Showing posts with label DADT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DADT. Show all posts

October 9, 2011

'Lube and fecal matter Santorum' Gets Nervous When men Shower Together


At the recent Republican presidential debate where a gay soldier was booed, Rick Santorum expressed his support for reinstating Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell by suggesting there should be “no sexual activity” in the military. On this morning’s Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace challenged Santorum on this response, pointing out that lifting DADT has to do with troops serving openly, not their sexual activity. Wallace also pointed out that the rhetoric Santorum uses is exactly the same as was used in 1941 to oppose racial integration of the military. Nevertheless, Santorum not only doubled down on his opposition to open service for gay troops for the sake of “recruitment and retention,” but stated his beliefs that being gay is a choice, that it’s only defined by sexual behavior, and that “plenty” of people have changed their orientation through ex-gay therapy:
SANTORUM: We’re talking about people who are simply different because of the color of their skin, not because of activities that would cause problems for people living in those close quarters. [...] I know the whole gay community is trying to make this the new civil rights act. It’s not. It’s not the same. You are black by the color of your skin. You are not homosexual, necessarily — obviously, by the color of your skin. [...]  The idea that being black and being gay is the same is simply not true. There are all sorts of studies out there that suggest just the contrary, and there are people who were gay and lived the gay lifestyle and aren’t anymore. I don’t think that’s the case with anyone who’s black.
Watch it:
Santorum is wrong on so many counts:
Santorum’s comments make clear that his only concern is keeping homophobic soldiers fleeing the military, because “they’re in close quarters, they live with people, they obviously shower with people.” Perhaps Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) offered the best response to this narrow line of thinking when he said, “Of course people shower with homosexuals. What a silly issue.”




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September 14, 2011

General foresees muted response to gay ban repeal


U.S. Army Gen. Carter Ham, the head of the U.S. Africa Command, attends a conference on terrorism in the Sahara in Algiers, Algeria, on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011. (AP Photo)


By Robert Burns
-
Associated Pres





(AP)  WASHINGTON — An Army general who co-directed a Pentagon study on ending the ban on gays serving openly in the military said Wednesday that repeal is likely to prove "pretty inconsequential."

Gen. Carter Ham said he expects civilians who strongly oppose the move — and some gay rights advocates — will voice their views when the repeal takes Tuesday. But inside the military the prevailing attitude likely will be business-as-usual, with no call for further debate about the merits of repeal, he said.

"My hope, my expectation, my belief is that it will be pretty inconsequential," he told The Associated Press in a brief interview. His comments echoed the prevailing view among senior U.S. military and civilian officials at the Pentagon, who think repeal will largely be taken in stride.

Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command, co-chaired a Pentagon group that in 2010 studied how to implement a repeal law, which was subsequently passed by Congress in December. Some in Congress, including House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif., have criticized President Barack Obama's decision in July to certify that repeal of the ban would not harm the military's ability to fight.

Homosexuality has been prohibited in the military since World War I, and for years recruits were screened and questioned about their sexual orientation. Then-President Bill Clinton relaxed the policy in 1993, saying the military could not ask recruits or serving members about their sexual orientation, and gays could serve as long as they did not openly disclose their status. That law became known as "don't ask, don't tell."

The Army's new chief of staff, Gen. Ray Odierno, said last week that he does not expect to make any public pronouncement when repeal takes effect next week.

"We're beyond that now," Odierno said. "I'm not concerned it. I think we'll be okay."

___

Follow Robert Burns on Twitter at http://twitter.com/robertburnsAP



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September 2, 2011

Military bases to stock magazine for gay personnel "OutServe"

OutservePeter Lloyd


Following years of campaigning, America's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy will be scrapped on 20 September – and, from that date forward, military bases across the US will stock a magazine exclusively for queer personnel.

Both Army and Air Force officials have approved the distribution of the magazine – called Outserve – which was originally an underground, covert publication, but is now becoming increasingly popular as more service men and women come out.

Snug in its cultural and political timing, the magazine's expansion marks the end of the 20-year DADT policy which has forcibly removed openly-gay and lesbian personnel from serving in the forces.

The bi-monthly publication is published by a group of secretly gay service members who claim they have hundreds of members currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Their first electronic-only issue in March had over 10,000 impressions within the first 48 hours. 

Outserve is a non-profit organization with a network of over 40 chapters of 4,000 actively serving Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Transgendered military professionals.

