Showing posts with label don't ask don't tell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label don't ask don't tell. Show all posts

Friday, June 24, 2016

Marines and Navy Offering Discharge Upgrades For DADT Ex-Servicemembers

Former sailors, Marines booted under gay ban urged to appeal
Navy Times
Meghann Myers
June 24, 2016

Since opening the service to gays and lesbians in 2011, the Navy has granted 123 discharge upgrades out of 413 requests, according to Defense Department data.
Navy Department leaders are encouraging thousands discharged under the repealed "Don't ask, don't tell" rules to appeal adverse separations. An estimated 5,600 LGBT sailors and Marines were kicked out while this policy was in effect from 1993 to 2011. WESTERN PACIFIC (June 20, 2016) - Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Luis Bermudez, from Orlando, Florida, speaks during a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) pride month celebration in USS John C. Stennis' (CVN 74) hangar bay. Bermudez displayed a shirt with the names of the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando, June 12. Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, John C. Stennis is operating as part of the Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kenneth Rodriguez Santiago / Released) (Photo: MC3 Kenneth Rodriguez Santiago/Navy)
Navy Department officials are urging the thousands of sailors and Marines forced out of the military because of their sexuality in previous decades to come forward and appeal their discharge — in a step to restore benefits and right a historical wrong.

The Board for Correction of Naval Records can overturn a wide range of records, from counseling letters to detachments for cause, but recently they have been putting the word out to veterans who were separated because of the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy — and its previous across-the-board ban — that they can have their discharges upgraded and their reenlistment codes or reason codes changed to reflect a post-DADT world.

"If you were discharged under 'Don’t ask, don’t tell,' come in," Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said in a June 8 speech at a Pentagon event for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month. "The Board of Corrections for Naval Records will take a look at changing that discharge characterization … If you have colleagues that were discharged under that, ask them to come in — if it’s under the regulations, get that discharge characterization changed."
read more here

Friday, August 30, 2013

Iraq war vet who fought ‘Don’t Ask’ dies in car accident

Iraq war vet who fought ‘Don’t Ask’ dies in car accident
Washington Blade
By Chris Johnson
August 30, 2013

A gay veteran of the Iraq war who fought against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has died in a car accident in Rochester, N.Y., according to media reports and an LGBT advocate who worked with him.

Darren Manzella, who came out as gay in 2007 while serving in the Army during an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” died on Thursday, said Steve Ralls, the former spokesperson for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network who handled his public relations at the time. Ralls said he had just turned 36 on Aug. 8.

Ralls said openly gay troops currently serving around the world today are able to do so, in part, because of Darren’s sacrifice.
read more here

Friday, June 21, 2013

Bill to upgrade records of those discharged for sexual orientation

Bill to upgrade records of those discharged for sexual orientation
Stars and Stripes
By Matthew M. Burke
Published: June 21, 2013

A bill circulating in the House would upgrade the service records of gay, lesbian and bisexual troops who were discharged due to sexual orientation and eventually open the door to veterans’ benefits.

The Restore Honor to Service Members Act was proposed Thursday by Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., and Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., according to a joint statement from their offices. The congressmen are trying to muster co-sponsors before bringing it to committee in hopes of a floor vote.

From World War II to the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” roughly 114,000 servicemembers were discharged because of sexual orientation, the statement said. In many cases, depending on the discharge classification and the state in which they lived, they could be treated as felons and precluded from voting and collecting unemployment and veterans’ benefits, such as health care and disability.
read more here

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Master Sgt. reprimanded over Defense of Marriage

The headline is a bit of a spin when this was more about publicly expressing his views on what the DOD has different rules for. This wasn't about serving "Chick-fil-A" but more about what he feels. I believe he has a right to feel whatever he wants to but in position of some authority of rank, he does have an obligation to the men and women serving under him. Still this article points out all the other times when it seems religious and military life are colliding. There are too many times when the military has let things got totally out of control like forcing soldiers to go to a Christian concert but now it seems as if they are trying to stop all matters of faith. Can anyone get any of this right?
Soldier Reprimanded Over Promotion Party Featuring Chick-fil-A Sandwiches
The New American
Written by Dave Bohon
07 June 2013

A U.S. Army soldier was disciplined after he hosted a party for his promotion to the rank of master sergeant and served Chick-fil-A sandwiches in honor of traditional marriage. The unidentified serviceman's promotion coincided with the controversy that erupted last year over Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy's comments in favor of traditional marriage. Homosexual activist groups launched a high-profile boycott of the fast-food chain, which backfired when tens of thousands of Christians nationwide countered with a “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” that brought record sales for the company.

