Thursday, October 14, 2010

Why, President Obama?

In order to do the right thing regarding gays in the military, all President Obama has to do is...nothing. That's right. Nada. A judge has ordered the termination of DADT immediately.

Sadly, very sadly, it looks like President Obama will do something. He is going to petition the court to reinstate DADT. This is the man who called himself a "fierce advocate" for LGBT people.  He doesn't even have to be fierce here.  He just has to do nothing.  Here's the story from the Associated Press:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration will ask a federal judge to allow the "don't ask, don't tell" law on gays in the military to continue in force pending an appeal of her order to end it, a lawyer in the case and a person in the government familiar with the discussions said Thursday.

Lawyer Dan Woods said his client, Log Cabin Republicans, which won the ruling on Tuesday, has been notified that the Justice Department "will appeal and seek a stay later today." That word was confirmed by the person in the government knowledgeable about the administration's discussions.

The law bans gay or lesbian Americans from serving openly in the military.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips in Riverside, Calif., ordered the military to immediately suspend and discontinue any investigation or other proceeding to dismiss gay service members under the law.

The government source said the delay in responding to the judge's order resulted because the Obama White House weighed in on the Justice Department's handling of the case.

This person, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the administration's internal deliberations, said a couple of White House lawyers did not want to seek a court order that would temporarily suspend the judge's ruling.

The source said the process was back on track and that court papers seeking the stay will be filed.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How much do we love Matt Lauer?

Big news today about Don't Ask, Don't Tell

The Associated Press just reported that a judge has issued an injunction on all DADT procedures in the US military. I've selected a few key paragraphs from the story. Great news. But I'm also saddened by the stance of the Justice Department and President Obama.

SAN DIEGO—A federal judge issued a worldwide injunction Tuesday stopping enforcement of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, ending the U.S. military's 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops.

U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips' landmark ruling was widely cheered by gay rights organizations that credited her with getting accomplished what President Obama and Washington politics could not.

U.S. Department of Justice attorneys have 60 days to appeal. Legal experts say they are under no legal obligation to do so and could let Phillips' ruling stand.

The federal government is reviewing the ruling and has no immediate comment, said Tracy Schmaler, spokesman for the Department of Justice.

"The order represents a complete and total victory for the Log Cabin Republicans and reaffirms the constitutional rights of gays and lesbians in the military for fighting and dying for our country," said Dan Woods, an attorney for the Log Cabin group.

Government attorneys objected, saying such an abrupt change might harm military operations in a time of war. They had asked Phillips to limit her ruling to the members of the Log Cabin Republicans, a 19,000-member group that includes current and former military service members.

The Department of Justice attorneys also said Congress should decide the issue -- not her court.

Legal experts say the Obama administration could choose to not appeal her ruling to end the ban -- but Department of Justice attorneys are not likely to stay mum since Obama has made it clear he wants Congress to repeal the policy.

"The president has taken a very consistent position here, and that is: 'Look, I will not use my discretion in any way that will step on Congress' ability to be the sole decider about this policy here,'" said Diane H. Mazur, legal co-director of the Palm Center, a think tank at the University of California at Santa Barbara that supports a repeal.

Woods said the administration should be seizing the opportunity to let a judge do what politics has been unable to do.

The "don't ask, don't tell" policy prohibits the military from asking about the sexual orientation of service members but bans those who are gay from serving openly. Under the 1993 policy, service men and women who acknowledge being gay or are discovered engaging in homosexual activity, even in the privacy of their own homes off base, are subject to discharge.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A little comic relief

 This is a little hard to hear sometimes, so turn up the volume and laugh.

H/T Joe.My.God

It's time to be outraged

This week brought more news about the deadly effects of homophobia.  Yet another gay teen killed himself, this time after he attended a town meeting in his hometown in which residents debated whether or not to recognize gay history month.  While there were supporters at the meeting, the teen had to listen to three hours of gay bashing.

The New York Times ran a front page story on Sunday about the brutal physical torture of a gay man in New York City for seven hours by eight gang members.  The torture was so horrific that I could barely finish reading the story.

During this time -- and we can't forget the Rutgers student -- the following people/corporations decided to do the following:

• Walmart is now carrying a book for teens by a far right group that teaches about the evils of homosexuality.

•The Republican candidate for Governor of New York went on an anti-gay rant.  Reports CNN:

New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino criticized gays Sunday, saying he didn't want children "to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option," compared to heterosexuality. "It isn't," Paladino said at a stop in Brooklyn, New York.
A prepared version of his remarks obtained by CNN from New York affiliate NY1 said that "There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual," though Paladino did not wind up delivering that line.
"That's not how (God) created us," the prepared remarks continued, though Paladino did not say those words.
• The Republican candidate for Senator of California released an ad in Spanish attacking gay rights in the hopes of winning over Catholic Latino voters.

• A leader of the Mormon Church preached that homosexuality was akin to an unhealthy addiction.

The list goes on.  When are we going to hold people like this accountable for making gay kids fell like they are worthless?  When are we going to say, "enough is enough"?  When are we going to finally break the silence and state very clearly that these people have blood on their hands?