Friday, October 22, 2010

Alec Baldwin, gay activist

I've always loved Alec Baldwin as an actor.  Now he speaks in favor of gay marriage with out gay actor, Jessie Tyler Ferguson from Modern Family.

Something to smile at to end the week: dancing hands!

President Obama speaks for the "It Gets Better" project.

Nice job, President Obama.  Now could you make it better by dropping the court appeal of DADT?  And following through on your campaign promise of getting rid of the Defense of Marriage Act?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sick and tired...

I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.

President Obama, who campaigned on promoting gay equality (even though he and almost every other Democrat repeated again and again  that marriage was an institution between a man and a woman) has now become the obstacle for repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell.  A summary:  Last week, a judge ruled that DADT was unconstitutional.  The Obama Administration filed an emergency appeal (yes, that's right- an emergency appeal) to block the decision.  The emergency appeal was denied.  But late Wednesday, the appeal was heard by a higher court, and was granted. DADT is in place again.

What this means:  LGBT people who enlisted, or who came out during the brief period of time when DADT was suspended, will now be discharged.

Here's what Newsweek, a magazine whose subscription we ended because we thought it was too conservative, said about the need for Obama to defend DADT in the courts:
There are two different arguments for why Obama could choose not to enforce the law. The first one: he could say it was unconstitutional. At the time that DADT was passed, it was constitutional because there was no Supreme Court precedent establishing that homosexual relationships are protected under the implied privacy rights of the Bill of Rights. Then, 10 years later, the Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence v. Texas overturned an anti-sodomy statute on the grounds that it violated the privacy rights of gay couples... 
Obama’s other option: simply using his executive power to decide how the laws will be, or won’t be, executed. So Obama could simply order the military to stop applying the law, or to use it much more narrowly and infrequently. “There are a lot of laws on the books he doesn’t rigorously enforce,” notes Geoffrey Corn, a military law expert who teaches at South Texas College of Law."
I've read a lot of praise for the "It's Get Better" Project, which has presented videos on You Tube to tell LGBTQ teens that life gets better.  This program is great.  But actions speak louder than words.  What can a  teen conclude who hears, "Yea, you're okay for the military, not you aren't, yes you might be"?  Hillary Clinton has even recorded a "It Gets Better" video.  And yet, she, like Obama, campaigned on the notion that marriage wasn't for gay people.  It gets better?  Great words, but, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama, how can a gay kid possibly believe you when you haven't stepped forward to truly support equality in all areas?

It may get better, but many people in power right now aren't helping.  And this ping-ponging back and forth about DADT can only be hurting.

President Obama is now crossing the country trying to energize his supporters for the November elections.  I recently heard Joe Biden lament that (actually, he scolded) progressives were not energized for the election.  I am a progressive.  I donated money to the Obama campaign.  And I am a gay man.  Tell me, please: why should I be energized except to defeat the Tea Party?

Yes, I will vote.  And I will vote for Obama in 2012.  I just didn't expect to do this with regret.

An interesting take on the DADT court decision

Here's a compilation of clips on how the DADT decision is being covered. One story notes that the Obama Administration has said that it is legally obligated to defend DADT. Many, many legal experts disagree, as does history. There have been a number of decisions that Presidents have chosen not defend. We need leadership and courage Mr. Obama. And we need it now. is a news analyzer, not a news aggregator. It looks at how different news organizations throughout the world are covering a story, and it then condenses the information to produce a short broadcast that encourages viewers to form their own opinions on an issue.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Judge denies Obama's appeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell decision

A federal judge formally refused on Tuesday to let the Pentagon reinstate its ban on openly gay men and women in the U.S. military while it appeals her decision declaring its "don't ask, don't tell" policy unconstitutional.

A day after tentatively siding against the Obama administration, U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips issued a written decision denying a government request to lift her own injunction barring further Pentagon enforcement of the ban.

Although government concerns about military readiness and cohesion are important, "these interests are outweighed by the compelling public interest of safeguarding fundamental constitutional rights," she wrote in a six-page opinion.

 President Obama has stated that DADT will be repealed on his watch.  Now, it seems, it might be repealed despite his watch.  Wow.  Does this make me sad.

Dan Choi returns to service

I've written a number of posts about Dan Choi, the serviceman who was kicked out of the armed services for being gay.  Well, since the Obama administration's appeal of the decision was denied, right now DADT is not the law of the land.  Here's a video of Mr. Choi reenlisting:

It Gets Better

Kudos to writer Dan Savage for starting the "It Gets Better" project for LGBT youth.  He was moved by the recent string of gay teen suicides to ask out LGBT adults to tell kids that it gets better after adolescence.  Thousands of folks have made videos, some from well known LGBT people, but most from everyday people.  Here's one from Gene Robinson, the Episcopal Bishop from New Hampshire.  My only caveat about the recent media coverage of LGBT teen suicide is this: it has been a crisis for decades.  I'm not convinced more kids are trying to kill themselves now.  Maybe the issue is finally getting the attention it should have decades ago.