According to Ron Crews of the group Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, the serviceman was investigated, reprimanded, threatened with judicial action, and given a bad efficiency report after he sent invitations that read, “In honor of my promotion and in honor of the Defense of Marriage Act, I’m serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches at my promotion party.”

Crews told Fox News that Army officials said the soldier was “no longer a team player and was not performing up to standards. This is just one little example of a case of a soldier just wanting to express his views and now he’s been jumped on by the military.”

Shortly after the serviceman's promotion party in the summer of 2012, he was sent a letter of reprimand, which took exception to his serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches at his party, along with his support of the federal Defense of Marriage Act — which continues to be the law of the land.

Following the action against him the soldier contacted Crews and the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, which put him in touch with an attorney to defend him. Crews said that a year after what should have been a non-issue, the dedicated service member continues to be targeted by the Army. “There was initially some talk of bringing judicial punishment against him,” Crews told Todd Starnes of Fox News. “He had a letter put in his file and an investigation was initiated to see if he had violated any policy.”

Crews added that the man had served his country faithfully and “was at the pinnacle of his career. To make that rank means you’ve done very well throughout your career. He wants to finish serving his time honorably.”
read more here

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Gay Marine Colonel recalls ‘don’t ask’ investigation

Gay colonel recalls ‘don’t ask’ investigation
Marine Corps Times
By Rick Maze
Staff writer
Posted : Friday Mar 1, 2013

An Army colonel retiring April 30 after 26 years of service said the nine years he spent living with the possibility of separation for admitting he was gay was something that he “wouldn’t wish … on anybody.”

“It was a miserable experience,” said Col. Gary Espinas, whose final military assignment is as an instructor at the prestigious Naval Postgraduate School in Monterrey, Calif. In retirement, Espinas will be director of chapter and membership services for OutServe-SLDN, a newly created position in the new joint organization that includes the division that gave him legal support when he faced the possible end of his career in 2003.

Espinas, a career foreign area officer and Russian specialist, was a major at the time, assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, when a State Department security officer questioned him about his list of local contacts, which included only men.

“I had a wide network of Russian friends,” Espinas said. “All of the contacts were men.”

The embassy security officer asked a direct question about whether Espinas was gay. “I knew lying was not a good option,” he said. “I responded I was, in fact, gay.”
read more here
Closeted gay soldiers more likely to attempt suicide

Saturday, February 16, 2013

In Loving Memory Of A Wife, Daughter And Fallen Soldier

In Loving Memory Of A Wife, Daughter And Fallen Soldier
February 16, 2013

North Carolina National Guardsman Tracy Johnson is an Iraq War veteran and an Army widow.

She is also one of the first gay spouses to lose a partner at war since the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell."

On Feb. 14, 2012, Tracy married her longtime partner, Staff Sgt. Donna Johnson. But eight months later, Donna was killed by a suicide bomber while serving in Khost, Afghanistan.

"That day, I had a bad feeling," Tracy tells her mother-in-law, Sandra Johnson, during a visit to StoryCorps. "I immediately starting scouring the news websites, and it said that ... three U.S. soldiers were killed in Khost, Afghanistan, and I knew, obviously, that's where she was stationed."

But she had to wait to find out if her fears were legitimate.
read more here

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

180 Discharged due to their homosexuality get rest of severance pay

Deal Restores Severance Pay for Discharged Gays
Jan 08, 2013
Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Dozens of gay and lesbian former military service members who were discharged due to their homosexuality will receive the rest of their severance pay under a settlement approved Monday by a federal court.

