Sexual orientation will not be a bar to service unless manifested by homosexual conduct. The military will discharge members who engage in homosexual conduct, which is defined as a homosexual act, a statement that the member is homosexual or bisexual, or a marriage to someone of the same gender.
-from "The Pentagon's New Policy Guidelines on Homosexuals in the Military".
The Pentagon's principal justification for the policy remains that the presence of openly homosexual personnel would interfere with the military's ability to accomplish its mission. In essence, the Pentagon's rationale is that heterosexual personnel have such antipathy for gay people that they would be unable and unwilling to serve with them. Further, the Department of Defense believes it is powerless to prevent this hostility from interfering with the military mission. Thus, the presumed focus of the problem is not homosexual personnel, rather, it's heterosexual service members and military leadership.
Scientific research and policy studies indicate that the Pentagon is wrong. Heterosexuals' hostility toward homosexuality need not interfere with the military mission, provided that strong leadership is exercised and clear rules are enforced concerning nondiscrimination.
During the Revolutionary War, the armed forces treated sodomy as grounds for being dishonorably discharged. The first such recorded discharge was in 1778, when Lieutenant Gotthold Frederick Enslin was (with the approval of General George Washington) dishonorably discharged following a conviction of homosexual sodomy and perjury. The Articles of War maintained the crime of sodomy, but it was not until 1942 that the armed forces considered homosexual status as grounds for being discharged from the military. Thus, anyone in the armed forces labeled as gay or bisexual were subject to criminal sanctions under the sodomy prohibition, or could be given a dishonorable discharge (often a Section 8) and returned to civilian life, where they would not receive veterans benefits and often had difficulty finding employment because most civilian employers knew what a Section 8 discharge meant.
Lawrence vs Texas, whose five year anniversary we celebrated in late june, determined that sodomy between consenting adults is no longer illegal.
Lawrence v. Texas, (2003) was a landmark United States Supreme Court case. In the 6-3 ruling, the justices struck down the sodomy law that had criminalized homosexual sex in Texas. The court had previously addressed the same issue in 1986 in Bowers v. Hardwick, where it upheld a challenged Georgia statute, not finding a constitutional protection of sexual privacy.
Lawrence explicitly overruled Bowers, holding that it had viewed the liberty interest too narrowly. The majority held that intimate consensual sexual conduct was part of the liberty protected by substantive due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. Lawrence has the effect of invalidating similar laws throughout the United States that purport to criminalize homosexual activity between consenting adults acting in private. It may also invalidate the application of sodomy laws to heterosexual sex based solely on morality concerns.
The case attracted much public attention and a large number of "friends of the court" briefs were filed. Its outcome was celebrated by gay rights advocates, who hoped that further legal advances might result as a consequence.
And the reason this SCOTUS decision doesn't automatically make the military's stance on sodomy and by reasonable extension "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" unconstitutional is???
Welcome to the fourth edition of WGLB TV "Queers and Fears Friday", a weekly news and video magazine presented here at Daily Kos expressly for the GLBT community, and it's family, friends and allies. Our goal is to provide the Daily Kos readership broader exposure to GLBT news, history, events, personalities and perspectives in a light-hearted and snarky environment that will hopefully make all visitors feel welcome and comfortable gabbing about anything and everything gay.
The success of the armed forces in pre-screening self-identified gay and bisexual people from the 1940s through 1981 remains in dispute; during the Vietnam Conflict, some men pretended to be gay in order to avoid the draft. However, a significant number of gay and bisexual men and women did manage to avoid the pre-screening process and serve in the military, some with special distinction. For example, in the 1950s and 1960s, the Navy medic Dr. Tom Dooley received national fame for his anti-Communist and humanitarian efforts in Vietnam. His homosexuality was something of an open secret in the Navy, but eventually he was forced to resign; the Navy subsequently conducted the first official study on sexual orientation and the Navy regulations and rules. The 1957 report, titled Report of the Board Appointed to Prepare and Submit Recommendations to the Secretary of the Navy for the Revision of Policies, Procedures and Directives Dealing With Homosexuals (better known as the Crittenden Report) found that gay-identified people were no more likely to be a security risk than heterosexual-identified people, and found there was no rational basis for excluding gay people from the Navy, although it stopped short of recommending a change in the regulations because of social mores.
