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Slammed for Doing Absolutely Nothing, HRC Goes on Tour

Have you heard about this nationwide tour to generate support for repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell that’s being spearheaded by the Human Rights Campaign and Servicemembers United? “Voices of Honor: A Generation Under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is like traveling carnival, except less cotton candy and more discharged soldiers. Also, the goal isn’t to trick you into giving up cash for a chance to land a ring on a milk bottle. So how come this tour is generating suspicion?

According to HRC’s release, the tour will include “former Marine Staff Sgt. Eric Alva, the first U.S. soldier wounded in the Iraq war; Jarrod Chlapowski, a former U.S. Army Korean linguist who opted to not re-enlist because of DADT and is currently a public policy advocate at the Human Rights Campaign; Alex Nicholson, a U.S. Army veteran fluent in Arabic discharged under DADT and current executive director of Servicemembers United; Army Staff Sgt. Genevieve Chase, a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom and Executive Director of American Women Veterans.” (And Queerty crush Rep. Patrick Murphy is involved.)

But it’s just not sitting well with reader AJ, who writes us: “They claim ‘Servicemembers United, the nation’s largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans and their straight allies.’ I thought that was SLDN [Servicemembers Legal Defense Network]? This screams of covering their butt. Supposedly they’re touring several cities, but no dates have been announced yet. If you check out the webpage for Servicemembersunited.org – there’s only one staffer listed. [Ed: Actually, there is zero.] The whole thing smells weird.”

hrclogo

Yes, AJ, you are right. Something does smell weird. We believe it’s called “activism,” which is a foreign scent to those who have been sniffing around HRC for any amount of time. (Also smelling funny, however, is Servicemembers United’s decision to “[sit] out calendar year 2008 because of the extremely contentious presidential primary and general election cycle.”)

What we are seeing here is HRC doing something grassroots-y: running around the country trying to do lots of convincing and score media coverage. But haven’t we been demanding HRC actually, uh, do something with all the money the gays donate? Haven’t we been saying HRC, in cahoots with the White House, has for too long been silent and immobile on legislation that matters?

Indeed, this “Voices of Honor” tour is a nice foil to the current story regarding HRC and DADT: That president Joe Solmonese counseled the White House to punt on DADT to pass ENDA and hate crimes legislation. And the decision to create “Voices of Honor” was, arguably, tied to criticism of HRC.

But call it “covering their butt” or “real activism.” We don’t care. We’re just pleased to see HRC use some of its resources for giving gays a voice rather than buying plush buildings in D.C.

UPDATE: Servicemembers United executive director Alex Nicholson responds:

The insinuations, implications, and sloppy research that went into this posting are all quite shameful. Servicemembers United is a group of young gay veterans who have taken the initiative to stop whining and actually step up the plate and start doing something about the DADT issue themselves in a major way. The organization is not a front for HRC, or for HRC’s DADT work, as is absurdly implied in this post, but rather has been around for 4 years going out into the community (and not just the gay community) and doing such innovative and high-impact projects and initiatves like the 2006 Call To Duty Tour of young gay vets (primarily in not-so-friendly parts of the country) and the 2007 ’12,000 Flags for 12,000 Patritos’ event on the National Mall.

SU has built up a huge following and has made an active effort to actually recruit many more vetearns into the movement to repeal the DADT law, including and especially Iraq and Afghanistan-era gay vetearns and straight allies. So yes, after 4 years of work, SU is now the “largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans and their straight allies.” And no, SLDN is not – they are a legal aid organization that has clients whom they represent from time to time. And there are actually 3 full-time staff members (not zero) at SU now, who all work for FREE (full-time!!!) in a new office that SU just opened up in downtown DC to try to expand their advocacy efforts on behalf of gay vets.

So instead of slamming these hard-working men and women who have already taken a beating by the military simply because they’re gay, you should consider supporting their work. It’s hard enough to try to recruit and inspire gay veterans to get involved in activism. Thanks for making it a little harder.

Here is Alex’s speech at the “Voices of Honor” presser:

FURTHER READING: Michelangelo Signorile’s excellent query into the HRC-White House relationship. “It’s good to see that HRC’s patience is running thin as well. But the damage of accommodation has already been done.”

By:           editor editor
On:           Jul 9, 2009
Tagged: , , , , , , ,

  • 62 Comments
    • wondermann
      wondermann

      No offense…What was this about again? The title and story are 2 different things. And who is A.J.?

      Jul 9, 2009 at 1:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • InExile
      InExile

      With 70 plus percent of Americans supporting repeal of DADT, is this not a waste of money? Wouldn’t the money be better spent on the other issues without such a high level of support such as ENDA, Mathew Sheppard Act,Civil Unions, and repeal of DOMA? Are they trying to reach 100% approval by the voters? The problem is the Congress, Senate, and the President, not the voters.

      Jul 9, 2009 at 1:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      Typical, HRC calls to ask if they can come to the party when the hosts are already cleaning up after the last guest has left.

      Maybe in 5 years they will start pushing for the legalization of gay marriage in some states too.

      Jul 9, 2009 at 1:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BrianZ
      BrianZ

      @wondermann:
      The title and the story are about the same issue: HRC backing grassroots-ish type efforts to work on DADT as an apparent response to highly negative criticism of the LGBT community regarding their lack of action on our issues while feeding deeply at the gAyTM tit.

      3rd paragraph, sentence 1:
      “But it’s just not sitting well with reader AJ, who writes us:”

      All seems clear to me.

      Jul 9, 2009 at 2:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alex Nicholson
      Alex Nicholson

      The insinuations, implications, and sloppy research that went into this posting are all quite shameful. Servicemembers United is a group of young gay veterans who have taken the initiative to stop whining and actually step up the plate and start doing something about the DADT issue themselves in a major way. The organization is not a front for HRC, or for HRC’s DADT work, as is absurdly implied in this post, but rather has been around for 4 years going out into the community (and not just the gay community) and doing such innovative and high-impact projects and initiatves like the 2006 Call To Duty Tour of young gay vets (primarily in not-so-friendly parts of the country) and the 2007 ’12,000 Flags for 12,000 Patritos’ event on the National Mall.

      SU has built up a huge following and has made an active effort to actually recruit many more vetearns into the movement to repeal the DADT law, including and especially Iraq and Afghanistan-era gay vetearns and straight allies. So yes, after 4 years of work, SU is now the “largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans and their straight allies.” And no, SLDN is not – they are a legal aid organization that has clients whom they represent from time to time. And there are actually 3 full-time staff members (not zero) at SU now, who all work for FREE (full-time!!!) in a new office that SU just opened up in downtown DC to try to expand their advocacy efforts on behalf of gay vets.

      So instead of slamming these hard-working men and women who have already taken a beating by the military simply because they’re gay, you should consider supporting their work. It’s hard enough to try to recruit and inspire gay veterans to get involved in activism. Thanks for making it a little harder.