The American Civil Liberties Union said the $2.4 million settlement covers more than 180 veterans who received only half of their separation pay under a policy that went into effect in 1991, two years before "don't ask, don't tell" became law.

Laura Schauer Ives, the managing attorney for the ACLU of New Mexico, called the settlement a "long-delayed justice."

"There was absolutely no need to subject these service members to a double dose of discrimination by removing them from the armed forces in the first place, and then denying them this small benefit to ease the transition to civilian life," she said.

A Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale, said the Defense Department is aware of the settlement and "will, of course, continue to follow the law, as well as the terms of the agreement."

The case was filed in 2010 by the ACLU on behalf of former Air Force Staff Sgt. Richard Collins of Clovis, N.M. He was honorably discharged in 2006 after two civilians who worked with him at Cannon Air Force Base reported they saw him kiss his boyfriend in a car about 10 miles from the base.

The decorated sergeant was off-duty and not in uniform at the time.
read more here

Sunday, December 30, 2012

After The Kiss Brandon Morgan Interview

Dec 28, 2012
This February began with one of the most iconic photographs of the entire year, that of USMC Sgt.. Brandon Morgans welcome home kiss with boyfriend Dalan Wells....a photo that has come to be synonymous with the end of DADT. Well we had the incredible fortune of being able to sit down with Brandon and Dalan and to to get their point of view on how that photo has affected their lives and whats in store for their future.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

For gay people military discharge meant "psychological" problems

This is what gay people in the military had to put up with. All this was going on because they wanted to serve this country but happened to love the wrong "type" of person.

Group seeks to clean up paperwork for outed troops
Stars and Stripes
Published: October 20, 2012

WASHINGTON — For the last 18 years, Ross Peterson was reluctant to share his military discharge paperwork with anyone.

“For job interviews, for veterans preference, for veterans benefits, they all want to see your DD-214,” the Army veteran said. “But mine was stamped less-than-honorable with ‘engaged in homosexual acts’ across it. So every time I had to show it, I was outing myself.”

Peterson’s problem isn’t unusual. Gay rights advocates say that before the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law was repealed last year, rules governing what kind of dismissal outed troops received and what information was put on their paperwork was uneven.

Some troops received honorable discharges and clean separation forms. Others received less-than-honorable designations, sometimes simply because of a commander’s bias against gays. Others received confusing or unnecessary commentary about their sexual orientation on their paperwork.

“They actually gave me an option of ‘personality disorder’ or ‘psychological problems’ when they filled out my papers,” she said. “It was easier to give me a quick discharge with those [classifications]. I was pretty upset.”

The honorable designation meant that Trueman had access to her veterans education benefits and VA home loans — veterans with other-than-honorable discharges can’t get them — but she said the “personality disorder” stamp made her reluctant to share her military paperwork with potential employers.
read more here

Friday, October 28, 2011

8 servicemembers file lawsuit seeking benefits for same-sex spouses

8 servicemembers file lawsuit seeking benefits for same-sex spouses
Stars and Stripes
Published: October 27, 2011

WASHINGTON — A group of eight gay servicemembers sued the federal government Thursday for military and veterans benefits for their same-sex spouses, arguing that ignoring their marriages amounts to discrimination.

The move comes a little more than a month after the end of the military’s controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” law, which for 18 years prohibited gay troops from publicly acknowledging their sexual orientation.

Since the change, activists have said they’d turn their attention to overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex unions for purposes of federal benefits.

read more here

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Republican Crowd Boos Gay Soldier at GOP Fox News Google Debate

Don't even get me started on this one. A soldier risking his life asked about how the GOP candidates would treat other soldiers like him and the answers were stunning! The boos from the crowd were even worse.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Soldier leaves legacy much larger than 'he was gay'

Soldier leaves legacy much larger than 'he was gay'
By Wayne Drash, CNN
July 3, 2011 6:25 a.m. EDT

Andrew Wilfahrt is first known gay soldier killed in war since repeal of "don't ask, don't tell"
Wilfahrt had perfect score on Army aptitude test; Army named combat outpost for him
His parents, Jeff and Lori, have become crusaders for same-sex marriage in Minnesota
Jeff Wilfahrt asks Lady Gaga to come to Minnesota to dance a gay-marriage polka
Rosemount, Minnesota (CNN) -- Andrew Wilfahrt changed his gait in the weeks before going off to basic training. He walked more upright. He bulked up with weights. He spoke with a deep Robocop voice. He acted "manly."

