Why Is GetEQUAL Willing to Leave Military Leaders Alone, But Not President Obama?

GetEQUAL’s leaders and supporters publicly heckled President Barack Obama over Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in April and May. But given the opportunity to lay into another public figure for some press in the month of June, co-head Robin McGehee opted out. How come?

Because it was Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen. While Mullen has been a public supporter of repealing DADT, he’s also a big backer of the 10-month Pentagon review. Except when McGehee attended Mullen’s speech at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, she purposefully didn’t lead a round of heckling from the audience.

“Admiral Mullen is one of the highest military officials who’s spoken in favor of repeal, so we want to act respectfully,” McGehee tells LA Weekly. After the Q&A with Mullen concluded, McGehee went up to Mullen and thanked him for supporting a repeal, and specifically mentioned its his position on repeal as to why GetEQUAL didn’t organize a public hazing.

Which is sort of a silly notion, because Mullen has the same position as Obama, who GetEQUAL does heckle, on DADT: It should be repealed, but let the Pentagon finish its study first, and Congress is stupid for trying to legislatively repeal the law before that study concludes.

The only difference is that Obama is an elected official, while Mullen is appointed. By the president.

Video from the event:

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  • Nelson G

    Robin McGeehee agreed to appearing at a town hall style meeting, so hopefully, this will be one of numerous questions asked, especially since everyone seems to be in agreement that all their actions seem misapplied.

  • AndrewW

    Maybe they’re finally thinking before acting.

    GetEQUAL has Summer Camp next week and they will be preparing their strategy, organizational structure and plan. We should be able to review it by next weekend.

  • christopher di spirito

    The only difference is that Obama is an elected official, while Mullen is appointed.

    Mullen doesn’t make law; he just follows it.

    Obama pledged to repeal DADT and as president, he can demand Congress to send him a bill to sign that repeals DADT.

    Very different.

  • AndrewW

    @christopher di spirito: Obama promised to “work with Congress to repeal DADT.” It appears he is doing exactly that.

  • MAWM

    Obama is Mullen’s boss and his commander in chief. Mullen doesn’t breathe unless his commander tells him to. so who does it make more sense to go after?

  • tjr101

    A better question would be why they’re not heckling the members of congress (the senate) who are against repeal of DADT? They’re elected officials too.

  • @ Get Equal 'Why the h8 on Obamz but not the Repubs who ALWAYS vote against you? (John from England)


    Well said but those witches @MAWM , @christopher di sporito would go ISANE!

  • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com

    If some of you will get off of the special yellow bus for a sec, I’ll explain it to you.

    Gates, Mullen, Conway, Casey, et al., all REPORT TO Obama. Remember that “Commander-in-Chief” thingy? ‘ceptin, as a Thank You for Repug Gates agreeing to stay on [even tho SLDN politely begged Barry to appoint someone else], our self-annointed “Fierce Advocate” gift-wrapped his balls and gave them to Little Caesar, er, Gates.

    “The buck stops here.”

    “The fish rots from the top down.”

    Pick your expression–it all comes down to the fact that, per Nancy Pelosi and gays in the amendment meetings at the White House, it was OBAMA [at Gates’ insistence] who:

    1. GUTTED any GUARANTEE of an end to discharges from the amendment;
    2. GUTTED the explicit ban on discrimination against gays in the military from the amendment;
    3. GUTTED permission for those already discharged to reenlist from the amendment;
    4. Made the DOD a virtual fourth branch of government;


    5. EMPOWERED Gates to come up with and spend millions of taxpayer dollars on a phony “study” built entirely around the PREMISE that allowing out gays to serve would hurt the military and intended to stall ending discharges, and still with the potential of its “findings” being used to continue the ban permanently;
    6. REFUSED to use the legal power Congress gave him to unilaterally stop discharges which he’s said himself “weaken national security”
    7. Instead has DISCHARGED over 600 gays since being sworn, and is still discharging them, according to SLDN, under the “old rules” contrary to new ones released March 25th;
    8. REFUSED to order Gates to follow the YEAR & A HALF OLD 9th Circuit Court Witt decision banning any discharges within its multi-state jurisdiction when the military has not proven that the INDIVIDUAL damages unit cohesion. Gates finally promised on Feb. 2nd to announce such policies by mid-March but still hasn’t.
    9. DEFENDED DADT in court more than half a dozen times with the same homophobic language used to pass it in 1993;
    10. CLAIMED DADT has been ruled constitutional by Supreme Court when it never has.