      Jul 9, 2009 at 2:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Cox
      Mr. Cox

      Don’t offend Joe Solmonese! He might throw a black-tie affair and silent auction denouncing you!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

      Jul 9, 2009 at 2:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RADM Alan M. Steinman, USPHS/USCG (Ret)
      RADM Alan M. Steinman, USPHS/USCG (Ret)

      As the most senior military officer to self-identify as gay, I fully support the efforts of Servicemembers United. By traveling the nation (as they did extensively in 2006, particularly in “red state” America) they give the public a view of real, live gay veterans (as opposed to the “bogey-man” image of gays always invoked by our opponents). When people can see and hear for themselves from gay and lesbian soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and Coast Guardsmen, much of the fear and dislike of gay troops melts away. The theme is quite simple: “I am a gay soldier; my buddies knew I was gay and didn’t care; I want to serve my country; what’s the problem?”

      What’s the problem, indeed? I am quite surprised that criticism of these patriotic gay veterans, and their straight veteran allies, is coming from a gay website. I would have expected such thoughts from our right-wing opponents, not from our allies.

      I think an apology from queerty.com is due these veteran men and women who are actively doing something positive to repeal the onerous Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law.

      Jul 9, 2009 at 3:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ousslander
      ousslander

      These dolts just sent me a letter begging for money. I thought about crapping in it and mailing it back

      Jul 9, 2009 at 3:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gomer Pyle
      Gomer Pyle

      The hard on people justifiably have….in many areas….about HRC is becoming a part of the problem not a part of the solution. Signorile is running this in the ground and breaking it off. His screeching, “the damage of accommodation has already been done” is RETARDED in that it implies that the damage can’t be repaired. If so, then what the fuck purpose does his show still have other than a one time post mortem on the gay movement, after which he quits radio and gets a job where he’s not making money off of keeping old shit stirred up?

      Neither he nor Queerty can have it both ways…flame HRC for not DOING anything/enough AND dismiss what they’re DOING now.

      I’m not trying to make them out as perfect because they are far from it. I could list a dozen other things they could be doing, and would support you flaming them for those, but the fact is this is a great thing and NOT just something they came up with this week to distract their critics. They cosponsored the 2007 cross country anti-DADT tour with Nicholson and others…long before criticism of them reached critical mass and long before Obama took office.

      And, please, enough with the glorification of SLDN which “professional journalist” Signorile, and Queerty, have apparently not been paying enough attention to to realize that it has deteriorated into a tired, always several steps behind group, as Jason Knight, a gay vet discharged under DADT, has posted about here multiple times to explain why he, and a number of other SLDN staffers, resigned.

      When neither Tammy Baldwin nor Barney Frank nor even then-DADT repeal bill sponsor Ellen Taushcher bother to attend the March SLDN rally in SUPPORT OF Tauscher’s bill…ya know something is broken.

      And when SLDN’s director OPPOSED Obama freezing discharges of THEIR OWN CLIENTS…ya know something is crazy wrong.

      Where was SLDN in 2006 when Nicholson and others were putting their lives on hold to educate about DADT? Why didn’t they sponsor that tour or the one in 2007? Are you saying Nicholson and Eric Alva and the other gay vets are too stupid to know which group brings the most value to the goal?

      And they’re putting their lives on hold again to fight DADT and you’re shooting at them because your real target is HRC.

      Yes, polls show Americans overwhelmingly supporting the idea of ending DADT but they haven’t been motivated enough to demand their Senators, Congressmen, and President MAKE IT HAPPEN. That’s the goal of the tour, including getting more rank and file nongay active duty military and their families to support repeal, too, while the other side keeps insisting that active duty military are against it, including Joint Chiefs head Mullen who just claimed a few days ago that ending DADT would somehow hurt soldiers’ FAMILIES, too!

      As for the locations, other cities will be added, but so far the list includes:

      Philadelphia, PA;
      Trenton, NJ;
      Virginia Beach, VA;
      Phoenix, AZ;
      Kansas City, MO;
      Orlando, FL;
      Tampa, FL;

      The homohaters and the politicians too cowardly to keep their promises [guess who] LUV it when we attack each other rather than uniting to fight them.

      ENOUGH already!

      Jul 9, 2009 at 3:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve Vossler
      Steve Vossler

      As a straight Army vet and a staff member of Servicemember’s United who is actively working on repealing the DADT issue (thank you very little, AJ, and whoever embarrassed themselves by writing this poorly researched blog post) I am impressed every day by the level of professionalism, intelligence, and political savvy of the people who work at and with Servicemembers United. The organization has a long and clearly independent history from HRC (and SLDN, for that matter) which would be easily identifiable to anybody who is working on the issue and thoroughly follows the news around the DADT issue rather than just radical media.

      There is a common misperception that just because 70% of people in the United States of America believe in an issue that a bill regarding that issue can be brought before Congress, voted on, and passed in no time. That is absolutely not how it works with defense issues. There is a significant amount of politicking that needs to be done and framework needs to be built before ANY defense issue can be brought before congress. Constituents still need to be educated and Congressmen still need to be told that their constituents support their actions. It may not be the most desirable course of action imaginable but it’s the reality of things and neither HRC nor Servicemembers United has any control of that.

      I would implore any of you who have such vehement positions on this issue, to get in contact with an organization that works on the Hill and see if you can work with them from time to time. It would be beneficial to you as citizens and would significantly relieve a lot of stress you’re experiencing by being frustrated because you do not understand what is going on and how hard people are working.

      Jul 9, 2009 at 3:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com
      Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com

      As the friend and executor of the estate of the late Leonard Matlovich, the first servicemember to sacrifice his career to fight the ban thirty-four years ago, I, too, applaud these gay vets and have made a donation to support their unique efforts. As I witnessed repeatedly with Leonard, no one can communicate with a nongay vet or active duty servicemember, or the public at large, about a military issue than someone who has been there. That is why his epitaph, “When I was in the military they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one” still touches so many all these years later.

      When Leonard walked out of his 1975 Langley Air Force Base hearing where his discharge had just been announced and held a Kennedy Bicentennial half dollar up to waiting mesmerized reporters, he told them,

      “It says ’200 Years of Freedom’. Maybe not in my lifetime but we are going to win in the end.”

      Anyone who gives of him or herself to help that finally come true is okay by me.

      [img]http://www.leonardmatlovich.com/images/256_Mat-silver-dollar-_-lawyers.jpg[/img]

      Jul 9, 2009 at 3:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff Carnes, Staff Sergeant, US Army
      Jeff Carnes, Staff Sergeant, US Army

      This blog post is beyond questionable. It only quotes a reader and websites. It is obvious that the author did not call Servicemembers United, HRC, or SLDN in order to get a story. If he or she would have sent some emails or called any of these organizations, there would actually be something that is blog worthy.