Through the eyes of his parents, Jeff and Lori, it was all a bit strange.

This was the boy who told them he was gay at 16 after being confronted with exorbitant bills from Internet chat rooms. Who lobbied for gay rights in his high school and escaped the fists of football players when hockey players came to his rescue. Who had the courage to wear pink and green even after his car was spray-painted with "Go Home Fag!"

All his parents ever wanted was for Andrew to be Andrew.

At 29, he sat his mom and dad down at the kitchen table and told them his life was missing camaraderie, brotherhood. "I'm joining the Army," he said.

The news surprised them. Why would Andrew enter the military, where he'd be forced to deny a part of who he is?

He was a lover of classical music, a composer, a peace activist, a math genius. He studied palindromes, maps, patterns, the U.S. Constitution, quantum physics.
read more here
Soldier leaves legacy much larger than he was gay

Friday, December 24, 2010

Top colleges reconsider ROTC after DADT repeal

Top colleges reconsider ROTC after DADT repeal
By Eric Gorski - The Associated Press
Posted : Thursday Dec 23, 2010 15:08:19 EST
Three days a week, Yale sophomore James Campbell rises at 5 a.m. for ROTC drills on a college campus that isn’t his own.

He would gladly do push-ups and run circles on Yale’s campus.

But even if that were an option, he wouldn’t have much company. Campbell is Yale’s only Army ROTC cadet.

Like other ROTC members who attend colleges that do not host the program, Campbell trains at another school — in this case, the neighboring University of New Haven. Because Yale does not fully recognize ROTC, he does not earn any academic credit toward his Yale degree for the military science course he must take at New Haven for his commission.

Forty years ago, ROTC units disappeared from Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Stanford and other elite schools, casualties of Vietnam-era tension and academic power struggles. Now, those same schools are moving toward welcoming ROTC units back thanks to the imminent demise of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
read more here
Top colleges reconsider ROTC after DADT repeal

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Army didn't want family of fallen Major saying he was gay

How bad has it been for gay soldiers serving this country when a family is asked to keep it to themselves that a Major, killed serving his country, was gay? That is something that is never really discussed.  There are men and women buried in graves at Arlington but you'd never know it.  It is not as if they have rainbow colored headstones popping up amid the sea of white stones.  At Arlington, they all look the same.  You can't tell what race they were but you can remember a time in the history of this nation when only white soldiers were allowed to serve.  You can't tell if the grave belongs to a male or female unless you are close enough to read the name, but you can remember a time when females were not allowed to serve.  When you see the graves at Arlington, you don't know if they were married, single, straight or gay.  The only thing you can be sure of is they all died serving this country.

Did the Major have an honor guard and full military funeral just like everyone else?  An honor, a true honor, would be they honored the life of his man who died for it but the Army only wanted to pretend to honor his life when they asked the family to keep his personal lifestyle quiet.  They must have forgotten that the military only borrows these men and women from their families while they live and when they die, it is the family returning to the grave to mourn the loss of the person they loved for who he or she was and all they were.

Friends honor gay soldier Maj. Alan Rogers, killed in Iraq, after repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'


Monday, December 20th 2010, 9:53 AM

A gay Bronx soldier who fought for the repeal of the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy and died serving in Iraq was honored by friends at his snow-covered grave site.

Pals decorated Maj. Alan Rogers' grave at Arlington National Cemetery Saturday with flowers, a rainbow-colored lei, a Christmas wreath and congratulatory notes.

"Alan, we did it," one note read.

Tony Smith, 40, of Alexandra, Va., said he was one of the first friends to reach Rogers grave after the historic vote.

Daly wrote that the folded flag from Rogers' coffin was presented to a cousin and that his relatives were asked by the Army to refrain openly discussing his sexual orientation.