The Department of Defense will formally repeal DADT on 20 September.
http://news.pinkpaper.com

September 1, 2011

Post DADT OUTSERVE Military Mag to Hit News Stands


OutServe magazine - LGBT Weekly
OutServe magazine//Photo Source: 
OutServe
Posted by LGBT Weekly

The official repeal of the military’s discriminatory ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ (DADT) policy will take effect September 20, and in wake of the dismissal, gay servicemembers can expect to find a new gay magazine hitting the stands of military exchange stores nationwide.
The magazine dubbedOutServe has already produced editions of the print publications according to their site. Now, service members may enjoy their freedom to declare their sexual orientation openly, in addition to subscribing to publications such as these without interference or recourse from the U.S. government.
“This marks an incredible time in the history of our military. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual servicemembers once had to conceal their true identities. By featuring their pictures and their stories, we are signaling that time has passed. It is time for these military members to be honored for their extraordinary commitment and sacrifice in defense of our country,” said JD Smith, co-director of OutServe.
The inaugural issue will feature over 100 military personnel who have up until now made their sexuality unknown amidst the soon-to-be defunct DADT policy.

July 31, 2011

DONT ASK DONT TELL repeal, impacts San Diego


The USS Stockdale is one of more than 50 naval ships stationed in San Diego.
BY JONATHAN YOUNG, SAN DIEGO LGBT WEEKLY


With more than 110,000 active duty military service members stationed in San Diego – the largest concentration in the U.S. – the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) could have a drastic impact here.
“It’s going to have a huge impact,” said Kristen Kavanaugh, co-founder and executive director of Military Acceptance Project (MAP), a San Diego-based support organization that serves as a resource to anyone interested in learning more about the repeal of DADT.
Enacted in November 1993, DADT mandates the discharge of openly gay, lesbian or bisexual service members. Since then, 14,000 service members have been discharged.
The repeal, which was certified by President Obama on Friday and takes effect in 60 days on Sept. 20, has been praised by national and local LGBT organizations, activists and politicians.
“This is a welcome step, and reflects what our members are saying, that the military is ready to move beyond DADT,” said JD Smith, active-duty co-director of OutServe, a national association of actively-serving LGB military personnel. “In 60 days, my life and the lives of thousands of other gay and lesbian troops changes. I cannot be more proud to be able to serve during this time.”
“Service members are sent all over the globe to risk their lives in defense of freedom. In 60 days, LGB service members will finally be able to openly partake of that freedom here at home,” said state Assemblywoman Toni Atkins (D-San Diego).
“Our LGBT troops have made a commitment to serve their country, and their hard work, dedication and willingness to put their lives on the line deserves nothing less than the same respect, thanks and benefits given to their non-LGBT counterparts,” said Dr. Delores A. Jacobs, CEO of the San Diego LGBT Community Center.
Along with the fanfare of praise, however, there are also warnings that the repeal of DADT is just one important milestone along the journey to achieving LGB equality in America’s military. First, despite the certification, it is still unsafe for service members to come out until Sept. 20, when repeal becomes final.
A helicopter flies over Camp Pendleton in North San Diego County.
“Rapidly changing events regarding the legal status of DADT may be confusing for service members and recruits. The bottom line is DADT is still the law of the land, the situation is still in flux, and it is not necessarily safe to come out,” reads a warning on the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Web site,sldn.org.
Second, even with the repeal of DADT, there is no military policy prohibiting discrimination and harassment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Such a policy would give LGB service members recourse outside their chain of command if they are experiencing discrimination or harassment.
“Every service member deserves equal respect in the work environment. Signing legislation that allows for repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was necessary, but it is not sufficient for ensuring equality in the military,” said Army veteran and SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis. “It’s critical that gay and lesbian service members have the same avenues for recourse as their straight counterparts when it comes to harassment and discrimination.”
The DADT training the military conducted was just a policy change, Kavanaugh said, and now social education is necessary.
“We, as an organization, are thankful for all those people that have been fighting for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell for decades, but right now is where the heavy lifting starts for the Military Acceptance Project,” she said. “Now we are talking about people serving openly. How do we help people learn to accept that? How do we talk about these issues? How do we help people feel more comfortable? How can we help people begin to create a dialog about these things? That’s the only way this is going to happen.”
Kavanaugh said MAP’s recommendation is to evaluate the command climate before coming out after Sept. 20.
“Unfortunately, There are some units where it’s just not going to be safe,” she said. “People are going to do a risk assessment about their ability to come out 100 percent.”
If you are a gay or Lesbian serviceman and need to be put in contact with someone to help you, adamfoxie*blog will try to help in the purest confidentiality.
The email for adamfoxie*, (which is not posted on this site) since people that would like to make a comment can do so without getting in direct touch with the admin. You need to let me know how to contact you, since the answer can not be publish.
Adam