      Servicemembers United is composed of veterans–both gay and straight–who are from outside the Beltway and have a much different perspective on the issue. I dealt with DADT for nine years and decided to get out largely because of it. Considering the fact that I am proficient in two dialects of Arabic and Modern Standard Arabic, the Army lost a precious asset when I hung up my boots.

      Gay veterans (like myself) should feel comfortable to speak out on the issue. Poorly-researched blog posts like this one can very well convince those want to speak out that there is no outlet for them. Outreach to those who live outside of gay-friendly areas breaks down barriers and helps facilitate tolerance.

      After all, gay rights activists who want DADT repealed should look to gay and straight veterans who know the issue personally and not criticize them for being supposedly in cahoots with the HRC. Maybe you should go hear Eric, Alex, and Jarrod speak and report about that instead of drawing conclusions from imperfect information.

      Jul 9, 2009 at 3:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RobinNYC
      RobinNYC

      Is this really what it’s come to at Queerty? A self-perpetuating bitchfest of ‘Not Good/Soon Enough!!’? Really?

      There used to be some sharp commentary here, as well as topics of discussion thrown out that allowed a lot of different viewpoints to be heard. Now? I mean…can someone grab the HUGGS and change the baby’s diaper already?

      What a nasty, negative tone this blog has taken.

      To the folks who work at Servicemembers United, I say thank you. From the bottom of my heart. For doing things most of us (and I’m including myself) simply do not have the courage to do.

      Jul 9, 2009 at 3:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • InExile
      InExile

      Looks like Queerty is in hot water!

      Jul 9, 2009 at 4:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe Mustich, Justice of the Peace
      Joe Mustich, Justice of the Peace

      I think we all learned something today.

      Jul 9, 2009 at 4:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RobinNYC
      RobinNYC

      Like obsessing over ‘Gay, Inc.’ can lead to bad decisions like quoting a commenter as if it was actual reporting?

      Jul 9, 2009 at 4:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      Anyone who thinks that blogs do not need to meet any journalistic because they are “just entertainment” should read this thread

      … especially the comments from the lemmings who just accept it at face value.

      Words have dangerous and damaging consequences sometimes, and if you’re not prepared to do the work to back up what you write you should probably not put hands on the keyboard in the first place.

      Best of luck to Servicemembers United with your campaign.

      Jul 9, 2009 at 4:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      ‘scuse me… journalistic standards

      Jul 9, 2009 at 4:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pepe Johnson
      Pepe Johnson

      I’m not here to defend or dissect HRC’s previous actions or inactions, but, this is a dead horse that doesn’t need to be beaten any more.

      The “blogosphere” is unreliable. From what I read, the author and “AJ” were mostly speculating about what may or may not be going on. I can’t see anything in the original post where the author tried to contact Servicemembers United or HRC to do a little investigating. It’s idle chatter and gossip that does nothing for the community. More often than not, posts like this dredge up old gossip in order to have something to write about.

      If author and many others put the same amount of energy into lobbying Congress and HRC (Yes, you can “lobby” organizations) to do something, we’d all be better off.

      Jul 9, 2009 at 4:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Okay, so SU isn’t a front for HRC to save face. But we need to know if it’s true that joey told the admin to pass on DADT for ENDA (creating an aritificial dilemma). Is this anything more than speculation? HRC, of course, denies it–but if it’s true, then HRC attacing itself to SU can easily be viewed as spin.

      Jul 9, 2009 at 4:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • edgyguy1426
      edgyguy1426

      I don’t understand the need to truck this thing around. Whose opinions are they trying to sway? The general public? Already onboard. POTUS? already (we hope) on board. Congress? Pretty much on board. It’s the old guard military they need to bring on board.

      I’d rather see the money (that I used to give every month) go to issues that less than 50% of the rest of the country is with us (on)

      Jul 9, 2009 at 4:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alex
      Alex

      Though Queerty’s “journalism” behind this is certainly questionable, one very valid concern was raised.

      What is HRC’s motivation in all of this? From my perspective it completely seems like this is obviously an attempt by HRC to ‘make nice’ with the gays by latching on, like leeches, to the great job SU is doing. I’d like to know the exact extent of their involvement.

      Secondly, why is SU letting this happen? I’m sure they’re aware of HRC’s failed attempts at black tie galas in exchange for true activism. But on the other hand, SU has been known for getting in bed with…questionable groups (log cabin republicans to name one) so I guess for them the ends justifies the means.

      Finally, on a slightly unrelated note, I find the obnoxiousness pretension of both Queerty and the postings of the SU staff here to be a bit, well, juvenile. The rub? One is “the largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans and their straight allies” and the other is…Queerty.

      Jul 9, 2009 at 5:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mike
      mike

      Respectfully, with a majority of Americans in support of overturning DADT isn’t the frontline of this battle on Capital Hill?
      As of today, there are only 152 co-sponsors of HR 1283 Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2009
      http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-1283 yet there are 255 Dem members of the House of Representatives and 60 Dem Senators.
      For my 2 cents, I think a more meaningful strategy for our veterans would be to visit each Representative or Senator whom have yet to commit to overturning DADT.
      Tell them your powerful stories. Share your lives.
      While at the same time, HRC’s media operation should blanket the Representatives/Senators district with coverage of the meetings including the testimony of the vets and response of the elected Reps.
      Finally, I want to express my gratitude to all of you veterans whom have so honorable served our country and now have the courage to stand tall against this shameful policy.

      Jul 9, 2009 at 5:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe
      Joe

      I think gay veterans have already and are continuing to visit with members of Congress to get them to back HR1283. SLDN has been particularly aggressive in this regard. I don’t see SU’s efforts as an either/or — multiple approaches on all fronts are what is needed.

      I do, however, strongly agree with the comment that DoD is the critical element in this game, particularly the opinions of the Joint Chiefs. If these guys don’t at least say that allowing gays to serve openly is not going to be an insurmountable problem, and that they have the leadership capabilities to manage it (as they are already doing, since there so many gays serving openly now), then no effort at repeal of the law is going to work. The military has to agree with this or we’ll never get the conservative Dems (not to mention the Republicans) to go along with it.

      So on that score, SU’s efforts are helpful. It is not at all clear that the Joint Chiefs even know any gay troops — one would hope they’d at least be aware of SSGT Eric Alva, USMC, as he was the first American injured in the Iraq War. So getting the faces, voices and stories of gay veterans out there is useful – and doubly so for straight veterans speaking out.

      Jul 9, 2009 at 6:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Phil
      Phil

      I love Queerty, but this just ticked me off, so I have to call you out.