Read more: Friends honor gay soldier Maj. Alan Rogers

A dear friend of mine is also buried at Arlington. The fact she was gay is not something I focus on because I focus on her laugh and how much she cared about the others serving this country. When her military life was over, it really wasn't over as a veteran fighting for other veterans. She testified before congress on Agent Orange and PTSD many times as a veteran. No one in congress cared about anything other than she was suffering from Agent Orange and PTSD as they listened to her talk.

When she decided to tell me that she was gay, it was years after we had spent many hours communicating with emails and phone calls. It was not until after we had a discussion about a news report that came out about a gay soldier and I voiced my opinion that she felt safe in telling me. She said it was a relief knowing she didn't have to hide her personal life from me anymore.

We talked about my husband and daughter, her family and the work we did. She was a wonderful woman, dear friend and true champion for veterans. That is what mattered to me and still stands out in my mind.

This talk about gays serving open being a distraction in battle seems more like a made up excuse when you consider if a soldier or Marine is so poorly trained they would be hitting on another soldier or Marine during a battle, that would indicated a larger problem with the preparedness of them than anything else. They must have used the same excuse when women were entering into the military without having to disguise themselves as males. When they are facing guns and bombs, the last thing on their mind is sex. They are too busy worrying about the lives of the others they are with and dying that day to think about anything else.

With all the talk about this sexual issue no one seems to be talking about all the sexual assaults that should be a more important issue to focus on since it is a crime. Where are these same commanders on this issue? Are they raising warnings about females being sexually assaulted by "straight" soldiers and Marines? Do they talk about how it is a distraction in battle? It seems more like rape has been one more "don't ask don't tell" practice for them.

Does it bother soldiers when they know someone in their unit has raped a female soldier? Does it harm the unity they are supposed to have when one of their own has been assaulted?

Rape is a crime because it is forced on someone else. Being "gay" is not a crime unless they force themselves on someone else. The issue here is that it is considered a "sin" and often people will quote from the Old Testament or letters from Paul but never once did Christ speak of it. He did talk about adultery because it hurts other people. He talked about judging someone but His issue was loving God and loving other people. This nation is supposed to be about freedom to worship as we want and equality as humans so how can we treat other humans as worth less because they are in the minority? When you consider that the men and women wiling to serve this nation are a minority as it is, gay people in the military should be the least of their issues and true crimes against them should be a lot more important. If commanders really cared about morality, they should be stopping rapes and treating it like the crime it is or they have no real moral ground to stand on.

But now we have an elected official fighting to dishonor yet again by forcing them to keep silent on their personal lives. He wants to keep "don't ask, don't tell" which only served to keep them hiding, much like the Army wanted to keep Major Roger's family silent.

Virginian: Bar gays from National Guard
After Hill move, Marshall says it's state prerogative
By Seth McLaughlin-The Washington Times
Responding to the federal repeal of the military policy banning open gays from serving in the armed forces, a state lawmaker in Virginia plans to fight back with legislation that bars "active homosexuals" from serving in the Virginia National Guard.

Delegate Robert G. Marshall said the Constitution reserves states with the authority to do so and that he'll introduce a bill in the state General Assembly next year that ensures the "the effect of the 1994 federal law banning active homosexuals from America's military forces will apply to the Virginia National Guard."

"With the repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell,' President Obama seeks to pay back his homosexual political supporters," the Prince William County Republican said, echoing a sentiment shared by many of the repeal's most ardent opponents. "This policy will weaken military recruitment and retention, and will increase pressure for a military draft."

"The Constitution never would have been ratified if states were not [guaranteed] unqualified control of the militia, now called the National Guard," he said.

But Claire Gastanaga, legislative counsel for Equality Virginia, a gay-rights group, said the National Guard is a federal military unit subject to the same rules as other federal military units and that "any state statute seeking to set different standards for the Virginia National Guard would be a nullity with no effect."
read more of this here
Bar gays from National Guard

Sunday, December 19, 2010

End of Military Gay Ban Is Pivotal Moment in History

End of Military Gay Ban Is Pivotal Moment in History
Dec 18, 2010

Andrea Stone
Senior Washington Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Dec. 18) -- The Senate's 65-31 vote to end the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military was more than historic. It was a long time coming. But for the men and women whose lives and careers were touched for so many years by the ban, it was mostly personal.

