go to Washington and they don’t do anything about it. They’re too wrapped up in figuring out how to win their next election and they’re not concerned enough about doing what’s right for the American people. “

**************
So, these three items give me confidence that the arc of justice is getting shorter, as my patience is extending a little bit.

>Dan Choi

May 8, 2009

>First Lieutenant Dan Choi is an Arabic-speaking linguist who is being fired from the Army National Guard because he is gay. As Commander in Chief, Barack Obama is responsible for this.

Between 1996 and 2006 60 Arabic linguists were discharged for being gay under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. 12,500 otherwise qualified personnel have been discharged under the policy, at a cost of over $360 million.

Ejecting brave men and women with specialist skills is a threat to national security and leads to a dangerously weakened military, as Choi explains: “On Monday, September 10th 2001, a message was intercepted by the State Department: tomorrow is zero hour.

“Despite its simplicity, nobody was able to translate it. Any of the dozens of linguists already discharged for being gay at the time would have done so easily.” pinknews

911 could have possibly been avoided if this discriminatory policy had not been in place.

Here, Aaron Belkin explains why President Obama should and why he can sign an executive order today to stop this practice.

Straight people are really interested in the progress of gay rights, as this report from CNN shows. They start out talking about marriage but turn to DADT during the segment.

The segment points out, correctly I believe, that the gay community is being patient because we understand that there is a lot going on. Don’t do anything contentious regarding gays just before you want to get a (hopefully) equality minded Supreme Court justice affirmed.

But, come on Mr. President. Save Dan Choi’s job. Our country needs him.