Today we have another look at history, and what lead to the signing of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Detailed notes of President Clinton, Colin Powell, and Al Gore, discussing gays in the military have been released. While there isn’t any groundbreaking new information, the notes do offer a little more insight into the signing of the discriminatory law.
I got this via email from BarackObama.com today and I thought I’d share it with our readers. It’s from Jason Rico, a gay ex-military person, from Obama for America.
As a gay veteran, I had never thought I’d see the day come.
At 12:01 a.m. exactly one year ago today, gay servicemen and women became free to serve openly, thanks to the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT).
My mom raised me to be an honest man with a deep love for my country. When I joined the Navy in 1998, my patriotism came first and my personal life second.
One year ago today DADT was repealed in what has to be one of the crowning and defining achievements of the Obama presidency. There is no greater hope for us as Americans to see us live up to our sacred creeds of freedom and equality for all. Here we are, a whole year later, and the certain doom and despair promised by Republicans if they let “us” serve openly in the armed forces never came. We knew it wouldn’t. I wanted to take a few minutes and pause and reflect on what the demise of DADT has meant to me.
There is only one clear choice come voting time in November. DADT has finally been overturned. Osama Bin Laden is dead. The auto industry was saved from certain collapse and the Leader of the Free world can publicly support marriage equality for GLBT Americans. We are better off than we were four years and there is still so much to be done. FOUR MORE YEARS!!! Go Obama and go HRC…I joined again last month. No Mitt Romney for me.
The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) announced today Staff Sergeant Anthony Loverde, who was discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 2008, will return be reinstated. Staff Sergeant Loverde will return to active duty in the U.S. Air Force and take the oath in Sacramento in May.
This makes Loverde only the second person, and second SLDN client, dismissed under DADT to return to active duty after the repeal. The first was Petty Officer 2nd Class Jase Daniels, who was reinstated as a linguist for the U.S. Navy. Continue reading
2. Santorum has been an outspoken supporter of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. His comments about gays and lesbians serving in the US Military have discussed men “living in close quarters” and showering together, Fox News reported. The candidate also compared the differences of African Americans and gays serving in the armed forces:
“There are people who were gay and lived the gay lifestyle and aren’t anymore. I don’t know if that’s the similar situation or that’s the case for anyone that’s black. It’s a behavioral issue as opposed to a color of the skin issue, and that’s the diff for serving in the military.”
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During a stop in Manchester, New Hampshire this morning Mitt Romney suggested to 63-year-old gay veteran Bob Garon that he would support the repeal of the state’s marriage equality law, despite previously claiming that marriage is the purview of the states and advocating for states rights in the tenth amendment:
“Actually, I think at the time the Constitution was written marriage was between a man and a woman and I don’t believe the Supreme Court has changed that.”
“It’s good to know how you feel,” Garon said. “That you do not believe that everyone is entitled to their constitutional rights.”
Watch the full video here: http://bcove.me/by0jx7iz
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Army Capt. Stephen Hill says he wasn’t trying to score political points when he asked the Republican presidential candidates if they would reinstate the ban on gays serving openly in the U.S. military.
Now that “don’t ask, don’t tell” has been lifted, he needed to know if the military would take the next step and recognize his marriage, or if a new president would try to force soldiers like him back into the closet.
“I was looking forward to the future and hoping everybody would realize we are soldiers first, always,” said Hill, 41, an Army reservist who returned last week from his yearlong deployment. “I was hoping ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ would be a distant memory for everybody.”
In an interview with The Associated Press, Hill reflected publicly for the first time on his reasons for submitting the pre-recorded question for the Sept. 22 debate, as well as his reaction to the heckles heard around the world; the answer that former Sen. Rick Santorum gave to thunderous applause; and the outrage expressed on his behalf by, among others, his commander in chief.
With Snyder on the telephone, Hill watched the debate live from Iraq at 4 a.m. And this is what he asked: “In 2010, when I was deployed to Iraq, I had to lie about who I was because I’m a gay soldier and I didn’t want to lose my job. My question is, under one of your presidencies, do you intend to circumvent the progress that’s been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?”
Hill says the fact that he just outed himself on national television had barely registered when he absorbed the boos and Santorum’s answer followed by applause.
“When the actual booing occurred, my gut dropped out, because my first inclination was, did I just do something wrong?” he said. “The answer, obviously, wasn’t very supportive of gay people, and there was a lot of fear of how the Army would take the question.”
He did not have to wait long to find out. At breakfast later that morning, the segment was playing on the chow hall television. Hill immediately tracked down his commander, who told him she had no problem with what he’d done but that she would need to run it up the chain of command. She later relayed the response.
“She said, ‘What the military’s most concerned with is that you are OK, because it’s a lot of pressure on you and we want to make sure if there is anything we can do to help,'” he recalled.
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Today is 11/11/11 and that has tons of significance for a lot of people for a lot of different reasons. Today is the day we honor those who have served in the military and put themselves in harms way for our country. This year’s Veterans Day has special significance because this is the first year we can truly and officially celebrate ALL service members and their sacrifice whether they are straight or gay…