    Now, get back on the bus and Just Say NO to any more Kool Aid.


  • jimstoic

    Mullen never asked us to vote for him. As an appointee of Obama, our complaints about him should go through Obama.

  • AndrewW

    @Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com: I haven’t had any Kool-Aid, but I wanted to ask you a few questions because you’ve spent a lot of time working on DADT Repeal.

    Compromise # 1: Pragmatic Obama polls the Congress and determines he doesn’t have enough votes to repeal DADT, but probably would if the Military would drop their objections. Military says they couldn’t without a “study.” They agree to a “study” to provide “cover” for Military AND Conservative Democrats. This first compromise would also push Repeal past the mid-terms, but would signal “progress.” Very pragmatic.

    Compromise # 2: Not really a compromise at all. Attempts to get enough votes in the Congress before the mid-terms AND before the “study” is completed, but doesn’t guarantee Repeal. Gay Inc. and the White House get to suggest they’ve “made a deal” and “have been working hard” and similar bullshit. This supposed second “compromise” is really just a charade. Something to allow them to solicit donations.

    Questions: Have we given the Republicans a perfect Filibuster opportunity? Can’t they now suggest that they cannot go along with the idea of “voting first and then studying the issue,” or “vote first and then ask the members of the Military their opinion?” Did Obama first, and then Gay Inc. give the Republicans a big gift? Did they actually guarantee there would be no DADT Repeal before the mid-terms, while at the same time trying to create an appearance of being “fierce advocates”?

    It has cart-before-the-horse all over it without even mentioning “homosexuals” and a very easy sell to already disgruntled voters. I believe they have already confirmed 41 votes in support of filibuster. It may already be dead.

  • Luxury

    @christopher di spirito:

    The President can “demand” all he wants but a bill still has to pass the House and the Senate.

    The President is not a dictator. Congress plays just as big of a role (and sometimes a bigger role) in law making. It’s very easy for Congress to not pass anything and not get anything done becase when the shit hits the fan, all the blame is aimed at the President. I guarantee that if we held them to the same standard things would actually get done and get done much quicker. The question is will we or will we keep putting 100% of the blame on Obama and accuse him of being a Homophobe and a liar??

  • Brutus

    Whoa, Queerty just said something entirely reasonable about GetEQUAL.

    I’m in shock.

  • whatever

    I’m curious. Has GetEqual ever heckled any Republican lawmaker? Do they even plan to?

    Things that make you go hmmmmm.

  • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com


    “The President is not a dictator.”???

    Not EVEN a cigar!

    1. He doesn’t have to be because Congress gave the Presidency power in 1983 to ALL BY HIM/HERSELF ignore ANY law to stop ANY discharges he feels are in the interest of national security. As noted above, Obama has himself said, [June 29th of last year to be exact] that discharges under DADT, as noted above, had you bothered to open your mind, “weaken national security.”

    2. He doesn’t have to be a dictator but he can be a “horse trader.” He secured votes for his health care bill by promising this and that.

    3. But he was a dictator, Blanche, he was…again, had you bothered to read above. He ***DICTATED to pro repeal members of Congress that they tear up the existing bill….which WOULD have set a deadline for ending discharges; which WOULD have mandate a gay nondiscrimination policy in the military; which WOULD have allowed those previously discharged to reenlist….and replace it with one with NO teeth. The law DADT MIGHT be repealed and the military would STILL have total power to revert to their own internal pre-DADT discharge policy which resulted in over 100,000 being discharged between WWII and 1993.

    ***”Pelosi said the House weakened its repeal language to mollify the White House.” – Huffington Post, June 3, 2010.

  • Luxury

    @Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com:


    1. one holding complete AUTOCRATIC control

    The President of The United States is NOT a dictator…

  • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com


    Pull your head out of your ass, you cretin! AGAIN, that 1983 “stop loss” law GIVES him “autocratic” control over discharges.


  • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com


    Re your compromise scenarios, it would be simpler for me to simply say what I believe happened.

    After being unequivocal during the early primaries in his support for an outright and quick end to discharges that he would PERSONALLY start fighting for shortly after he took office [see his detailed 2007 statement at: http://leonardmatlovich.com/barackobamaspromise.html%5D, for reasons yet to be revealed, he began backpedaling as early as July 2008, implying in an interview with “Defense News” that he has “to earn the trust of the men and women in uniform” before trying to repeal DADT. He continued to hedge that way in subsequent interviews, and I seem to have been just about the only one who saw them as red flags.

