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Posts for September, 2011

Johnson “Embarrased” By Booing of American Soldier, Other Candidates Refuse To Comment

Jim Burroway

September 24th, 2011

ABC News’ Emily Friedman rounds up the reactions of GOP presidential candidates to the booing by audience members of Stephen Hill, a gay American Soldier stationed in Iraq, who asked about the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” during Thursday night’s debate. On the night of the debate, Ambassador Jon Huntsman Jr. said he heard the booing and thought it was “unfortunate.” He later added, “We all wear the same uniform in America. We all salute the same flag I have two boys starting their journey in the U.S military. We should take more time to thank them for their services as opposed to finding differences based on background or orientation.”

After one news cycle passed, Sen. Rick Santorum claimed that he didn’t hear the booing (which was loud enough to actually create an echo in the vast hall in Orlando), and said he should have thanked the soldier for his service. At least that’s what he told Fox News. When speaking to ABC News, Santorum walked it backed a little.

“I didn’t hear it. I didn’t hear the boos,” Santorum told ABC News. “I heard the question and answered the question, so I’ve heard subsequently that happened. I’ve heard varied reports about whether they were booing the soldier or the policy.”

“I don’t know what they were booing,” he said. “If you can go out and find the people who were booing and find out if they were booing because a man was gay or because of a policy they don’t agree with.”

“You find out why they booed, and I’ll respond to your question,” he added.

Today, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson said he was embarrassed by the episode:

“That’s not the Republican Party that I belong to,” said Johnson. “I’m embarrassed by someone who serves in the military and can’t express their sexuality. I am representing the Republican Party that is tolerant. And to me that shows an intolerance that I’m not a part of in any way whatsoever. ”

Johnson added that he could hear the boos from the stage and believes that the other candidates – despite Santorum’s denial – could as well.

That’s a second candidate who admitted he could hear the boos from the stage. Yet none of the nine candidates spoke up against the demonstrated disrepsect of an active-duty soldier stationed in Iraq, and none of them engaged in the time-honored Republican tradition of shoving each other out of the way in the race to thank that soldier for his service to the country.

And for six of those candidates, that silence continues through day three. Pizzaman Herman Cain refused to comment saying he didn’t want his comments “taken out of context.” Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann’s spokesperson refused to comment, as did the campaigns for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Texas Rep. Ron Paul’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

This Is What DADT’s Repeal Looks Like In Military Regulations

Jim Burroway

September 24th, 2011

DADT repeal: The real deal (click to download)

Whenever a change is made to official Defense Department regulations, a version of the new regulations goes out highlighting the changes being incorporated via strike-outs and color-coded additions. They do this so that changes to regulations are clearly communicated and cannot be overlooked. And so on September 20, 2011, on the day in which “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was officially repealed, a new DoD Instruction 1332.14 on Enlisted Administrative Separation went out incorporating “Change 2.” That change officially struck out “Homosexual Conduct” as a reason for separation from the military, and it struck out the entire section titled, “Guidelines for Fact-Finding Inquiries Into Homosexual Conduct.” You can download the entire regulation here (PDF: 376 KB/60 pages). Go ahead and do it. This document, with its sea of red strikeouts on pages 17-22 and 38-41, represents the historic end to the last legally mandated governmental witch hunt against gays and lesbians.

Santorum Finally Gets Around to Condemning the Booing of an American Soldier, But He Totally Has A Good Excuse For Not Speaking Up Sooner

Jim Burroway

September 23rd, 2011

An entire news cycle has passed since the American people witnessed the spectacle of nine GOP presidential candidates remaining silent while audience members booed an American soldier during last night’s debate. Instead of speaking up against the outburst or even thanking Stephen Hill, who is currently stationed in Iraq, for his service, they stood in stone silence while Sen. Rick Santorum railed against the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as “playing social experimentation with our military.” Their silence was all the more remarkable considering their willingness to interrupt each other on other topics throughout the debate.