      Regardless of your feelings about HRC in the past, its counterproductive to nitpick when they’re doing the right thing. HRC has always been the easiest target within the gay community to fling scorn on because they are the most active organization–lots of activity, so lots of chance to screw it up, and they’ve done so plenty of times in the past. However, its time to call a spade a spade. Hate on HRC all you want for the things they botch–withhold your funds whatever it takes–but don’t steer people in the wrong direction on good things. The Military Readiness Enhancement Act is our bill to lose now that Rep. Patrick Murphy is Lead sponsor. All we need is to get the usual suspects in a tizzy about HRC to get our community to start tripping over our feet all over again.

      You know what I think about Michelangelo Signorile’s claim that HRC is some sort of sleeper cell agent selling us out for… whatever? I think The cynicism is getting the best of us! Michelangelo has done great work in the past, but we all know he can also be a bully, and bullies always get more aggressive when they have an audience! The work that he did with Queer Nation and ACT UP in the 80s and 90s was crucial, and maybe some of them folks in DC deserved to be outed, but when he turns his gun in at the rest of us–the community itself–its time to say “hey dude, chill a bit!”

      If you drive HRC into the ground, then what? What’s your solution once you’ve toppled the great Satan? Why are you now dragging Servicemembers United in as well? Should ANY organization that even gets remotely close to HRC be worried about getting blacklisted? (why even ask, of course so!)

      I don’t think either you nor Michelangelo have anything but good intentions–and trust me, I’ll still read Queerty every day–but you’re so used to the old narrative, you can’t tell a new story.

      You say you smell a rat here? I do too, and its called ‘someone’s gotten a little too jaded.’ HRC is NEVER going to do anything right as far as Queerty is concerned, so why should we even bother reading anything on here with HRC in the headline? Its already biased, and we all know it.

      What the hell DO you support, anyway?

      Jul 9, 2009 at 7:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bertie
      Bertie

      @Cam:

      heh heh good one , Cam

      Jul 9, 2009 at 8:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Webster
      Webster

      Everyone needs to take a deep breath and instead of squabbling amongst ourselves, keep our eyes on the prize. Whether or not Queerty was a little clumsy about this, and whether or not HRC screws up more often than not, this particular thread has been informative and educational–and the point of all of this is, we have to do everything we can in every way, together, to see that DADT is overturned. Hang together people–or we hang separately.

      Jul 9, 2009 at 9:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew
      Andrew

      “And there are actually 3 full-time staff members (not zero) at SU now, who all work for FREE (full-time!!!) in a new office that SU just opened up in downtown DC to try to expand their advocacy efforts on behalf of gay vets.”

      WHO do you think you are KIDDING? 3 People working full-time for FREE. Jesus Christ. How do these people pay their rent? Or eat?

      If you are going to promote your activism, please be honest. There are too many people in the business of taking advantage of the “Gay Story.”

      In Dallas, we have these two-bit con-artists called Queer Liberaction. They are raising money to “demand our rights.” They are now under investigation.

      Jul 9, 2009 at 11:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dean
      Dean

      @Andrew: Yeah, the pretentiousness of it all got to me also.

      http://servicemembersunited.org/?p=1293

      I just read this blog posting on their site (most likely by one of the 3 full-time free worker bees that they don’t employ) and the arrogance that these guys have is mind bottling.

      My mind’s now in a bottle.

      I’m proud these guys are trying to repeal this law, but the air of “I’m a savior” is just too much. If Alex (the creator of this group) had never been discharged under DADT he’d still be just another coward hiding who he is to serve a country that views him as second class.

      I’m sorry but It’s hard for me to respect people who sold their self respect and dignity out to a military that hates them. If you want to work toward a repeal – especially a repeal you wouldn’t be working toward if you didn’t get discharged for not continuing to be a coward – great, but don’t lecture us on courage and pride. You? Seriously? You guys who signed over your courage and pride to play along with this charade?

      Please, stop it.

      Jul 9, 2009 at 11:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com
      Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com

      @Dean: @Andrew:

      Normally, I would hesitate to say this because, per se, one doesn’t have to “earn” the right to have an opinion, but you two have intentionally crossed the line from simply having a different opinion into pointlessly attempting to slime others like two drunken, hysterical bitches.

      1. Where did you get your certificate in mind reading as to presume to know what ANYONE else would or would not do, let alone Nicholson, et al. The Psychic Hotline School of Psychokinesis?

      2. What have YOU DONE in your lives that equals, let alone surpasses, the things these guys have done? Where do you work? What does it do to make the world better? Do even your mamas know you’re gay, let alone the world as these guys have chosen to allow?

      Currently, approximately 700 gays are discharged a year under DADT. Barely 1% fight it privately, let alone publicly, which is definitely their free choice. But Nicholson, et al., have chosen to fight and fight publicly, sacrificing their privacy and putting their nonactivist careers on hold. Nicholson’s partner, Jarrod, who is again part of the tour, was NOT kicked out, he simply chose not to reenlist, but he’s fighting, too, as are some nongay members of the tour…and they’re all heroes.

      I know trying to shame pansy pond scum invertebrates like you won’t change you, but others need to understand what insects you are.

      Done.

      Jul 10, 2009 at 12:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jacob
      Jacob

      @Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com: I can understand your frustration Michael especially with Andrew but Dean and a couple others who have voiced similar opinions here do hold a point. I read about SU and SLDN and all these DADT orgs all the time but I must say I share similar opinions to the ones you’re bashing, at least in regards to the whole courage thing.

      I have never understood how a gay man or woman who loves and accepts themselves can enlist in the military, and I doubt I ever will. I don’t know how fair it is for you to say that because they have done more for this cause that somehow makes the opinion of them being shameful less legit.

      I agree that the tone of a few post here from both sides are out of line but saying someone cannot view these guys as at least one time sellouts just because they aren’t activist isn’t very fair.

      In any case, like someone else here said we all need to work together to repeal this and other anti LGBT laws, despite how we may feel about one another.

      Jul 10, 2009 at 12:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Genevieve Chase
      Genevieve Chase

      I enlisted, despite being in disagreement with the DADT policy, because I believed in and wanted to be a part of, a solution. I wanted to contribute… and as the product of a merging of cultures due to war, I believed that it was in my duty to carry in my heart a hope and dream for other people suffering from oppression in the world… like Afghanistan. I didn’t give up my sexual identity to enlist, but I did make great sacrifices of my own because I believed the objective of the cause was far greater than myself. In the military, we call this selfless service.

      I do not agree still, with the things the military does and there are many things I don’t understand in terms of how people reconcile conflicting ideologies, but I would not discredit any of you for your passion or opinions… even if that opinion brings you to the conclusion that you should not serve in uniform out of principle.

      I would ask however, that before you criticize and judge what you don’t understand (how gay people could serve in the military), you exercise some empathy, a desire for understanding and an open mind…

      It is a bit ironic to me that I ask the same of straight people when discussing discrimination against gays and here I’m compelled to ask a gay person to be more open minded.

