Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for March, 2010

Lieberman introduces a bill to repeal DADT

Timothy Kincaid

March 3rd, 2010

Senator Joseph Lieberman, a formerly Democrat and currently Independent Senator from Connecticut, has introduced a senate bill which would “replace the current policy concerning homosexuality in the Armed Forces, referred to as ‘‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’’, with a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”

Specifically, it would repeal Section 654 of title 10 (“unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion”) and subsections (b), (c), and (d) of section 571 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994 (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell).

Instead, this bill would:

  • create Section 656 would be created which would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation
  • authorize a Pentagon Working Group which would have nine months to recommend implementation of the new policy, after which the Secretary of Defense would have two months to revise regulations
  • require the Secretary of Defense to report back in six months as to whether universities are allowing or welcoming ROTC onto their campus (some had banned or discouraged them due to discrimination policies)

Co-signing with Lieberman were:

Carl Levin (D-MI)
Mark Udall (D-CO)
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Roland Burris (D-IL)
Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Arlen Specter (D-PA)
Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Al Franken (D-MN)

Two Senators On Marriage

Jim Burroway

October 28th, 2009

Sen. Arlen SpecterArlen Specter (D-PA) wrote this in the Huffington Post:

The time has come to repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Enacted 13 years ago when the idea of same sex marriage was struggling for acceptance, the Act is a relic of a more tradition-bound time and culture.

Connecticut, Iowa, and Massachusetts have already passed laws recognizing same sex marriage and other states are moving in that direction. The states are the proper forum to address this divisive social and moral issue, not the Federal Government with a law that attempts to set one national standard for marriage.

Sen. Specter also went on to defend the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act, and call for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” as well as the enactment of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Sen. Chuck SchumerSen Chuck Schumer (D-NY) also spoke out last week on marriage:

If Dick Cheney can support marriage, so can every Senator. So can every Democrat, Republican, Liberal Conservative,” Schumer told the Empire State Pride Agenda. “Equality should know no bounds, and we must not rest until we have marriage in all fifty of these United States.”

Obama Urges Action On Hate Crimes Bill

Jim Burroway

April 28th, 2009

The White House has released this statement:

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT ON H.R. 1913, THE LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT HATE CRIMES PREVENTION ACT OF 2009
This week, the House of Representatives is expected to consider H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009.  I urge members on both sides of the aisle to act on this important civil rights issue by passing this legislation to protect all of our citizens from violent acts of intolerance – legislation that will enhance civil rights protections, while also protecting our freedom of speech and association.  I also urge the Senate to work with my Administration to finalize this bill and to take swift action.

The House is expected to debate and vote on the bill Wednesday. The Human Rights Campaign urges everyone to call their representative and ask them to vote for the bill’s passage.

Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) introduced the hate crimes legislation in the Senate. Co-sponsors include  Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Arlen Specter (R D-PA).