After nearly a full day of mounting criticisms from the left, the right, and everywhere in between, Santorum finally got around to condemning the booing and, very belatedly, to thank him for his service. But only after he was asked directly about it. Furthermore, there was no hint of an apology for last night’s debacle:

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Megyn Kelly: Now online this is getting a lot of attention, this video question from a gay soldier. I want to ask you not so much about your answer because you and I did that back and forth last night, but I want to ask you about people are now criticizing the audience last night for their reaction when they heard this video question. Let’s play just the video question:

Stephen Hill: … Iraq, I had to lie about who I was because I’m a gay soldier and I didn’t want to lose my job. My question is, under one of your presidencies do you intend to circumvent the progress that’s been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military? [Scattered booing]

Kelly: So there were a couple of boos in the audience. I mean there were five thousand people there. And now some people are criticizing you for not responding to it and Republicans for, you know, booing a gay soldier. Your response?

Santorum: Yeah. Well, I condemn the people who booed that gay soldier. That soldier is serving our country. I thank him for his service to our country. I’m sure he’s doing an excellent job. I hope he’s safe and I hope he returns safely and does his mission well. I have to admit, I seriously did not hear those boos. Had I heard them, I certainly would have commented on them, but, as you know, when you’re in that sort of environment, you’re sort of focused on the question and formulating your answer. I just didn’t hear those couple of boos that were out there, but certainly had I, I would have said that that was… I would have said don’t do that. This man is serving our country and we are to thank him for his service.”

I find his excuse that he didn’t hear the boos incredulous. The videotape shows the loudest booing clearly reverberating throughout the hall. It’s also telling that he was more focused on condemning gay people because of all of the sex, sex, and more frothy sex, that he imagines them having all the time in the barracks, in the showers, and on the parade grounds — and you know how much gay people love a good parade — than he was in undertaking the simple decency of thanking the soldier for his service.

Former Utah Gov. John Hunstman called the booing “unfortunate” last night following the debate, adding, “You know, we’re all Americans, and the fact that he is an American who put on the uniform says something good about him.” It would have been good if he had the courage to say that while still on the dais with the cameras rolling. Meanwhile, seven other GOP presidential candidates have continued their radio silence, both on the booing and their own neglect for thanking an American soldier.

Mark this day as a historic first: for the first time in the history of the Republic, not a single Republican freedom-loving, flag-saluting, allegiance-pledging, birth-certificate-waving patriotic presidential candidate tried to step over everyone else to be the first to thank an American soldier for his service to the country.

Orthodox Priest Says Post-DADT Military Entered “New Dark Age”

Jim Burroway

September 23rd, 2011

Orthodox priest Alexander F.C. Webster, a retired Army Reserve chaplain, wrote this op-ed in Stars and Stripes::

On Sept. 20, 2011, a date that will live in infamy, the U.S. armed forces were deliberately and successfully attacked by advocates of the scourge of homosexuality. The elimination of the last vestige of moral restraint on sexual perversion in the U.S. military, commonly known as the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, ushers in a new Orwellian era in which the military leadership of our nation will proclaim the unnatural as natural, the unhealthy as healthy and the immoral as moral.

…As an Orthodox priest who still loves all of the troops I served as a chaplain for a quarter of a century, I pray that God the Holy Trinity will preserve and protect the U.S. armed forces — especially in this new Dark Age.

Anti-gay activists, still classy and keeping their heads about them…

Santorum Doubles Down on DADT, With No Apology Or Thanks To American Soldier

Jim Burroway

September 23rd, 2011

GOP presidential candidate Sen. Rick Santorum followed up his criticism last night of gays serving openly in the military. In last night’s GOP presidential debate, in which an American soldier currently stationed in Iraq was booed by members of the audience, Santorum called the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” an exercise in “social experimentation.” Today, he appeared on Fox News’  morning program Fox and Friends, in which he falsely claimed that other nations’ militaries which allow gay people to serve openly are mostly non-volunteer forces.

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Q: I don’t know if he had the same idea with you about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” but I do know that you disagree with President Obama, which by the way got rid of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” just a couple of days ago. Let’s listen to what you said last night:

Santorum, during the debate: …Any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military and the fact that they are making a point to include it as a provision within the military that we are going to recognize a group of people and give them a special privilege in removing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,”  I think tries to inject social policy into the military and the military’s job is to do one thing and that is to defend our country. [Applause] … What we’re doing is playing social experimentation with our military right now, and that’s tragic. …

Q: So you would go back to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” if you become President?