      My gay and lesbian friends in the military aren’t what you assume they are… they embody selfless service in ways that far surpass my (and obviously your) understanding. Please don’t diminish for the sake of being rude, that which you don’t understand.

      Jul 10, 2009 at 1:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jacob
      Jacob

      @Genevieve Chase: I’m pretty sure this was either fully or in part directed at me, so I’ll start by saying this: Not once in my comment was I rude, nor did I intend to be, if you took it as such I do apologize.

      Now, since we’re on the subject of irony, I find it ironic that you think those with less glowing opinions about gay service members haven’t taken the time to exercise empathy and understanding, when in my case that couldn’t be further from the truth. My brother is a DADT discharged Navy man and I couldn’t love, understand, and empathize with him more.

      That being said, I still find those of you who know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you’re gay and still enlist, because of “selfless sacrifice” to a country and moreso a military that views you as hated, disguting, vile cretins utterly shameful. You all talk about this “selfless sacriface” but you neglect to mention the other side of that coin; that sacrifice of integrity and respect, not just yours but of all LGBT members. You said you made great sacrifices of your own but what you fail to realize is you also sacrificed all of us, everyday that you continued to live and abide under this legal discrimination.

      But at least you did it for Afghanistan…except maybe their gays, who would also in a very positive way benefit from someone like you being out and proud instead of a weapon for the injustice being used against us.

      I guess my point is, while there are certainly pros for gay people to join the military in current state, the cons greatly outway them, in my eyes at least. When one of us comes out, it advances the acceptance of all of us. Similarly, when one of us shamefully re closets ourselves, it advances the degradation of all of us. It feeds into everything our haters say and makes it reality, and in my opinion, this is a far greater sacrifice than any other.

      Jul 10, 2009 at 2:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      [img]http://www.antiwar.com/comment/0900631b805e1807L.jpg[/img]
      This is HRC’s second stab at doing something real. Not bad for an organization that’s been around for decades.

      Surprisingly HRC sent a delegation to Jena Louisiana a year or two ago to defend the Jena Six, ignoring the rampant racism of a few in the GLBT communities who sided with David Duke, describing the Jena Six as hip hop thugs because they retaliated against racists.

      As the radicalization heats up, particularly among LGBT folks right centrist groups like HRC, Stonewall Democrats and the Log Cabin Republicans will occasionally make a stab at activism so they don’t become totally discredited and so they can try to control the pace of things.

      Basically though, HRC is a front group for the Democrats, the party that’s totally responsible for DADT and other bigoted bills like DOMA. DADT was signed by a bigot named Bill Clinton and Democrats as well as Republicans voted for it overwhelmingly. It’s a key part of Clinton’s legacy of bigotry. The main thrust of DADT is to closet LGBT servicemembers, forcing them to lie, isolating them and opening them up to the kind of murderous violence that took the lives of Barry Winchell and August Provost.

      I agree with the thrust of those in SU and SLDN who to end military bigotry codified in Clinton’s DADT. But I think, as do many GLBT antiwar activists, that we should actively discourage people from our communities and everyone from enlisting in a war of genocide for oil. It kills GIs by the thousands and Iraqi, Afghan and Pakistani civilians in vast numbers. As of today 4777 US and satellite troops have been killed and over 30,000 wounded. Civilian deaths due to the Clinton-Bush-Obama oil war are measured in the hundreds of thousands in Iraq and rapidly climbing, especially among children, in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      Support for enlistment in a genocidal war for oil is treason to the GLBT and antiwar movements and to the GIs and civilians being killed to make Haliburton and Chevron-Texaco richer.

      Jul 10, 2009 at 7:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew
      Andrew

      My comments were directed at HRC and their BS. Gay people waste a lot of money with HRC and we just get little stickers for our cars. They only thing worse than this is giving money to Church – no stickers and we go to Hell.

      Find something else to contribute to. HRC does not have a strategy for anything, they’re just working the system and making a living. If they actually accomplish something, like equal rights, they’d all be out of work. No incentive, no results.

      Jul 10, 2009 at 10:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BeHonest
      BeHonest

      Let’s be real. Servicemembers United has an email list that they count as the largest organization of gay veterans. SLDN is a group of lawyers and is not an organization of veterans.
      Both do good work. Both are politically minded. Both toe the line of “service to country” and pretend gay people serving in the military helps gay people not in the military.

      Repealing DADT will help civilian gays. Serving in the military does not help civilian gays. It is a political game. Let’s just be honest.

      Bill is right, our military does some shady stuff. Gay people can serve trying to make themselves feel like they deserve everything those straights do but in the end you are serving corporate interest that doesn’t give a crap about you- gay or straight. DADT serves as a method to oppress gays. Lifting it will help the overall cause of gay people in the US. There is still racism and sexism in the military and civilian world even though people of color and women are allowed to serve. Gay people serving won’t do much for gay people. Living in a world where we don’t pretend we are helping people via dropping bombs on their heads might actually be something that helps. Maybe Nicholson would be ok with some other country dropping bombs on his house as long as there was a gay translator who could tell him in English why everything he knew was just destroyed. Maybe Chase would be ok with some other country “helping” the US by decimating it with 500 pound bombs as long as those who dropped them “carry in {thier} heart a hope and dream for other people suffering from oppression in the world”.

      Human rights, not just gay rights.

      Before you run your mouth, I am active duty right now.

      Jul 10, 2009 at 10:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cambell
      Cambell

      For what it’s worth, as a straight brother of two gay active duty soldiers, I agree with the both the sentiments of Jacob and Behonest

      A) Gay people sacrificing their dignity to serve a country which views them as lepers is just another example of the gay battered wife syndrome. This is truly sad and both of my brothers personify this.

      B) With the military being as tyrannical and shady as it is, gay people serving won’t do much for gay people in general, however lifting the ban would.

      Jul 10, 2009 at 11:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ben
      Ben

      LGBT folk should get their history “straight” before they call former President Bill Clinton a bigot.

      DODT came into existence because the LGBT community clamored for the Clinton White House to take UNILATERAL action on the issue. Unfortunately for us, no one (including HRC, NGLTF, etc.) did any research to see how congress would respond to this initiative. Unfortunately, we learned a tough lesson. No President, no matter how well intentioned, can pursue a profound policy change, without counting votes on Capitol Hill.

      As just one example amonng many of President Clinton’s commitment to the LGBT community, his White House employed hundreds of out and proud LGBT staff members during his tenure.

      Jul 10, 2009 at 12:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      Ben, like lots of Clinton supporters, is just not telling the truth.

      DADT was just one example of Bill Clintons bigotry. Signing the bill makes him a bigot. Article 1, Section 7 of the US Constitution gives him veto power.