Alan Mathison Turing, was an English mathematician, logician and cryptographer. Turing is often considered to be the father of modern computer science. Turing provided an influential formalization of the concept of the algorithm and computation with the Turing machine. With the Turing test, he made a significant and characteristically provocative contribution to the debate regarding artificial intelligence: whether it will ever be possible to say that a machine is conscious and can think. He later worked at the National Physical Laboratory, creating one of the first designs for a stored-program computer, although it was never actually built. In 1948 he moved to the University of Manchester to work on the Manchester Mark I, then emerging as one of the world's earliest true computers.
During the Second World War Turing worked at Bletchley Park, the UK's code-breaking center, and was for a time head of Hut 8, the section responsible for German naval cryptanalysis. He devised a number of techniques for breaking German ciphers, including the method of the bombe, an electromechanical machine that could find settings for the Enigma machine.
Turing was homosexual, and at that time homosexuality was illegal in the UK and regarded as a mental illness and subject to criminal sanctions. In 1952, Arnold Murray, a 19-year-old recent acquaintance of his, helped an accomplice to break into Turing's house, and Turing went to the police to report the crime. As a result of the police investigation, Turing acknowledged a sexual relationship with Murray, and a crime having been identified and settled, they were charged with gross indecency. Turing was unrepentant. He was given the choice between imprisonment and probation, conditional on his undergoing hormonal treatment designed to reduce libido. In order to avoid going to jail, he accepted the estrogen hormone injections, which lasted for a year, with side effects including gynecomastia (breast enlargement). His conviction led to a removal of his security clearance and prevented him from continuing consultancy for GCHQ on cryptographic matters. At the time, there was acute public anxiety about spies and homosexual entrapment by Soviet agents. On 8 June 1954, his cleaner found him dead; he had died of cyanide poisoning, apparently from a cyanide-laced apple he left half-eaten beside his bed. Most believe that his death was intentional, and the death was ruled a suicide.
in the 1950s and 1960s, the Navy Dr. Tom Dooley received national fame for his anti-Communist and humanitarian efforts in Vietnam. His homosexuality was something of an open secret in the Navy, but eventually he was forced to resign; the Navy subsequently conducted the first official study on sexual orientation and the Navy regulations and rules. The 1957 report, titled Report of the Board Appointed to Prepare and Submit Recommendations to the Secretary of the Navy for the Revision of Policies, Procedures and Directives Dealing With Homosexuals (better known as the Crittenden Report) found that gay-identified people were no more likely to be a security risk than heterosexual-identified people, and found there was no rational basis for excluding gay people from the Navy, although it stopped short of recommending a change in the regulations because of social mores.
Technical Sergeant Leonard Matlovich was a Vietnam War veteran, race relations instructor, and recipient of the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. Matlovich was perhaps the best-known gay man in America in the 1970s. His fight to stay in the United States Air Force after coming out of the closet became a cause célèbre around which the gay community rallied. His outspoken manner resulted in articles in The New York Times and a television movie on NBC. His photograph appeared on the cover Time magazine, making him a symbol for thousands of gay and lesbian service members.
Matlovich described the way he delivered the letter he wrote about his sexual orientation for The New York Times. He said that he handed his "coming-out" statement to his superior. His captain asked, "What does this mean?" Matlovich said, "It means Brown v. the Board of Education" a reference to the 1954 landmark Supreme Court case outlawing racial segregation. For Matlovich, his test of the sexual-preference tolerance the military system would allow him was the equivalent to that. "I told him to sit down before he read it. He didn't, but he sat down after he read it." Matlovich contended that the military was full of homosexuals because he ran into them when he spent evenings in one dance club in Norfolk.