Santorum: Absolutely. We haven’t even begun to see what the consequences of going to ‘DADT’ are going to be. The men and women who sign up for the military are now going to be placed in very difficult and uncomfortable personal situations, in very close quarter situations. Look, this is a volunteer military. In the other militaries where this has been tried by and large, have not been voluntary militaries. You’ve been required to serve. This is not, and so we’ve got to recruit people who would want to do this and now you’re going to put them in a very odd and uncomfortable environment. A lot of people, I believe are going to leave. I think a lot of folks aren’t going to join who otherwise would have joined, and that’s going to hurt our ratings, it’s going to hurt our ability to defend this country, and we shouldn’t be playing social experimentation. As I said last night, there is no role for playing sexual experimentation games in the United States military. This is about securing our country.

In fact, most of the militaries around the world which allow gays to serve openly are all volunteer forces, including Australia, Bahamas, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Uruguay.

No mention was made about the booing of an active-duty American soldier by the debate audience. It is also the only time I can recall when an active-duty American servicemember appeared in a GOP debate who was not thanked for his service to our country. Andrew Sullivan reacts:

But somehow the fact that these indignities were heaped on a man risking his life to serve this country, a man ballsy enough to make that video, a man in the uniform of the United States … well, it tells me a couple of things. It tells me that these Republicans don’t actually deep down care for the troops, if that means gay troops. Their constant posturing military patriotism has its limits.

The shocking silence on the stage – the fact that no one challenged this outrage – also tells me that this kind of slur is not regarded as a big deal. When it came to it, even Santorum couldn’t sanction firing all those servicemembers who are now proudly out. But that’s because he was forced to focus not on his own Thomist abstractions, but on an actual person. Throughout Republican debates, gays are discussed as if we are never in the audience, never actually part of the society, never fully part of families, never worthy of even a scintilla of respect. When you boo a servicemember solely because he’s gay, you are saying he is beneath contempt, that nothing he does or has done can counterweigh the vileness of his sexual orientation.

Can you even begin to imagine the hissy fit we would be hearing right now if any American active-duty soldier currently stationed in Iraq had been booed at a Democratic debate?

Petition Circulates Demanding Santorum Apologize To Gay Soldiers

Jim Burroway

September 23rd, 2011

At last night’s GOP debate, after the only American Soldier to ask a question the entire night was booed by audience members, GOP presidential candidate Sen. Rick Santorum said that gay soldiers like him should be barred from serving the country. Santorum neither thanked the soldier, identified as Stephen Hill, for his service, nor did he admonish the audience members who booed him. Instead, he denounced the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as “playing social experimentation” and promised to reinstitute the ban.

Change.org now has a petition up calling on Santorum to “apologize to Hill and all soldiers that he insulted by insisting they had no place in our armed services.”

American Soldier Booed At GOP Debate

Jim Burroway

September 23rd, 2011

Frankly, I never thought I’d see the day.

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Megyn Kelly: Senator Santorum, this question stirred up a whole lot of controversy online and comes from Stephen Hill, who is a soldier serving in Iraq.

Stephen Hill: In 2010 when I was deployed to Iraq, I had to lie about who I was because I’m a gay soldier and I didn’t want to lose my job. My question is, under one of your presidencies do you intend to circumvent progress that’s been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military? [Scattered booing]

Sen. Rick Santorum. Yeah, I would say any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military and the fact that they are making a point to include it as a provision within the military that we are going to recognize a group of people and give them a special privilege in removing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,”  I think tries to inject social policy into the military and the military’s job is to do one thing and that is to defend our country. [Applause] We need to give the military, which is all volunteer, the ability to do so in a way [cheering and applause] that is most efficient and protective of our men and women in uniform and I believe this undermines that ability. [more cheers and applause]

Kelly: So what would you do with soldiers like Stephen Hill? I mean now he’s out. You know, you saw his face on camera. When he first submitted his video to us, it was without his face on camera. Now he’s out. So what would you do as president?

Santorum: I think, it’s… it’s… Look, what we’re doing is playing social experimentation with our military right now, and that’s tragic. I would just say that going forward we would reinstitute that policy if Rick Santorum was President. Period. That policy would be reinstituted, and as far as people who are in it, I would not throw them out, because that would be unfair to them because of the policy of this administration. But we would move forward in conformity to what was happening in the past which was sex is not an issue. It should not be an issue. [applause] Leave it alone. Keep it to yourself [applause and cheers] whether you are a heterosexual or a homosexual.