      DOMA is an even clearer example of Bill Clinton’s disgusting bigotry. He championed DOMA from the beginning to get reelected because he lost so much labor support championing NAFTA.(1) All during the 96 campaign Clinton moved further to the right, pandering to christer bigots. Like Obama, opposition to same sex marriage was a centerpiece of Clinton’s 1996 campaign. He needed bigot votes so he championed DOMA.

      As soon as DOMA passed he rushed to sign it and put an ad on southern christer radio stations, like those run by Pat Robertson, which said

      “Protecting religious freedom. It’s the foundation of our nation.

      When the Justice Department went after a church to gather the parishioners’ tithing money, the government was stopped cold because President Clinton overturned the government’s policy and protected us… It’s not the only time he’s defended our values.

      President Clinton wants a complete ban on late term abortions … The President signed the Defense of Marriage Act… President Clinton has fought for our values and America is better for it.

      Paid for by Clinton/Gore 96″

      Clinton became so anti-LGBT that Time Magazine commented

      “By the time Clinton arrived in Chicago for his party’s convention in August, nothing that hinted at liberalism was left hanging on him. When the President, who had begun his term advocating the rights of gays in the military, came around to supporting the Defense of Marriage Act, which barred federal recognition for gay and lesbian unions, Dole was wide-eyed. “Is there anything we’re for that he won’t jump on?” Dole asked. The answer, essentially, was nothing…”

      Ben, do have a citation for your remark that “his White House employed hundreds of out and proud LGBT staff members during his tenure…”? I can only remember a dozen or so and they’re the same tired retreads Obama is hawking now to prove that he’s our “fierce advocate.”

      (1) NAFTA, coincidently, was a bill that favored Wal-Mart, the most anti-union anti-worker corporation in the US. Hillary Clinton sat on the Board of Directors of Wal-Mart malevolently working with them to bust unions and pauperize workers for 5-6 years.

      Jul 10, 2009 at 3:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BrianZ
      BrianZ

      @Bill Perdue: If you wish to be truly accurate in your posting in regards to DADT and Bill Clinton you should include that it was a failed attempt at allowing gays/lesbians to serve that ultimately brought the compromise that is DADT. DADT was, at that time, a step forward from the point where gays and lesbians could be subjected to witch hunts based on rumor and innuendo and given a dishonorable discharge for their trouble.

      So, while I agree with some of your points, I find that your selective use of only the information that supports your personal opinion of Bill Clinton to be a rather juvenile tactic in a post you seem to pride in being based in fact.

      Jul 10, 2009 at 3:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @BrianZ: Clinton supported an initiative allowing GLBT folks to be in the armed forces.

      We should not be in the armed forces that have been used to kill Cubans, Vietnamese, Koreans, Panamanians, Pakistanis, Lebanese, Laotians, Libyans, Afghans, Cambodians, Guatemalans, Hondurans, Grenadians, Haitians and probably close to a million Iraqis. With apologies to countries attacked by the US that I didn’t recall – in my defense there are so many.

      That said, our movement should fight the military brasses harassment of LGBT folks and their creation of a climate that leads to anti-gay violence. The catch is that DADT prevents that. As many have noted, it’s enforced by bigots, isolates GLBT service members, forces them into a dangerous closet and helps fuels an atmosphere that empowers christian thugs, including officer class thugs.

      Clinton, like his clone Obama was a constitutional lawyer. He knew that it was a bigoted law and what it would produce but he signed it anyway. That makes him a bigot. A gutless cowardly bigot if you insist, but a bigot nonetheless. There is no defense for that or DADT, which is not a compromise, but military bigotry codified.

      Jul 10, 2009 at 4:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John B., former US Navy
      John B., former US Navy

      I must say that I am quite surprised that website ostensibly dedicated to furthering civil rights for all LGBT Americans in its articles and commentary would publish on the Net something as sloppy and inaccurate as this. Worse yet are some of the comments posted here by readers. Is Queerty actually a front for Elaine Donnelly’s anti-gay group CMR? One would be hard-pressed not to think so after reading all of this. Calling a gay servicemember a “coward” for serving in the military before DADT is repealed? Or the commentor who backhands his OWN brothers, currently serving honorably, as suffering from “gay battered wife syndrome”? Are you freakin’ kidding me??? These are folks who know NOTHING about military service, which is a helluva lot more than signing one’s name on the dotted line and raising one’s hand for the enlistment oath. You might as well say that those African Americans in uniform prior to President Truman’s 1948 Executive Order mandating desegregation in the military were traitors to their race or some other such nonsense.

      If anyone here is a “coward” or suffering from “gay battered wife syndrome” it is those folks who do nothing more than sit on their asses bitching online at gay vets actually trying to make a difference rather than do any of the hard work themselves. Can YOU do any better? Great! Get off your sorry ass and DO IT!!! Show the world how much better YOU are at this so we can all bask in your so-called “greatness”!

      Constructive criticism of HRC or SU in how they are pursuing repeal is fine, but hatchet-job articles like this or pathetic whining in blog comments do the work of the those anti-gay bigots who would like nothing more than slam the closet door shut on all us forever.

      Jul 10, 2009 at 4:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BrianZ
      BrianZ

      @Bill Perdue: Sorry, I completely disagree with your last paragraph. A gutless coward would have never broached the subject in the first place and a bigot would not have even seen that there was a problem to address.

      I have no love for the gross politics played with our lives, and there is more than enough reason to have disgust for politicians. But resorting to the partial-truth tactics used by them makes one no better than.

      Jul 10, 2009 at 4:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • No Homophobama
      No Homophobama

      HRC represents a group of tired, lame event planning queens who care more about planning the next event and declaring “Nobama” Fabulous than getting off their flabby butts and doing something to promote full equality for the LGBT Community.

      Eff them!

      Jul 10, 2009 at 7:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan
      Alan

      @John B., former US Navy: John, while I personally agree with you, it’s this type of subjective pretension that I have a problem with. I also think gay servicemembers are an asset, but the say the opinion of gay people who take intense pride in being true to themselves and feel like those who sign away that pride to conceal themselves are cowards is wrong is just that, wrong.

      I’m also African-American and your argument is similar to saying black people pre-civil rights who called other blacks self-hating sell outs because they passed for white knowing good and well who and what they are were wrong for feeling that way.

      They were not. Gay people today with similar beliefs, also are not. Whether you and I agree with it or not is fine, but we can’t jump on our high horse just because we don’t agree with a perfectly valid opinion.

      Some people hold pride of self higher than anything else, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

      P.S. your military desegregation analogy is also flawed because 1. the military never asked blacks to hide being black and 2. blacks had their own units where they were surrounded by people who were obviously black just like them. The gays don’t have this and therefore in the eyes of many prideful gay and even straight people, they relinquished an insurmountable amount of dignity/pride by joining the military.

      Jul 10, 2009 at 7:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan
      Alan

      And I should probably proofread before I click things, sigh.

      Jul 10, 2009 at 7:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @BrianZ: Defend Clinton all you want.