The issue of homosexuality in the military was brought to the forefront because of Matlovich's confession. He hired David F. Addlestone of the ACLU, as his chief counsel. A military lawyer, Captain Jon Larson Jaenicke, was assistant counsel. After a series of hearings, Matlovich was offered a general discharge from the Air Force. According to Oelsner, Lieutenant Colonel Charles R. Ritchie, the Langley commander, notified Matlovich. "I am initiating action against you with a view to effecting your discharge from the United States Air Force." A general discharge was less than an honorable discharge. Although he had hoped to stay in the military and avoid a discharge altogether, Matlovich was not content with the idea of a general discharge. "I love the military," he told The New York Times. "The first time in the bar, I met a bank president who was petrified he'd be found out. I decided then and there I was not going to jump from job to job." Six months after he openly admitted his homosexuality, Matlovich was out of the Air Force, considered unfit for military service by a three-member panel.
Margarethe "Grethe" Cammermeyer is a former colonel in the Washington National Guard and a gay rights activist. Born in Oslo, Norway, she became a United States citizen in 1960. In 1961 she joined the Army Student Nurse Program. She received a B.S. in Nursing in 1963 from the University of Maryland.
She met her partner, Diane Divelbess, in 1988, when she was 46 — after she had ended a 15-year marriage to a man and had four sons. In 1989, in response to a question during a routine security clearance interview, she disclosed that she is a lesbian. The "don't ask, don't tell" policy was not yet in effect at the time, and the National Guard began military discharge proceedings against her. On June 11, 1992, she was honorably discharged from the military. Cammermeyer filed a lawsuit against the decision in civil court. In June 1994, Judge Thomas Zilly of the federal district court in Seattle ruled her discharge, and the ban on gays and lesbians serving in the military, unconstitutional. She returned to the National Guard and served as one of the few officially accepted openly gay or lesbian people in the military until her retirement in 1997.
A decorated sergeant and Arabic language specialist Bleu Copas was dismissed from the U.S. Army under the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy, though he says he never admitted being gay and his accuser was never identified. Copas, 30, admitted he is gay, but said he was "outed" by a stream of anonymous e-mails to his superiors in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C. "I knew the policy going in," Copas said in an interview on the campus of East Tennessee State University, where he is pursuing a master’s degree in counseling and working as a student adviser. "I knew it was going to be difficult." An eight-month Army investigation culminated in Copas’ honorable discharge on Jan. 30 — less than four years after he enlisted, he said, out of a post-Sept. 11 sense of duty to his country. He plans to appeal to the Army Board for Correction of Military Records.
To date over sixty arabic linguists have been discharged under "Don't ask, Don't tell". Don't that make you sleep more soundly at night? Don't that make a whole lot of sense?
Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick
This Sunday 60 Minutes will rebroadcast a story by correspondent Lesley Stahl reporting on a growing number of openly lesbian and gay troops serving on active duty in the United States military. Originally broadcast in December 2007, the story includes an interview with Army Sergeant Darren Manzella and an update noting that he has since been discharged under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law. Tune in!
About 12,000 service members have been booted from the military since the law took effect, including dozens of Arabic speakers whose skills are particularly prized by the military since the advent of the war on terror. While the number discharged for their sexuality has fallen from 1,273 in 2001 to 612 in 2006, Pentagon officials insist they are applying the law as fairly as ever. Gay-rights advocates disagree, suggesting the military — pressed for personnel amid an unpopular war — is willing to ignore sexual orientation when recruiting becomes more difficult. Last May, a CNN poll found that 79 percent of Americans feel that homosexuals should be allowed to serve in the military.
But Americans in the military seem less friendly to the idea of junking the ban. A 2006 opinion poll by the independent Military Times newspapers showed that only 30% of those surveyed think openly gay people should serve, while 59% are opposed. "I don't think they'll succeed, but I think they'll try," Donnelly says of the Democrats' efforts to repeal the ban. Darrah, the retired Navy officer, says success depends on who moves into the Oval Office a year from now. "I believe if we get a Democratic President we'll get rid of the ban," says Darrah, who is backing Hillary Clinton's bid for the White House. "The younger generation doesn't care one bit."