GOP candidates and their spinners in the spin room afterwards were scrambling to characterize the booing as “unfortunate.” But none of the candidates found it necessary to denounce it on stage.

UPDATE: GOProud was perhaps the first out of the gate to demand an apology:

Tonight, Rick Santorum disrespected our brave men and women in uniform, and he owes Stephen Hill, the gay soldier who asked him the question about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal, an immediate apology.

“That brave gay soldier is doing something Rick Santorum has never done – put his life on the line to defend our freedoms and our way of life.  It is telling that Rick Santorum is so blinded by his anti-gay bigotry that he couldn’t even bring himself to thank that gay soldier for his service.

“Stephen Hill is serving our country in Iraq, fighting a war Senator Santorum says he supports.  How can Senator Santorum claim to support this war if he doesn’t support the brave men and women who are fighting it?”

Follow-up To Gay Airman Who Came Out To His Father On YouTube

Jim Burroway

September 21st, 2011
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Just as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was about to be thrown onto the trash heap of history, we brought you the dramatic video a gay airman stationed in Germany as he came out to his father. In the weeks leading up to Tuesday, he had been posting videos on YouTube discussing his thoughts on coming out to his comrades, but in those videos he never showed his face. But on Tuesday, we saw him, unobscured, as he undertook the nerve-wracking task of coming out to his father over the phone, and the wave of relief that came over him as his father re-affirmed his love and pride in him.

As of this hour, his video has been seen 1,532,380 times, with 17,456 likes and 707 dislikes. ABC News followed up with Air Force Senior Airman Randy Phillips, who is stationed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. Phillips says he feels comfortable now that he no longer has to hide:

It feels great. It’s nice not having to look over your shoulder or worry about who you are talking to, Phillips told ABC News the day after “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was officially repealed. “I never thought I’d be so comfortable with it. It’s very supportive. Everybody’s been so great.”

…Now that “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” has been repealed, Phillips, like many other enlisted men and women, can at last reveal his face, and cannot officially tell his fellow airman and commanding officers the truth. He told ABC News that he is happy that he has inspired others. He also said that now the whole family knows that he is gay.

As for Phillips’ father, he told ABC News that he was not exactly thrilled that his son put the clip on YouTube — but reiterated once again that he loves his son, and always will.

Gay WWII Veteran Reflects on DADT Repeal

Jim Burroway

September 20th, 2011

Jack Strouss, an 88-year-old gay World War II veteran, speaks about DADT’s repeal at a ceremony in Atlanta.

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14,346

Jim Burroway

September 20th, 2011

According to Servicemembers United, that’s the final tally of the number of soldiers, sailors and airmen/women who were discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” since it was enacted in 1993.

Elaine Donnelly Still Trying To Keep Her Day Job

Jim Burroway

September 20th, 2011

It’s hard to know what the raison d’être for Elaine Donnelly’s Center for Military Effectiveness could possibly be except to hang around for a possible GOP president in 2013 who can reimpose “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” via executive order. Maybe that’s why she’s still pounding the pavement defending dead DADT. The American Family Association’s OneNewsNow commiserated with Donnelly on DADT’s passing this way:

“The law requires more than just PowerPoint presentations,” she tells OneNewsNow. “The administration is supposed to describe exactly what will happen under the new LGBT law. [But] they haven’t done that! They’re barreling ahead anyway. The president [is] just determined to impose LGBT law on the military, regardless of the concerns of Congress.”

The CMR leader predicts litigators for homosexual activists and the homosexual movement are going to have a field day. “Without the law on the books, they will go into court and challenge anything that stands in the way of what they perceive as a civil rights issue,” she warns.

Donnelly told Focus On the Family’s CitizenLink that people should “watch and report to Congress about the fallout from the repeal.”

DADT DEAD

Jim Burroway

September 20th, 2011

The U.S. Army's official Notice of DADT Repeal (Click to enlarge).

Today marks the end of the last legally-sanctioned governmental witch hunt for gays and lesbians with the demise of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” That milestone isn’t sitting very well with anti-gay activists.On Friday, Elaine Donnelly, who really ought to be out of a job by now at her so-called Center for Military Readiness, demanded that Congress, which repealed DADT in the first place, reimpose the ban because, apparently, it’ll lead to active-duty unions in the military — or something like that. (Which is why I think we have Donnelly’s incompetence to thank for DADT’s repeal almost as much as the valiant efforts of LGBT advocacy groups.) A few members of the House appeared ready to take up that call, with Reps. Howard McKeon (R-CA) and Joe Wilson (R-SC) calling for a delay in the implementation of the law that both houses of Congress passed less than a year ago. That call was met with stony silence from the Pentagon.