For Grethe Cammermeyer, the Vietnam combat nurse who came out as a lesbian in 1989 and whose struggle to stay in the military made her famous, the Senate vote brought tears. It's "the relief of finally seeing that we can serve with dignity and with integrity and that people no longer have to lie," she said.

For Wally Kutteles, whose stepson, Army Pfc. Barry Winchell, was bludgeoned to death in 1999 by a fellow soldier after months of harassment and whose death shined a light on gay-bashing in the ranks, the repeal meant the 21-year-old did not die in vain. "It's about time," he said.
read more here
End of Military Gay Ban Is Pivotal Moment in History

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Senate Republicans Block 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal

This is why nothing gets done in the Senate. 57 is trumped by 40?

Senate Republicans Block 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal
Chief Military Correspondent

Senate Republicans blocked repeal of "Don't ask, Don't tell" Thursday, significantly dimming prospects that the ban on gays serving openly in the military will be lifted during this lame-duck session of Congress.
The 57-40 vote came on a motion to bring the giant defense budget bill, which included repeal of "Don't ask, Don't tell" (DADT), to the floor, with Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid unable to muster the 60 votes to launch debate.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates had pinned his hopes on the Senate for an orderly implementation of the change in military policy. The House voted this fall to repeal the 17-year-old law, and a positive Senate vote would have allowed the Pentagon to begin a lengthy process to actually lift the ban.
Unless the Senate acts this month, it is likely the courts will order an immediate repeal, an outcome Gates has said would lead to chaos and precisely the kind of disruption of morale and combat readiness many critics of repeal have feared.
read more here
Senate Republicans Block 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Making our war fighters expendable when they are gay

I've read a lot of twisted opinions on gays in the military but this one blows my mind. When they are discharged for being gay, that in itself sends the message they are expendable.


1. (of an object) Designed to be used only once and then abandoned or destroyed.
2. Of little significance when compared to an overall purpose, and therefore able to be abandoned.
Other nations seem to be able to understand that gay people should not be treated any differently than anyone else but in this nation of supposedly equal rights for all, the government is telling gay people they are not included in the deal. Being gay is not a choice but they do use their freewill right to choose to serve in the military, risk their lives and yes, even willing to die for the sake of someone else. There was a time when the color of a man's skin prevented them from serving in the military. Women had to dress up like men in order to serve and hide their gender. Double standards still live on.

The debate itself tells the other nations we depend on that their soldiers are not up to our standards when they allow gay people to serve without any problem at all.
While the U.S. adheres to a "don't ask, don't tell" policy toward gays in the military, its staunchest ally across the Atlantic is nine years removed from dramatically changing its own stance toward gay and lesbian service members – allowing completely open military service without fear of reprisal. And nearly a decade after the policy shift, the U.K.'s Independent reports the British military and its members have grown pretty comfortable in their own skin.

Openly gay service was allowed in 2000 after a two-year court battle involving four service members that was eventually settled by the European Court of Human Rights. Since then, the report details a steady progression toward fuller openness – from initial reluctance on the part of gay service members to "out" themselves, despite the rule change, to eventually marching in Gay Pride parades and moving into military housing with their partners.
read more here

We are supposed to be a nation of equality and generation after generation has had to fight for that to happen. When it comes to the military, they should never have to fight to be seen as equal to everyone else putting their lives on the line for what this country claims to be in the first place.

HORVAT: Making our war fighters expendable
Homosexual experimentation jeopardizes lives and honor
By John Horvat II -The Washington Times4:22 p.m., Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How much is the life of an American soldier worth? When does a soldier become expendable? Those are the questions we need to ask in the coming days as the government considers repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy regarding homosexuals in uniform.