      People who sign bigoted laws are bigots. Period. He could have vetoed DADT but he chose to be a coward and capitulated to military bigotry. He deserves no credit for signing a bigoted law or for being a coward. And his later boasting about signing DOMA confirm that without a doubt.

      Most people have no more respect for him than they have for Obama, Bush or McCain. And for the same reasons. They’re bigots who pander to other bigots for votes.

      So respect Clinton all you want. Some people respected LBJ and some even respected Nixon. Your apologia for Clinton is totally in line with that outrageous approach.

      Jul 10, 2009 at 7:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BrianZ
      BrianZ

      @Bill Perdue: Actually, I wasn’t defending Clinton so much as attacking your flaw in presenting the facts as they are, rather than how you would like them to be to perpetuate your notion of history.

      However, take it as you will. I’ve read enough of your posts to know you will anyway.

      “Most people” being defined as who, by whom?

      Politicians, by default, pander. Perhaps you are just catching on, but I’ve understood this for some time now.

      What “outrageous approach” would that be and towards what, since you’ve deigned to actually suggest any in your post?

      Don’t bother to reply, I’m not really interested. I’m just entertaining myself at this point.

      Jul 10, 2009 at 8:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew
      Andrew

      Very Accurate:

      HRC represents a group of tired, lame event planning queens who care more about planning the next event and declaring “Nobama” Fabulous than getting off their flabby butts and doing something to promote full equality for the LGBT Community.

      Jul 11, 2009 at 12:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Phil
      Phil

      What’s hilarious is, I’m guessing that Andrew lives in either New York or LA, has NEVER lobbied on capitol hill, nor has he EVER lobbied his state house… am I right? Please tell me I’m wrong. I SO want to be wrong.

      Was I event planning when I spent a week lobbying capitol hill with HRC in 2005, 2006 and 2007? I had no clue. I wish you had been there to tell me that’s all I was doing. Thank goodness you popped up now! What would I have done without you?!?

      Was that what Candice Gingrich was doing when she was setting up a network of volunteers and workers in HBCU? I had no clue! Well ya’ll suburban white boys probably don’t know what that stands for, do you. I’ll let y’all guess. Oh yeah, you were probably too busy reading Dan Savage’s racist fucking slog. Welcome to the comfort zone! I’m sure you never left!

      Jul 11, 2009 at 3:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @BrianZ: You most certainly were trying to defending Clinton. Your problem is that the facts are all make you look like a partisan boob. That’s why your party line views are so widely rejected in our communities. Even so the only thing you tired old Democrats never seem to tire of is defending bigots like him. And if it’s not Clinton its Obama. You’re as bad as the Log Cabin zombies.

      Entertain yourself all you want, Brian. Meanwhile Clintons cowardly bigoted DADT will continue to set up LGBT service members for harassment, mistreatment, loss of benefits and life in a closet enforced by law and for occasional violence. It’s revolting that Clintonistas are entertained by that and just as revolting that Obots were entertained by ‘gawd’s in the mix or that McCain was endorsed by the Logheads.”

      @Phil: Lobbying by LGBT groups, environmentalists, unions etc. is the one effort virtually guaranteed not to produce results. Sit-ins like the one at the Capitol that resulted in the arrest of 26 activists in the fight against HIV/AIDS that forced Congress to agree to needle exchanges are far more productive, although mass actions without arrests are even better. Because of the sit-in Congress overruled Obama who promised a needle exchange and then, as he always does, reneged on his promise. Show us the results of your lobbying in terms of real federal laws passed that have has a major impact on ending homohating bigotry.

      Politicians in the White House and Congress are far more likely to keep their promises to business lobbyists with briefcases full of unmarked $50 and $100 dollar bills. That’s what real lobbying is all about. That’s why Congress lined up to give AIG a few hundred million in welfare for the looter class, why Obama stifled criticism when they used that money to give enormous bonuses to execs and why AIG has the guts to say they want another round of gigantic bonuses.

      Your tea and crumpets get togethers with barely disguised homohaters in Congress go like this. You present. They hem and haw. You leave. As soon as the door is closed they mutter faggot, smirk and wander down to vote for DOMA or DADT or to gut ENDA. It’s an exercise in futility on you part and in lying and practicing their smiles for them. And an enormous waste of donated funds.

      People who engage in lobbying are all misguided and misled. And not a few, particularly in and around HRC are careerists, hoping to grease the wheels of their careers in the law, politics or as movement hustlers. You know the type; Democratic Party loyalists, movement hustlers and lobbyists who led No on 8 to an unnecessary and unexpected defeat.
      [img]http://politicalgraffiti.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/lobbyist_change.jpg[/img]

      Jul 11, 2009 at 6:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew
      Andrew

      @Phil: THAT is the POINT Phil – All your “lobbying” has been a waste of time and money. Two-thirds of the US population -gay. It is because they believe GAY is WRONG. HRC has done nothing to change that idea.

      The whole idea that GAY is still anti-gay and 80% of the elected officials are anti-gay. The whole idea that GAY is WRONG came from religion 2,000 years ago. Not from science or art or anywhere else – just religion. Religion has made us wrong for 2,000 years.

      People with strong religious beliefs inherited them before they could think – they are etched into their minds. These are the BELIEFS that make gay WRONG. What has HRC done to fight these beliefs? You cannot get a politician to change his mind and then “burn in Hell.” Or at least you can’t get very many. It seems like only 7 politicians have changed their votes in the last 5 years. Their votes, not their minds.

      How much did those 7 votes cost Phil? $2-3 million each? That’s my math. HRC has a lot of gay money, but doesn’t use it wisely. They have become part of the Washington DC “cause-pimps,” claiming success, but with nothing to show.

      So, do not say that HRC has a successful record. We are no closer to obtaining equal rights. I’ve been to several Black-tie Dinners – they’re fun and they do help the community. But, like everything else that the HRC does – they don’t change any of the beliefs about homosexuals. Doing that would require a strategy and maybe even some balls.

      Religion made homosexuals wrong – that’s the enemy. When will the HRC get started?

      Jul 11, 2009 at 10:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew
      Andrew

      @Phil: FIRST TWO PARAGRAPHS EDITED:

      THAT is the POINT Phil – All your “lobbying” has been a waste of time and money. Two-thirds of the US population believe gay is wrong, evil and deviant. 80% of elected officials believe the same thing. HRC has done nothing to change those beliefs.

      The whole idea that GAY is WRONG came from religion 2,000 years ago. Not from science or art or anywhere else – just religion. Religion has made us wrong for 2,000 years. What has HRC done to change that? Lobby?

      Jul 11, 2009 at 10:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Genevieve Chase
      Genevieve Chase

      @Jacob – If the shoe fits…

      Rather than engage you in several of these such comments, I’d rather spend what energy I have debating this topic, on advocating the repeal of DADT.