    Why did he backtrack? I think it was a combination of realizing that the only way he was going to smooth Gates cooperation on other things important to him such as cutting the defense budget and limiting the build-up in Aghanistan more than the Pentagon would like was to trade something…and that something was ending DADT anytime soon, and the risk-averse and allegedly homophobic Rahm Emanuel [now his Chief of Staff] telling him that was a good idea.

    Daniel Ellsberg, expert on counter insurgency warfare and of Nixon-era “Pentagon Papers” fame, said in a interview several months ago that he thought the reason Obama did agree to escalate in Afghanistan [tho with less troops than the Pentagon wanted] was because he feared a “public revolt” from the military.

    In 1992 and 93, then Chair of the Joint Chiefs Colin Powell, an Iraq War “hero” with a public approval rating 10 points higher than Clinton’s, led a virtual public revolt of Clinton’s plan to lift the ban. More than any of the other factors, it was what killed it. I think Obama feared a public revolt from Gates, et al., if he kept his original promise.

    Thus, a February 1, 2009, “Boston Globe” article quotes unnamed Pentagon sources that Obama has agreed to give the time military all the time they want to delay ending discharges, including creating a new “study” which is announced by Gates exactly a year and a day later.

    I believe that such timing, with the “study” not to be completed until not just midterms were over, but repeal’s best vehicle, the DEFAUTH process, too, was the result of a plan by the White House and Pentagon to kill any realistic chance of repeal by running out the clock. If discharges were to continue while it was going on, as they are, there was no logical reason for it not to have been announced in February A YEAR AGO, meaning, by now, it would have been over, Congress could have repealed the ban, and discharges stopped by now.

    Not only did they trigger that study/delay repeal time bomb [which Gay Inc., I believe, COULD have stopped had they adequately protested from Day 1 but instead they naively rolled over], but after saying in his January State of the Union, “THIS YEAR I will work with Congress to repeal DADT,” he went AWOL, ignoring pleas from leading Dems to “lead” on the subject as he had promised he would do all the way back in 2007 but never did throughout all of 2009, and not in 2010 until the end of last month.

    TALKING POINTS MEMO, May 26, 2010:

    “The final push came from the Hill, where key members of Congress who support repeal, like Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), the powerful chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, made it clear that they were moving forward with repeal legislation with or without the White House’s blessing.

    ‘Levin and others made it clear that the train was leaving the station and the White House not only was not conducting but they weren’t even on board’, Alex Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United, an advocacy group for gays in the military, said in an interview with TPMDC. ‘They were backed into a corner and it was blatantly obvious so they finally decided to get on board’.”

    But then, I believe at the hardball insistence of Gates, Obama turned the tables and, as noted, forced repeal advocates to gut all guarantees that DISCHARGES would end even IF the DADT statute itself was repealed.

    Our allies in Congress and Gay, Inc., felt something was better than nothing and that the CHANCE of erasing the statute was the first step necessary to ending discharges. Only time will tell if they were right to trust the White House and Pentagon.

    COULD happen, but I believe that, after surviving any Repug attempt to stop statutory repeal [WHICH I believe ObamaGates would be thankful for], I believe the Pentagon, with the full blessing of Obama, will announce sometime after December 1 a sort of “DADT Lite,” in which a few out gays are allowed to serve in narrow circumstances. I believe there is an almost equal chance that Gates will announce that the “study” revealed that they just can’t stop discharges yet, can’t allow any kind of out service, but will continue monitoring the situation and get back to us.

    The third option is that they’ll say they will stop discharges eventually after an “implementation period.” Gates said on February 2nd they would want “at least a year.”

    Place your bets, but do NOT bet on the myth that Obama is not the one who allowed it all to be turned upside down.

  • Luxury

    @Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com:

    Irrationality and immaturity seem to be the two things you and the people who don’t want to repeal DADT have in common..

    have a good one :)

  • jeffree

    The gratuitous name-calling weakens the credibility of anything you say. Grow up!

  • jeffree

    @Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com: It’s more smarter [!] to be so good at insulting people that they don’t realise they just got OWNED. It’s an art.

    By the way, I support what you say about 95% of the time, so please consider my prior comment in that light.

    We’ve seen a great deal of uncivil behavior here on Queerty the past few days. I hate to see it ruin an otherwise valuable forum for the exchange of information and ideas.

    I admire your knowlege and passion. Don’t let anger cloud your judgement. Anger is bad for the heart and restricts bloodflow to the brain and at least one other body part that Queerty will censor me for if I mention it!