≠≠≠≠≠ ≠≠≠≠≠ ≠≠≠≠≠ ≠≠≠≠≠ ≠≠≠≠≠ ≠≠≠≠≠ ≠≠≠≠≠ ≠≠≠≠≠ ≠≠≠≠≠ ≠≠≠≠≠
This Week's Gay Sports Segment features Out Hoop Star John Amaechi.
John Ekwugha Amaechi, who was born in Boston, MA, is a retired English NBA basketball player who currently works as a broadcaster and political activist in the UK. In February 2007, Amaechi publicly announced that he is gay and became the first player associated with the NBA to come out of the closet. The son of a Nigerian father, he was raised in England with his two younger sisters by his English mother. Amaechi moved to the US to play high school basketball at St. John's Jesuit High School in Toledo, OH. He began playing college basketball at Vanderbilt but transferred to Penn St. where he was a two-time First Team Academic All-American selection.
In a 2002 interview, Amaechi spoke about gays in the NBA: "If you look at our league, minorities aren't very well represented. There's hardly any Hispanic players, no Asian-Americans, so that there's no openly gay players is no real surprise. It would be like an alien dropping down from space. There'd be fear, then panic: they just wouldn't know how to handle it."
In May 2007, a few months after coming out, Amaechi said he had underestimated America, adding that he had expected the wrath of a nation but it never materialized. He made these statements despite having been the subject of death threats a few months earlier. John's book, chronicling his life and career and coming out is entitled "Man in the Middle". An interview can be found at ESPN.
And just between you and I, Mr. Amaechi, the obsession the our comrade TBC has with redheads pales by comparison to mine with mocha/caramel complexioned men. Big statured men are always on my preferred menu. And the British accent is a very nice touch as well. Throw in some light blue-gray eyes and you could have me!
"Biggest Dick on the Planet Award"- given weekly to the worst person in the world in regards to the GLBT community. So without further ado we present our big dick, who also comes from the sports world and is a former NBA player, Tim Hardaway. Tim comes right out bragging of his bigotry and homophobia.
Well Tim, no self-respecting gay man wants your ignorant, tired, old ass. But I'll let others make up their own mind on that issue...
Well maybe I should take that back! And yes Mr. Hardaway, gay men from coast to coast are now ogling that fine, bubble butt of yours. Get over it!
And now for something completely different-
This week's Edition of Fractured Fairy Tails, like John Amaechi, comes to US from the UK.
(FYI- The United Kingdom's policy is to allow gay men and lesbians to serve openly and discrimination on a sexual orientation basis is forbidden. It is also forbidden for someone to pressure LGBT people to come out. All personnel are subject to the same "no-touching" rules.)
From our Culinary Corner this week we prepare Rainbow Salad.
With a nod to Tex-Mex inspiration, chopped fried tortilla wraps are sprinkled on this crunchy Rainbow Salad. The colors of the veggies are bright and pretty. Make this in a clear glass bowl if you have one so you can show off the layers. Serve with Rainbow Salad Dressing or your favorite salad dressing.
Two small tortilla wraps (or one large one)
Dash chili powder
3 stalks celery, diced
1-1/2 cups matchstick carrots
1 green apple, diced
4 ounces Cheddar or marble cheese, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 or 3 romaine lettuce leaves, shredded
Rainbow Salad Dressing
2/3 cup regular or low-fat sour cream
1/3 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Whisk ingredients together until smooth. Cover and chill up to two days ahead. Makes 1 cup dressing.
Lightly brush both sides of the tortilla wraps with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and chili powder. Place on a hot grill until wraps begin to brown, turning once. Cut into 1/4-inch shreds and 2-inch lengths. These can be made several hours ahead.
In the bottom of a bowl layer celery, carrots, apple, cheese, bell pepper and shredded romaine. Finish by sprinkling the chopped tortillas over the shredded lettuce.
Serve immediately with Rainbow Salad Dressing.
Servings: 6 to 8
I'd add some under-ripe mango cut in strips for more south-of-the-border flavor!
This Week in Science examines the meteorological phenomena of Rainbows and those rarest of natural phenomena "Fire Rainbows" for the science geeks in the crowd.