July 12, 2011

Gay Troops in Iraq Cheer The End of DADT


BAGHDAD – Gay U.S. troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan said Thursday that a federal appeals court order to stop enforcement of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy puts them one step closer to revealing their sexual orientation without fear of retribution or dismissal.
A three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ordered the Pentagonon Wednesday to cease investigations and discharges of service members in violation of the ban on gays serving openly in the military. The ruling noted that the Obama administration has said it thinks another federal law — the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages — is unconstitutional .

The Defense Department will comply with the court order and took steps late Wednesday to begin informing the forces of the change, according to Marine Col. Dave Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman.
But plans to end the ban on gays in uniform, as outlined in a law passed in December, will continue as scheduled, senior military officials said Thursday.
The law requires every man and woman serving in military uniform to complete training courses about the end of the policy before its repeal. Military officials said President Obama will certify “in the coming weeks” that the military has completed the training courses and is ready to end the ban.
The “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which began in late 1993, will officially end 60 days after Obama’s written certification.
Some gay troops serving on the front lines said Thursday that military culture — not a court order — would dictate whether they eventually reveal their sexual orientation.
“I’m ecstatic,” said one soldier stationed in Baghdad, adding that he planned to meet Thursday night at a military coffee shop with other gay soldiers to celebrate.
“We won’t be loud or obnoxious, but we will show solidarity and resolve,” the soldier said by e-mail, speaking on the condition of anonymity while the ban remains in effect.
Military officials in Iraq said Thursday that the approximately 47,000 troops deployed here had completed training courses on schedule. But when asked, one official said there was no way of knowing how many courses had been conducted in Iraq, suggesting only that there had been many.
At Bagram air base in Afghanistan, an Air Force staff sergeant who also requested anonymity said the court decision would probably add to the confusion about the end of the policy.
“A lot of people thought it all ended back in December and thought we were done,” the staff sergeant said in an interview. “People are frustrated. They’re waiting and thinking, ‘It’ll be any week now,’ and they’d just like it to get done.”
An Army officer based in Kabul said that he and his gay comrades were unlikely to publicly disclose their sexual orientation immediately — whenever the ban ends.
“I’d like to, but that’s difficult because of the culture around me,” he said in an interview. Complicating the decision, he said, he has heard fellow soldiers and commanding officers use gay slurs and make gay jokes.
“I don’t know who will be accepting,” he said. Even if the ban ends quickly, “military culture won’t change overnight.”
Sounding more optimistic, the Air Force staff sergeant at Bagram quoted his commander, who recently said, “Don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t care, doesn’t matter. We have a war to fight that is much more important.”

July 8, 2011

Pentagon STOPS Discharges of Gay Troops Today; As reported by adamfoxie* yesterday

By Michael Winter, USA TODAY


The Pentagon today halted all discharges of gay troops under "don't ask, don't tell" and will now accept applications from prospective recruits who are homosexual, the Army Timesreports.
But it's still not clear whether the Obama administration will turn to the Supreme Court after a federal appeals court Wednesday banned further enforcement of the policy, which has prohibited gays from serving openly, write the Army Times, which is published by USA TODAY's parent, Gannett Co. Inc.
Congress repealed the law in December after a federal judge ruled that DADT was unconstitutional. The repeal stipulated that DADT would be formally repealed 60 days after the defense secretary and chairman of the Joint Chiefs "certify" that it will not adversely impact military readiness.
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he expected certification in late July or early August.
The Pentagon's moratorium came on the day the U.S. House voted to prohibit chaplains from performing same-sex marriages on military bases regardless of a state's law.
This bill has to be approved by the senate and signed by the President. We'll see what develops.