Then the Family “Research” Council took the opportunity to express their abysmally low opinion of America’s military on Friday when they said, “In a matter of days, the U.S. military will be embarking on its most difficult mission yet: celebrating homosexuality in its ranks.” That’s right. Most difficult mission. More difficult than Iraq, Afghanistan, Tet, Inchon, D-Day, and Guadalcanal. Star and Stripes shot that down with the precision of a smart bomb and predicted that the first day without DADT will be business as usual, and The Marine Corps Times prepared the way last week with a banner headline proclaiming, “We’re gay. Get over it!

It’s nice to see the military establishment regarding today’s milestone as a non-event, but we’d be kidding ourselves if the passing of the last legal requirement for the governmental pursuit of gay people was meaningless. It’s not by a long shot. Here’s a round-up of today’s events:

Servicemember Comes Out Via YouTube: For several weeks now, a YouTube channel under the account name of “AreYouSurprised” has been featuring videos posted by a servicemember in Germany discussing the importance of DADT’s repeal and weighing the pros and cons to coming out to his unit. Until now, he has never shown his face. Until now, when he comes out to his father in Alabama with the camera rolling:

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I hope you had a hanky handy.

“I Do,” one minute after midnight: With DADT tossed to the dustbin of history, one Navy officer and his partner celebrated two civil rights victories with a Vermont marriage:

When Navy Lt. Gary Ross and his partner were searching for a place to get married, they settled on a site in Vermont, in part because the state is in the Eastern time zone.

That way, the two men were able to recite their vows before family and friends at the first possible moment after the formal repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Just after midnight Tuesday, the partners of 11 years were married.

I think it was a beautiful ceremony. The emotions really hit me…but it’s finally official,” Ross said early Tuesday.

White House Tweets DADT Repeal: Also shortly after midnight, the White House and President Barack Obama announced via Twitter that DADT’s repeal was official.

The White House has also posted this video commemorating the sacrifice of gay and lesbian servicemembers under DADT.

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Stars & Stripes Reveals OutServe Co-Founder’s Real Name: Now that DADT is officially history, the founder of OutServe can show his face and say his name:

"J.D. Smith" no more: Air Force 1st Lt. Josh Seefried

Finding out that 1st Lt. Josh Seefried is gay won’t be a shock to most of his co-workers at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey. He has already come out to some of them, and dropped not-so-subtle hints for others. …But now that the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law barring openly gay troops from serving in the military has been repealed, even some close friends who know Seefried’s personal life will be stunned to find out that he has an even bigger secret. For more than a year, Seefried has been using the pseudonym “J.D. Smith” as an organizer with OutServe, speaking on behalf of the group’s 4,000-plus gay active-duty and veteran members.

He has briefed officials at the White House and been a lobbying force within the Pentagon. He has been a regular in the press, including several national TV and radio spots. And he and the other OutServe founders have positioned the group as a critical bridge between closeted troops and the professional military establishment in the months following the repeal.

“I’m living a triple ‘double life,’ I guess,” Seefried said. “When I go into work now, my life will be completely changed. It’s scary, but it’s also exciting. And that’s how it will be for a lot of gay troops.”

“Diseased Aliens”: Michelle Benecke, who co-founded the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network remembers the hysteria surrounding the imposition of DADT:

”People forget what it was like in 1993. The right wing portrayed us as diseased aliens who wanted to hurt the military – and raised the specter of AIDS at every opportunity,” she says. ”It’s hard to explain that time, but they manipulated people’s fear of AIDS to paint us as the other. For lots of reasons, not just because of AIDS, but definitely, gay people were painted as the other – as strangers trying to hurt the military.”

Looking at that landscape, she says, ”In my view, we were at a pre-civil rights framework. First, we had to get people to recognize our humanity, and servicemembers did that by telling their stories.”

And so, she and Osburn began SLDN the day after President Clinton signed the bill into law. From that early support, gay, lesbian and bisexual servicemembers became not just the subject of the law but a key part of its repeal.