  • Bill Perdue

    @whatever: wonders, “I’m curious. Has GetEqual ever heckled any Republican lawmaker? Do they even plan to? Things that make you go hmmmmm.”

    1 – GetEqual has been in existence for three, maybe four months. How many Republicans have held office in that time?

    I can only think of one. He’s a Republican who pretends to be a liberal and who opposes the LGBT agenda on a regular basis. His name is Obama.

    His only saving grace is that he hasn’t done something like Clinton’s DADT and DOMA or Bushes 40 odd state DOMAs. Then again, he’s only been in office for a little over two years. Give him time.

    A Republican is a rancid right centrist with a theocrat attached at the hip. A Democrat is a Republican in drag.

    With Democrats like this who needs Republicans?

    The looter rich much prefer working with Democrats like Obama and the Clintons – they’re greedier, they fool more people and they’re able to get away with a lot more than Republicans.

    Don’t be a victim of Obama’s wars to make the world safe for BP and Hailburton.

    Don’t enlist. Don’t fight. Don’t Translate.

  • anthonyr07

    Um…here’s the thing. The military doesn’t MAKE (or repeal) law, Congress does. Adm. Mike Mullen and the military have absolutely NO power to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. The only action military leaders can take is to support the repeal publicly (and most do).

    The repeal was already passed in the House, if you want to shout…then shout at the Senate. Not Obama, and not the military…the fucking Senate.

    Someone please inform GetEQUAL that we have three separate branches of government and they are yelling at the wrong one.

  • Bill Perdue

    @anthonyr07: Unfortunately, it’s not a repeal bill.

    It could lead to repeal or away from repeal but it’s not a repeal bill.

    The repeal would be allowed 60 days after a Pentagon report is completed on the ramifications of allowing openly gay service members, and military leaders certify that it would not be disruptive. The report is due by Dec. 1.

  • whatever

    @Bill Perdue: “GetEqual has been in existence for three, maybe four months. How many Republicans have held office in that time?”

    ??? There are over 200 federal republican lawmakers who are currently holding office–41 R senators and 177 or so representatives. These are lawmakers actually voting on the repeal.

    Seriously, are you f*cking stupid?

  • Bill Perdue

    @whatever: Sorry, whatever. Next time I’ll use big BLOCK letters and spell it our for you.

    You were lamely trying to defend Obama the only Republican President currently in office.

  • DR

    I would have loved to see him get put on the spot as he is a huge proponent of the delay. EVERY official who favors the delay needs to be called to the carpet, elected or not.

  • Scott Ny'er

    Why Is GetEQUAL Willing to Leave Military Leaders Alone, But Not President Obama?

    Ahhhh, because irritating their Boss didn’t work. I thought GetEQUAL was finished. Or do we need a “lunatic fringe” to keep us entertained?

  • Young Activist

    I agree that GetEqual should be heckling Republicans and religious people. They should sit in their offices and maybe handcuff themselves to their cars or homes. They should protest in front of Chruches until people stop attending.

    We won’t get anything until we get mad and then get people mad at us. That’s the secret formula. Anger is the answer. GetEqual has figured that our.

    We should support GetEqual by buying a t-shirt or getting mad. Until we are mad enough we’re just going to continue to be denied our rights to be free. I hope they start trainging seesions around the US so we can learn how to be angry better. I also want to learn some of those chants like “I am somebody, watch me roar, I am somebody, I won’t take anymore.”

  • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com

    Here’s the Translation Guide for anyone new to the game above:

    It is NOT “anger” or “lunatic fringe” actions that certain people above are themselves are opposed to…it’s the focus: Their Lord & Savior Obama Christ.

    This month, across the country and around the world, there are a variety of events, from huge parades to simple picnics, in which, collectively, probably over a million people will celebrate what? The Stonewall RIOTS.


    The then existing lead gay org in New York City at the time, Mattachine, was APPALLED, as were many gay “leaders” at the time. Even the left wing “Village Voice” called them “fag follies.” At their next meeting, a member of Mattachine NY suggested an “amicable and sweet” candlelight vigil demonstration, to which someone in the audience shouted, “Sweet! Bullshit! That’s the role society has been forcing these queens to play.”

    ACT UP’s demonstrations against the indifference of society, religion, and the government to rapidly mounting AIDS deaths IN St. Patrick’s Cathedral, shutting down streets and businesses with “die ins” outraged not just their targets but many gays.

