Posts Tagged ‘dadt’

New Rules Make It Harder To Discharge Gay Military

Washington DC – An announcment today by Defense Secretary Robert Gates says that the Pentagon is enacting new rules that make it much more difficult to discharge people in the military due to sexual orientation.

This new temporary guideline would  raise the standard required for evidence to be presented in cases, design to prevent outings by a third party or jilted partner.  It also provides that any information gathered during medical exams or security reviews cannot be used. Secretary Gates also said that level of rank required to initiate action or to take formal action against a service member would be raised.

The part of the press conference that caught my ear was Mr. Gates talking about the review being done currently of service members and their families (scheduled to be finished at the end of the year). Mr. Gates stressed that the review is not to determine whether or not to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, but rather what is the best way to do it.

According to the NY Times, in 2009 there were 438 service members discharged under DADT.


The Day Of Gay Superheroes

Yesterday, March 18th 2010 will be remembered as one of the great days of civil disobedience and LGBT Superheroes!

Lt. Choi and Captain Pietrangelo handcuff themselves to the White House Fence

It started yesterday afternoon in DC where a rally on DADT was being thrown by the HRC and entertainer Kathy Griffen. Although the rally was well attended (thanks to our celebrity fag-hag 😉 ) it was mostly just a publicity stunt for Ms. Griffen’s show “D-List.” That’s when Get Equal Co-Director Robin McGehee and Liutenant Dan Choi showed up. Despite being told by HRC director Joe Solomnese that this was “Kathy’s show,” Lt. Choi took the stage and made it clear that DADT was “no laughing matter” but a serious threat that needed to be brought down immediately and he called on ralliers to march on the White House.

The rally at the gates of the White House was going strong (even though Joe Solomnese and Kathy Griffen didn’t attend despite promises to the contrary) and Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo handcuffed themselves to the fence in support of the thousands of LGBT service people who are being forced to lie about themselves every day. Then Robin McGehee was arrested by the secret service and the capitol police for helping the Liutenent and the Captain put on the handcuffs. The crowd cheered her and booed the police as she shouted “Get Equal!” and “Fight For Your Rights!” as she was pushed into a patrol car. 30 minutes later Lt. Choi and Captain Pietrangelo were also removed from the fence and arrested.

But the fun didn’t stop there! Get Equal activists also stormed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and performed a Sit-In in her

The 5 activists who attended the "sit-in" over ENDA in Pelosi's office are arrested.

 office, demanding a vote on ENDA by the end of this month. After 4 hours, the 5 activists were also arrested.

Both Robin and the 5 activists were released without bail late last night, but Lt. Choi and Captain Pietrangelo are both still in Jail. Not much information is known yet, but they have NOT been given their phone calls yet.

I view all 8 of these people as absolute HEROES. These are people willing to risk it all in belief that all people in this country should be equal, and the US Constitution does not only apply to some.

UPDATE! Lt. Choi and Capt. Pietrangelo will be arraigned today at 1pmEST at the DC Superior Courthouse.

UPDATE! Lt. Choi and Capt. Pietrangelo plead NOT GUILTY and demand a jury trial rather than pay a $100 fine. “We do not plead guilty for equality.” “Not Guilty, Not ashamed, Not done yet.” Trial set for April 26th!

Get Equal Co-Director Arrested At White House

D.C. – Lt. Dan Choi has chained himself to the fence outside the White House during a Don’t Ask Don’t Tell protest. This is happening NOW. Co-Director of Get Equal Robin McGehee has already been arrested, but security is apparently at a stand-off with the Lieutenant.

DADT is responsible for thousands of service members who are trying to protect their country being kicked out of the armed forces because of nothing other than who they are inside.

UPDATE: Lt. Dan Choi has been removed from the fence and placed in a police van! -2:15 EST

Robin McGehee shouts "Get Equal!" and "Fight For Your Rights!" as she's arrested.

Pictures courtesy of Pams.House.Blend


Lt. Dan Choi chains himself to the White House Fence

UPDATE! From the Advocate:

Choi was speaking at the HRC rally at Freedom Plaza when he asked the group’s executive director, Joe Solmonese, if he would march to the White House. Both Choi and Pietrangelo were discharged from the military under DADT. Choi is the founder of Knights Out, a West Point alumni organization supporting LGBT soldiers.

You’ve been told that the White House has a plan,” Choi told rally protesters. “But we learned this week that the president is still not fully committed. … Following this rally, I will be leading [the protest] to the White House to say ‘enough talk.’ … I am still standing, I am still fighting, I am still speaking out, and I am still gay.”

Kathy Griffin, who was in Washington at the behest of HRC to meet with members of Congress about DADT repeal, was also at the rally. When asked by Choi if she would march with him to the White House, Griffin responded, “Of course!”

Dick Cheney: The New Gay Rights Crusader

Former VP Dick Cheney wants Don't Ask Don't Tell repealed.

With so many people fighting over Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, it’s interesting seeing which side people are taking. Dick Cheney, known as one of the most far-right extremists in politics today (just below Karl Rove), and father of an out-and-proud lesbian, said yesterday that he thinks DADT should be revoked.

Most people only saw or heard Mr. Cheney and current Vice President Joe Biden battling over war and prisoner policies as they duked things out over several networks this past weekend. But during one interview, Cheney was asked if the policy that prevents gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military should be scrapped and he replied, “I think society has moved on.” He also added later that “Twenty years ago the military was a strong advocate of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell when I was the Secretary of Defense. I think things have changed significantly since then. My guess is the that the policy will be changed.”

It never ceases to amaze me when people who you fight with and disagree with over almost everything, still have the heart to recognize legitimate sufferings of their fellow human beings. Thanks Dick!