Today Is The Last Day of the Last Active Legal Penalty Against Gay People

Jim Burroway

September 19th, 2011

Today is the last day in which the military ban on gays serving openly, known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in its latest incarnation, remains the law of the land. Which means that today marks the very last day in which the U.S. Government can legally initiate an active investigation into the private lives of gay citizens solely to determine whether they should be formally sanctioned. Tomorrow’s formal elimination of DADT marks a very important legal milestone in U.S. history, when the the federal government’s last legal active pursuit against gay people comes to an end.

Regular BTB readers who have been following our historical items in the Daily Agenda will remember that sixty years ago, there were active campaigns to root out homosexuals from all branches of the federal government solely because of their homosexuality. In 1953, that campaign culminated in President Dwight D. Eisenhower signing Executive Order 10450 which formalized the federal employment ban. By then, the U.S. military had long searched out homosexuals from among their ranks, and when they were found, they were often sent to mental hospitals or the brig. Either way, virtually all of them would wind up with a dishonorable discharge which, in the days when military service was universal, made finding a job afterward extremely difficult. Beginning in 1952, gay people were formally prohibited from entering the country under a legal provision barring “aliens afflicted with psychopathic personality, epilepsy, or a mental defect.” That languages was interpreted to include gay people, an interpretation which remained in effect until 1990 even though the American Psychiatric Association declared that homosexuality was not a mental defect in 1973. Altogether, these legal requirements mandated thousands of active investigations into the private lives of thousands of citizens in order to impose legal sanctions.

And all of this was against a backdrop in which homosexuality was a criminal offense in every state in the until 1961, when Illinois overhauled its statutes and dropped its anti-sodomy law. Illinois would remain alone in that regard until 1970, when other states slowly began to drop their anti-gay statutes. After a series of lawsuits and demonstrations, the U.S. civil service began hiring gay people in 1975. By the 1990s, most federal investigative services charged with the granting of security clearances no longer considered sexual orientation a barrier to holding clearances, and President Clinton’s 1995 executive order brought the rest of the security investigative services in line. In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down those anti-sodomy laws which still remained on the books. With those cumulative acts, U.S. civilians were finally free from legally mandated investigations to determine their eligibility for legal sanction. No U.S., state, or local law enforcement agency could launch an investigation into the private romantic life of a U.S. citizen solely to determine whether that citizen should be legally penalized because of it.

Sure, the law didn’t (and still doesn’t) provide for full equality for gays and lesbians: we can’t marry in most states, it is still legal for employers to fire someone solely because of his or her sexuality, and LGBT couples face various other enormous tax and other financial inequalities under the law. But these are consequences of legal indifference, not the products of active and hostile pursuit. Where law enforcement investigations designed solely to determine one’s sexual orientation were legally mandated and often played out in the front pages of newspapers and the evening news, today we have a whole generation for whom such a scenario is unthinkable — with one glaring exception. Gays and lesbians serving in the military still operate under a McCarthyite prohibition based solely on their private lives. But today is the last day of that official, legal federal obsession with the love lives of Americans. Tomorrow we enter a new era. For the first time in our nation’s history, no gay American will be found guilty for loving someone. We’re still far from equal in the eyes of the law, but beginning tomorrow we are, at long last, fully free.

USMC Times: “We’re Gay. Get Over It.”

Jim Burroway

September 12th, 2011

This week’s  edition of the Marine Corps Times celebrates next week’s end to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” This is what will remain on the newsstands and PX’s all over the world for the next seven days.

Update: Servicemembers United is claiming credit. Servicemembers Legal Defense Network has published guidelines for what servicemembers can and cannot do while celebrating DADT’s repeal.

DADT Repeal: Thank You Elaine!

Jim Burroway

July 22nd, 2011

Timothy Kincaid extends his appreciation to Log Cabin Republicans for their tireless efforts in helping to secure DADT’s repeal. I initially had a much harder time singling out one individual or organization for finally getting this repeal done.

And then I thought of Elaine Donnelly.

Her consistently incompetent appearances before Congress, her desperate attempts at building support for DADT’s retention, her weirdly fraudulent polls — I mean really. Can there be any doubt that Donnelly was at least as effective in moving DADT’s repeal forward as the Human Rights Campaign?

Thank you Elaine!  I’m raising my margarita glass tonight to you!

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