A wounded soldier in Afghanistan will find himself airlifted halfway around the world for treatment within hours. In this, we see the admirable care and great value given to American lives. Such solicitude on the battleground is not shown off the battlefield, however. It seems there are times when the American solider becomes expendable. This is particularly the case in the raging debate over "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Everything is centered on a Dec. 1 report the military will release analyzing the impact of its repeal on the armed forces.

The liberally sensitive results of this "analysis" are so predictable it's almost senseless to go through the trouble to release it. Everything that has leaked out about the process indicates the report will discuss how to repeal - not whether to repeal - the ban on homosexuality in the military. It will conclude that inclusion of open homosexuals in the military will not have significant adverse effects. It will conclude that the soldier is expendable. He can be used for social experiments. He can be penalized for the religious values he holds. He can be deprived of the freedom for which he fights.
read more here
Making our war fighters expendable

A gay serviceman/woman, will find themselves being airlifted halfway around the world surrounded by soldiers from other nations where they would be welcomed only to be returned to their own country where they are a topic of debate because some use a religious belief they have to stand in judgment over something Christ never talked about in this same nation where all are supposed to be able to worship according to their own beliefs. They will quote from Acts and what Paul wrote but never consider the fact this is the same man so sure of what he was doing, he hunted down Christians wanting them to die before Christ opened his eyes. He got that wrong and he got a lot wrong after. But we're not supposed to be about a nation of one church, one belief or one set of rules for some with another for a different group. We're supposed to be a nation of equal rights for all.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Most Troops, Families OK With Gays

DoD Study: Most Troops, Families OK With Gays
October 29, 2010
Associated Press
WASHINGTON -- An internal Pentagon study has found that most U.S. troops and their families don't care whether gays are allowed to serve openly and think the policy of "don't ask, don't tell" could be done away with, according to officials familiar with its findings.

The survey results were expected to be used by gay rights advocates to bolster their argument that the 1993 law on gays could be repealed immediately with little harm done to the military. But the survey also was expected to reveal challenges the services could face in overturning the long-held policy, including overcoming fierce opposition in some parts of the military even if they represent a minority.

Details on the survey results were still scarce Thursday, with the Pentagon declining to discuss the findings until after Dec. 1 when it rolls out its own plan for repeal.

read more here
Most Troops, Families OK With Gays

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Judge orders military to stop discharging gays

Judge orders military to stop discharging gays
Landmark ruling says government's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy must end
NBC News and news services
updated 3 minutes ago
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RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A federal judge Tuesday ordered the government to immediately stop discharges of gay service members under the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips found the policy unconstitutional in September. On Tuesday, she rejected an Obama administration request to delay an injunction and ordered enforcement of the policy permanently stopped.
read more here
Judge orders military to stop discharging gays

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lady Gaga fights for 14,000 discharged over don't ask don't tell

Lady Gaga's Rally To Feature Testimonial From Discharged Marine
'I got the chance to meet her in D.C., and she genuinely cared about the issue,' former Marine Danny Hernandez says of Gaga.
By Kyle Anderson

Since she first broke into the mainstream two years ago, Lady Gaga has used her fame to bring gay rights issues to the forefront. In the past few weeks, she has focused squarely on the repeal of the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, including bringing several casualties of the law to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles and recording a video that encourages her fans to contact their senators to oppose the policy. On Monday (September 20), Gaga will host a rally in Portland, Maine, organized by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), in an effort to get the two senators from the state — Republicans Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins — to vote to break a filibuster and repeal the DADT policy in Tuesday's procedural vote in Washington, D.C.

Those gathered at the rally will also hear testimonial from Danny Hernandez, a former Marine who was discharged from the military for "don't ask, don't tell" violations. "I was in the Marine Corps and was under investigation for violating 'don't ask, don't tell,' and I ended up working with SLDN in Washington," Hernandez explained to MTV News in a Skype interview from Portland.

Though Hernandez was a victim of a "don't ask, don't tell" discharge — one among 14,000 similar cases — he hasn't let that get in the way of his dream of service. "I've been wanting to serve in the military for as long as I can remember," he said. "My brother, my cousins — everybody is in the Marine Corps. It's a family thing.
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Lady Gaga Rally