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)

Twelve Senators Voice Opposition to Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill

Jim Burroway

January 20th, 2010

Twelve U.S. Senators have written to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni calling on him to block the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that is now before that nation’s Parliament. Citing Uganda’s relative success in fighting HIV/AIDS, the Senators note:

While your nation has been a leader in Africa on many fronts, including the reduction of HIV infections, this proposed legislation will be a glaring setback in Uganda’s human rights standing.  Unfortunately, even the mere threat of the new and severe penalties for homosexual behavior suggested in this bill, including life imprisonment and the death penalty, could easily add to an already intolerant atmosphere in Uganda based on sexual orientation.

Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman (CT) joined Democrats Benjamin Cardin (MD), Richard Duban (IL), Daniel Akaka (HI), Christopher Dodd, (CT), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Sherrod Brown (OH), Jeff Merkley (OR), Patty Murray (WA), , Mark Udall (CO), Diane Feinstein (CA) and Barbara Boxer (CA) in signing the letter.

Click here to see BTB’s complete coverage of the past year’s anti-gay developments in Uganda.

Click here to read the letter sent to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni

Gillibrand, a willing ally

Timothy Kincaid

November 20th, 2009

gillibrandWhen Kirsten Gillibrand was selected to fill Hillary Clinton’s remaining term as US Senator from New York, some questioned the depth of her commitment to equality. A blue-dog upstate Democrat, she had previously spoken more favorably of civil unions.

But it appears that her commitment was not just of the ‘promises in public’ variety. Gillibrand is proving to be the kind of ally that doesn’t magically discover higher priorities or some mystical need for unanimity before acting on our behalf. (Daily News)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who has put LGBT issues on the top of her “to-do” list as she works to shore up her liberal credentials, has placed personal phone calls to on-the-fence Democratic state senators in hopes of getting them to vote “yes” on gay marriage.

Gillibrand’s office confirmed calls had been made, but refused to say who the recipients had been or if anyone had specifically asked the junior senator to weigh in.

“She made calls, yes; and they were private conversations,” Gillibrand spokesman Matt Canter said. “She did it because it’s an issue she cares deeply about.”

DADT to be Put on Hold by Senate?

Timothy Kincaid

July 13th, 2009

Jason Bellini is reporting: (Daily Beast)

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is considering bringing the battle over “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to the Senate this week, by introducing an amendment that would put an 18-month moratorium on the discharge of gays serving in the military

While I favor a full reversal of all institutionalized discrimination against gay citizens and taxpayers, such a process may not be a bad idea. It would allow the administration to demonstrate that removing anti-gay policies did not result in chaos or in loss of troop morale.