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01 Oct 2011 20:08


Politics: Human Rights Campaign: No surprises from Obama, but a victory lap

  • There was no open support of gay marriage in tonight’s speech, but Obama did speak out in favor of more equality for gays. The president, fresh off his success with the full repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” continued pushing for his view on the Defense of Marriage Act — “It should join ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ in the history books,” he said — and emphasized the hard work that he’s done for the gay rights movement over the past three years. (He also, when bringing up his jobs bill, dropped a couple of government-related lines that will anger those on the right, such as “I believe in a big America”.) While Obama has yet to come out in support for gay marriage (perhaps his most puzzling view), he has done more for gay rights than any president, ever. Still, his view on gay marriage is one that was likely on the minds of many listening to Obama. Here’s how his views have changed on the still-controversial issue over the years:
  • 2004 While he was still in the Illinois State Senate and running for U.S. Senate, a former aide claims that Obama he supported gay marriage at the time.
  • 2008 When he ran for president, however, Obama made it clear that while he supported civil unions, he did not support gay marriage.
  • 2010 Obama’s views on gay marriage began evolving; as of 2011, the Obama administration no longer enforces the Defense of Marriage Act. source

20 Sep 2011 18:28


U.S.: The end of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” summed up in a single video

  • The first day of a new military reality: It’s easy, especially when major civil rights policy comes down to a big, dramatic vote, to check the “accomplished” box and move along. In the case of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, this would have been considerably premature, as it wasn’t until midnight this morning that the ban was finally lifted. Congratulations to all the people who’ve had the weight of a big injustice pulled off their shoulders by this. The above video was recorded hours after the ban was lifted, and is a pretty emotional scene to watch unfold; a soldier, finally able to state his sexuality without discrimination from the military, calls his father to come out to his family. Be warned, it might make you a bit misty-eyed. source

20 Sep 2011 10:29


Politics: “Don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal: Here’s one of the first people to test the policy

  • This is why I chose to come out on Day 1 after the policy changed. I chose to come out publicly for the thousands of gay military members who have been told they are a risk if they serve in the military openly and honestly. People may say what I’m doing is attention-seeking or not befitting a military officer, but that very mentality shows the prejudice we still harbor when it comes to sexual orientation.
  • Air Force First Lieutenant Josh Seefried • Discussing his choice to come out on the very first day of the official repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Seefried had planned for this moment. See, Seefried launched OutServe, an organization for gay service members, while working under the pseudonym “JD Smith.” So it only makes sense that he’d be one of the very first people to come out under the new policy — and in a bold way, as a guest columnist for The Daily Beast. More power to him. source

03 Mar 2011 22:29


U.S.: Harvard finally recognizes the ROTC again – four decades later

  • then The ROTC was blocked from Harvard’s campus at the height of the Vietnam War. Later, the group was blocked largely because of the military’s record on gay rights.
  • nowLargely because of the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” Harvard will now formally recognize the Naval ROTC. It only took 41 years for the change to happen. source
  • » Harvard’s take: “Our renewed relationship affirms the vital role that the members of our Armed Forces play in serving the nation and securing our freedoms, while also affirming inclusion and opportunity as powerful American ideals,” said university president Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust. She sounds very positive about the change, doesn’t she?

21 Jan 2011 00:08


U.S.: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal will save taxpayers money

  • some think it will make us unsafe. We think (in addition to not making us unsafe) it’ll save taxpayers money. While the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is a done deal, the Government Accountability Office nevertheless conducted a study on the fiscal impact of the program. After reviewing all cases of expulsion under the program over the last six years, they found that maintaining the program was quite costly (and we don’t mean from an emotional standpoint).
  • $193 million to implement the program over six years
  • $52k cost of expelling each service member (this includes finding and training replacements)
  • 39% of those expelled either spoke a foreign language, or held a “critical occupation” in the military source

22 Dec 2010 10:01


U.S.: Obama signs “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal; WHOOOOOOOOO

  • good Obama has signed the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” into law, saying that “No longer will tens of thousands of Americans in uniform be asked to live a lie.” It’s a big emotional moment for gay rights.
  • better Lt. Dan Choi, considered the “face” of the repeal movement to many for his protests in front of the White House, was on hand at the Interior Department today – to watch Obama sign the bill. Nice. source

19 Dec 2010 11:36


Politics: John McCain’s been really angry lately for some reason

  • I don’t think this will leave any scars. I just think we leave this fight knowing that I was right and he was wrong. I mean, it’s as simple as that.
  • Sen. Joe Lieberman • Explaining his feeling on the flare-up John McCain had over yesterday’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal. While the law’s passage was otherwise calm, McCain (who led the dissent against repeal) got angry at least a few times yesterday, mainly because he wanted more time to debate the bill (which he got without having to be angry about it). Anyway, the former presidential candidate went a little off the deep end, bemoaning “this bizarro world that the majority leader has been carrying us in,” and basically being kind of a jerk about the whole thing. So, this is what it’s like to be a maverick, eh? source

18 Dec 2010 15:39


U.S.: “Don’t ask, don’t tell” repealed; here’s a romantic scene from the Senate

Kirsten Gillibrand and Harry Reid sure seem a little, um … lovey-dovey over finally pushing through the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Aww. source

14 Dec 2010 20:40


Politics: Marine commandant stands behind harsh words about “don’t ask”

  • I don’t want to lose any Marines to a distraction. I don’t want to have any Marines I’m visiting at Bethesda (Naval Hospital) with no legs as a result of any type of distraction. So that’s where I come down on this.
  • Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos • Expressing his staunch opinion about allowing gays in his service. He says he based his feelings on the recent report done on the matter, which suggested Marines were most uncomfortable with the change. “This is what I call the real deal,” he said, “and the forces that wear this uniform that are in the middle of what I call the real deal came back and told their commandant of the Marine Corps they have concerns. That’s all I needed.” Just think – if a court decision forces your hand, James, you’re not going to be able to do anything about the matter. Think about that. source

10 Dec 2010 15:26


Politics: Robert Gates: “Don’t ask” repeal will be worse if it’s court-ordered

  • My greatest worry will be that we are at the mercy of the courts and all of the lack of predictability that that entails.
  • Defense Secretary Robert Gates • Emphasizing that it’s better for Congress to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” and allow an orderly end to the policy than for the court system to simply force an end to the policy. Yesterday’s vote which failed 57-40, fell apart without any GOP support; Gates was “disappointed in the Senate vote, but not surprised.” Along with just about everyone else looking for a repeal, buddy. source