      I’ve met far too many people with such strong opinions on various issues and if I spent so much time on each of you, I’d never get anything else accomplished.

      So forgive me if this is my last response to you.

      I’ll be working to change the culture of the military I love, from the inside out. You can’t force change, without too much resistance. Anyone who’s ever served, understands that. And if every single gay didn’t join the military, nothing would have ever changed because we wouldn’t be having this argument. There would be no need for DADT and certainly no need to repeal it. In fact, everyone would be happy except those gays who might have wanted to serve.

      In your perfect world, gays wouldn’t want to join the military and wouldn’t and straight people who were homophobic would have no issues.

      Change has to come from within, from people who can better influence, in order for it to be initiated, sustainable and lasting…

      Jul 11, 2009 at 10:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cambell
      Cambell

      @Genevieve Chase: You’re saying the only way to for a group of people to change discrimination is from the inside out, especially and even when the inside finds you immoral? You do know this is pretty much the antithesis of every major movement in history?

      Yes while many civil right struggles were helped along by way of infiltration the vast majority were changed from outside pressure, experience, lobbying and respectfully showing that the suspect group in question was just as valuable as everyone else. This mainly had to happen because the inside was so hostile, the allies that you have to gain are the movable middle, not the people that are going to find you less than no matter what.

      You want to justify your decisions that some view as questionable and shine that arrogance and false sense of entitlement all over this blog, that’s fine. But let’s keep logic and reasoning as our friends, ‘kay?

      Jul 11, 2009 at 11:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe
      Joe

      What those who call patriotic gay Americans “cowards” for not being out in the military fail to realize is that there are tens of thousands of openly gay men and women serving right now in the military. The 2006 Zogby International poll of Iraq/Afghanistan veterans revealed that 68% of them either knew for certain or suspected THERE WERE GAYS IN THEIR OWN UNIT. Of most of them said there were more than one. That’s a hell of a lot of openly gay troops. And the idea that someone who is putting his/her life on the line in combat is a coward is an insult to every gay American who is or ever has put on the uniform in service to their country.

      Furthermore, those who deride gay Americans for wanting to serve their country seem to be forgetting that along with the gay community’s demands for equality in our country comes the requirement to contribute to the country as well. Straight Americans surely cannot take our cries for equal rights seriously if some of us, at least, aren’t willing to stand up and serve in the defense of our nation as well.

      Jul 12, 2009 at 11:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @mike: You assume that just because someone is a Democrat that they can get on board with this. The truth is, that many of those Democrats are elected from “Republican districts”. A lot of them can’t take the hit that co-sponsoring a “gay agenda” amendment would give to them. Just because the popular vote would be to change DADT doesn’t mean that that is what will happen politically. Hell, the popular vote was to elect Al Gore.

      Jul 12, 2009 at 11:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @Andrew: People do work for free when it comes to volunteer efforts. Maybe their boyfriend is supporting them. Maybe (shock and awe) their family is supporting them. Maybe they were able to get a medical discharge from the military and the pension that comes along with it. Hell, maybe they work full time for the organization and still hold a full time job on the side.

      I know quite a few people that have worked and do work full time for good causes for free. However, there is a flip side where they say they work for free because they aren’t given an actual salary, but they are given a stiffen and their room and board is paid for by the organization.

      Jul 12, 2009 at 12:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jacob
      Jacob

      @Genevieve Chase: You say “if every single gay didn’t join the military, nothing would have ever changed because we wouldn’t be having this argument. There would be no need for DADT and certainly no need to repeal it. In fact, everyone would be happy except those gays who might have wanted to serve.”

      Right. Because in order for one to point out a discriminatory problem one must engage in the problematic activity? So you’re telling me that if the 65,000 ish gay soldiers were instead activist fighting toward the repeal of DADT so that once it was abolished they could serve proud and pridefully, we wouldn’t be having this argument? You can’t really be this naive.

      If this were true, gay marriage would never have been an issue because we’ve never been able to get married. While I’m sure this type of circular logic helps you sleep at night — you know for all your selfless sacrifice to a country that views you as a fraction of a self — but that’s probably where its buck stops.

      @Joe, they’re not serving openly. They’re at most open to a handful of close friends in their unit. They’re still willingly shamed into the closet, unable to be exactly who they are with dignity. For people who place self respect over everything else, you’re either pridefully out or you’re not, there’s no half stepping. And this is pretty much the source of the hypocrisy I keep seeing; it’s alright for those of you who place “selfless service” above all, but for those who place dignity and self respect on the same pedestal, suddenly we become blasphemous anti gay enemies. That high horse must be nice, huh?

      Jul 12, 2009 at 12:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com: So, although I respect your cause and your opinion, you think attacking people with a valid opinion is a way to deal with your problem with them? I can totally see their point. They are upset that someone that would sell out their identity as a gay man to “serve their country” would then try to take the moral high ground on the issue. I don’t agree with them, but I respect that view.

      Lets be honest, this tour is going to do nothing more than preach to the choir. The people that disagree with the issue aren’t going to suddenly show up at the rally other than if they choose to protest it. Those that already agree are not suddenly going to become gay rights activists. The truth is, the popular vote can support whatever it wants, but as long as we don’t value the popular vote in any election in this country it doesn’t matter. There are certain areas in this country where the district that voted Democratic did so with the expectation that if the person they voted for voted for gay rights issues they either do it quietly or not get their vote the next term.

      I live in a district where if the HRC started spewing out a hornets nest of equality it would draw attention to the vote when it was actually made by my Representative. That much attention would cause him to be much more likely to go with a vote that caused him to get re-elected to another term. That vote would most likely be conservative because the area is conservative. However, when no one is looking at him directly for his vote it can be glossed over and people see the positive stuff he does in other areas and don’t really check his stance on gay issues and end up voting him back in a conservative district although he supports gay rights.

      Jul 12, 2009 at 12:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @Joe: Just because I expect someone to be gay doesn’t mean that they are. So, I don’t see how this can be listed as relative data. Even if they “know for certain” you have no real evidence of why they claimed this. It could be for various different reasons. Yet again, not very reliable data. The majority of polls are not reliable, that is why it takes more than one poll to make an actual hypothesis of the data.

      Jul 12, 2009 at 12:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cambell
      Cambell

      @Joe: “Straight Americans surely cannot take our cries for equal rights seriously if some of us, at least, aren’t willing to stand up and serve in the defense of our nation as well.”

      No one is saying gay people shouldn’t want to serve, some are just arguing that they shouldn’t serve if the price is their soul. I’ve had this argument with my brothers several times, and like I said to them, there are many civilian jobs that will allow them to serve this nation and be exactly who they are simultaneously. I speak from experience, being a firefighter with a gay man (my best friend) on my squad. The two should never be mutually exclusive and when they become such, the choice should be simple.

      Jul 12, 2009 at 1:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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