July 2, 2011

Straight Service Members Manipulate the System to get Honorable Dis Before DADT Ends


LGBT newspaper San Diego
Defense Secretary Gates greets U.S. Air Force troops\Source: United States Air Force
Three U.S. Air Force members who recently identified themselves as gay have requested to be discharged in an effort to end their service obligation before the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy is lifted.
The controversial policy, which has prohibited gays from serving openly in the military for the past 17 years, was overturned last December in what is considered by many to be a significant victory for the gay community. Despite the imminent dissolution of the gay ban, however, service members will retain the ability to submit a sexual orientation-based discharge request until DADT is officially dissolved later this year.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the discharge requests of two women have been approved by Air Force Secretary Michael Donley, who has also accepted the resignation of an airman 1st class. All three servicemembers cited sexual orientation as the reason for their separation.
An order issued last October by Defense Secretary Robert Gates requires explicit approval by the secretary of the members’ branch of service in order to be discharged under the gay ban.
Pentagon officials have reported that, having received only a minute number of discharge requests, they do not expect a widespread effort by gay service members to ‘jump ship’ before DADT ends. However, Alexander Nicholson, who serves as the Executive Director of the LGBT organization Servicemembers United, expressed his astonishment at what, in his opinion, appears to be evidence of armed forces members manipulating the system and attempting to evade their service obligations via “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Defense leaders have yet to announce a firm date for the new law to go into effect, as they must first take a number of steps to certify that it will have no adverse impact on the military. But so far, many military leaders are optimistic, stating that resistance to the policy change has been minimal.
Military and civilian leaders have already begun the painstaking process of preparing for the certification, to be lead by Gates’ impending successor Leon Panetta (who will be sworn in as the new Secretary of Defense on Friday).
Upon completion of the certification process, the repeal would take effect after a 60 day period.
Posted by LGBT Weekly

June 25, 2011

"Doing the right thing for the right reason is everything to me"A sailor's Story



USS Coronado (AGF-11) arrives at Fleet 
Activities Yokosuka, Japan, March 24, 2004.
Back in 1997, I was assigned to the USS Coronado (AGF-11) as the leading petty officer of the Ordinance Division. I was a fire controlman first class petty officer with over 17 years in service – about two-and-a-half years from my transfer to the Fleet Reserve with a retirement pension.
My division officer was Ensign Moore. (NOTE: The division officer’s name has been changed in this article to protect her privacy.) She was the first female weapons officer (WEAPSO) that the USS Coronado had had in its over 20 years of service.
She was fairly young. I believe she was 23 years old when she became my division officer. She was also very fit and attractive. If she was a just a few inches taller she would have had the makings of a fashion model.
The USS Coronado was an old ship at the time, and many pieces of equipment that had been on the ship at its commissioning had been removed, so there were many screw holes missing screws, and many cableways that traversed through the bulkheads (the walls) of the ship that had spaces where cables had previously traversed.
Well, one weekend I had two different enlisted sailors in my department (the organizational level one up from my division) tell me that sailors were watching Ensign Moore shower, and that she had a birthmark on a particular part of her body that was usually covered.
I was distressed. I initially felt in a quandary over what to do, if anything, with that information. After two days of agonizing over it, I sought the advice of a female chief petty officer off my command. I told her I didn’t know what to do with the information, and she called me on it. She told me I did know what to do with the information, but that I knew it would be hard to do what I knew was the right thing to do.
That chief asked me a couple of rhetorical questions in the process. She asked me: 1.) How would I feel if that woman being peeped at in the shower was my mother or my sister; and 2.) How would Ensign Moore feel if she found out later that I knew she was being peeped at while she was showering, but didn’t tell her.
On that Monday evening, I told Ensign Moore that people were peeping at her when she showered. I remember that her face turned sheet white. Then, we called in the senior chief master at arms (who was also female), and she took my verbal report of the incident.
To make a long story short, they discovered that there were four sailors who were peeping at all of the women officers who were using a particular shower that had many empty screw holes and empty cableways. It was just Ensign Moore was their favorite to peep at. It was based on how very attractive she was. Three of the sailors were discharged for their actions, and the fourth, who had turned “state’s evidence,” received the maximum punishment he could receive in a non-judicial punishment hearing.
I was treated differently by my peer petty officers. I wasn’t trusted with much personal information after that. I had the senior chief signalman on the ship come up to me and told me I handled it wrong. I should have taken this incident to the chief’s mess instead of to the ship’s master at arms, so that no one would have gotten in trouble over this. And, I was dealing with significant depression already so this contributed to a couple of months of even deeper depression.
A few months later, one of the three discharged sailors saw me while I was crossing the street by the 32nd Street Naval Station, and he revved his car, squealed his tires and sent me the message that he could run me over at that moment, and that he wanted to run me over. My guess is he didn’t run me over because of the potential consequences of injuring or killing me.
Even though it cost me personally, I realized I did the right thing for the right reasons, and that I had to continue that sort of behavior for the rest of my life.
That incident changed my life, and how I look at actively working to make the world a better place. I’d do it again, now without a moment’s hesitation. Doing the right thing for the right reason is everything to me.

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