A standard rainbow is the optical and meteorological phenomenon that causes a spectrum of light to appear in the sky when the sun shines through droplets of water in the earth's atmosphere. They take the form of a multi-colored arc, with red on the outer part of the arch and violet on the inner section. More rarely, a secondary rainbow is seen, which is a second, fainter arc, outside the primary arc, with colors in the opposite order, that is, with violet on the outside and red on the inside.
A circumhorizontal arc, also known as a "fire rainbow", is similar in appearance to a horizontal rainbow, but in contrast caused by the refraction of light through the ice crystals in cirrus clouds. It occurs only when the sun is high in the sky, at least 58° above the horizon, and can only occur in the presences of cirrus clouds. It can thus not be observed at locations north of 55°N or south of 55°S, except occasionally at higher latitudes from mountains. To be visible the sun must be at an elevation of 57.8° or more and if cloud conditions are right it is seen along the horizon on the same side of the sky as the sun. It reaches its maximum intensity at a sun elevation of 67.9°. The phenomenon is quite rare because the ice crystals must be aligned horizontally to refract the high sun. The arc is formed as light rays enter the horizontally-oriented flat hexagonal crystals through a vertical side face and exit through the horizontal bottom face. It is the 90° inclination that produces the well-separated rainbow-like colors and, if the crystal alignment is just right, makes the entire cirrus cloud shine like a flaming rainbow.
This week's rant from Under the Rainbow goes out to our candidate Senator Obama and unequivocally demands: Don't Ask Sam Nunn, the longstanding homophobe, to serve as V.P. or in your cabinet! And Don't Tell us he's changed his stripes on this issue because I don't believe him!
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was the compromise forced on Bill Clinton's presidency by homophobic Senator Sam Nunn who stopped Clinton's plans to end discrimination against homosexual men and women serving in the U.S. military. Now, Senator Nunn is recommending a "review" of the policy he helped fashion fifteen years ago, but he has not indicated whether his own views have changed. It is important for those whispering about putting Nunn in the VP slot on the Obama ticket, or in his cabinet, to realize that many loyal Democrats will not stand for this man who still harbors long standing, institutionalized discriminatory views against gay men and women, particularly in the arena of national security, when we should be applauding any who want to serve this country.
Nunn's affable, bi-partisan and moderate image belies his record of actions against LGBT people. A few memorable moments:
In 1982- Nunn summarily removed two openly gay attorneys from his staff because, as Nunn asserted, they posed a "security risk." Nunn also told them that gay staff members "wouldn't go over in Georgia."
In 1984- Nunn backed Senator John Glenn's bid for the White House, citing the candidate's "courage" in expressing the "strongly held moral belief that homosexuals should not be role models for our children."
In 1993- Don't Ask Don't Tell: Nunn became the leader of the Congressional Democrats to challenge President Clinton's initiative to allow gay men and lesbians to serve in the military.
In 1993- Nunn said he believed the heterosexual lifestyle was "morally superior to the homosexual lifestyle," followed by "American family deterioration as one of the biggest problems we face as a culture."
In 1996- Nunn voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, despite that he had already announced that he was not running for reelection. ENDA did not pass by one vote.
---Other significant votes by Senator Nunn:
-Nunn voted with Jesse Helms to reduce funding for AIDS research and to ban HIV positive immigrants.
-Nunn voted to prohibit federal money for educational materials that portrayed homosexuality as "normal".
-Nunn supported amendments to give Washington, D.C. organizations the right to discriminate against gays and lesbians.
The U.S. military would be a much more cohesive unit if they'd stuff bigots like you Mr. Nunn in a closet and allowed those 12,000 patriotic young men and women to serve their country openly and able to share all the same freedoms enjoyed by their straight compatriots!!!
Let's close out this week's edition with edition with a Pamela Stanley classic "Coming Out of Hiding", which we dedicate to the courageous gay men and women who have served this country honorably, only to have that service thrown back in their face by the likes of ignorant, bigoted homophobes like former Senator Sam Nunn and General Peter Pace. Fuck you both and whatever religious doctrine you rode in on and so blatantly confuse with the Bill of Rights!!!
Please visit Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, (SDNL) for more up-to-the-minute information on the battle to overturn DADT.