    And there were people, even some of color, who condemned Rosa Parks for rocking the Jim Crow boat. And Martin Luther King, Jr., was, of course, widely attacked by much of white society AND many of his own people for his “anger,” for the “lunacy” of leading people, including children, into situations where they would not only get arrested but in which police could club them to the ground and attack them with police dogs and water hoses powerful enough to knock them down.

    So spare me the dishonest self-righteousness. This is not to say that everything GetEqual and Queer Rising, et al., are doing or not doing is wise …. even as they pale in contrast with the now celebrated and memorialized actions of Stonewall, ACT UP, and the modern black civil rights movement, but AT LEAST have the HONESTY to admit what the burr under your saddles ACTUALLY is.

    AND to actually read about the evolution of this “maybe repeal/not necessarily an end to discharges” compromise and the OBSTRUCTIONIST role Obama has played for the last year and a half.

    As the saying goes, you’re entitled to your own opinion but not to your own reality.

  • whatever

    @Young Activist: Follow the money. I think they are a Republican-funded ratf*cking organization.

    Not one word of criticism against ANY Republican lawmaker, but they shout down, heckle, and berate Speaker Pelosi at every turn, who is arguably the most powerful and pro-gay lawmaker in the history of the U.S. They treat her like she is rotting, re-animated corpses of Jesse Helms and Jerry Falwell.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Young Activist: “I agree that GetEqual should be heckling Republicans and religious people.

    Do it little obot, nobodies stopping you. But it’s a waste of time.

    Most of us will focus our attention on the party in power, the Democrats, who gutted ENDA in 2007 and delayed it indefinitely in 2010, who consistently defend DADT and DOMA using the vile langurage of swine like Rick Warren and the vatican.

    Democrats are our enemies and the party in power: Republicans and religious cults are just their cheerleaders. When a high school (in honor of ‘Young Activists’ sophmoric approach) ignores the other team and tackles the cheerleaders people begin to think they’r daft.

    On.ly an obot could be so studpid.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Bill Perdue:
    only an Obot could be so stupid.

  • Bill Perdue

    @whatever: What money?

  • RageAgainstTheMachines

    Bill Perdue is right – we need to confront and humiliate anyone that disgarres with us or gets in our way. Rage is what we are missing. Unbridled, angry, in your faces RAGE.

    We wouldn’t have to argue if we just protested everyone until they give up. So stop acting like girls and get angry like Bill. He knows what GetEquality knows – we are too passive to deserve equality, we need to yell and scream and fight our way to equality. Unions will join us. Blacks will join us. We should be inviting all the other mad groups to join us. Right now environmentalists are uspet at BP, we should go and join them and bring our Rainbow flags.

    We should be the Coalition Of Angry People. It will work.

  • whatever

    And where was GetEqual during 2001-2009? They could have demanded!(TM) all through those years, but were silent.

    Things that make go hmmmmmm.

  • whatever

    @RageAgainstTheMachines: How about the teabaggers? They are the angriest of all and they don’t even know why…

  • Bill Perdue

    @whatever: What money?

    Do you mean the millions spent by Obama’s bbf Rick Warren in Africa ecnouraging the mass murder of GLBT folks?

    Or do you mean the personal fortune of a member in good standing of the looter class, Nancy Pelosi, who, according to OpenSecrets.org, is the 9th richest member of the House.

    “And where was GetEqual during 2001-2009?” GetEQUAL was founded in 2010. But keep humming. It’s very entertaining. And really, it’s about all you Obama supporters can do.

  • Bill Perdue

    @RageAgainstTheMachines: We don’t have to humiliate Obama or the Democrats and their Republican cheerleaders.

    They do it all by themselves.

    Obama blundered in the Gulf, allowing BP and Haliburton to turn it into a cesspool and a graveyard of whole species. It’s his Katrina.

    Obama’s hamfisted support for TARP and giveing money to the looter class while busting unions and cutting socials services brands him as a lap dog of the looter class. Whatever and all Obama supporters, even those who pretends to be leftist supports that by supporting Obama.

    Obama is repeating the LBJ/Nixon Vietnam mistakes in Afghanistan and more GIs and civilians will be murdered until the US is defeated there. Whatever, who pretends to be against war supports war by supporting Obama.

    All in all, Obama is a blundering failure. We don’t need to embarass him but we should do all we can to point out what a total failure he is.

    We don’t have to be angry, we just have to organize mass protests.

  • whatever

    @Bill Perdue: So the issue of gays in the military only became an issue in 2010? What I mean is, why didn’t they or like-minded hysterical group form earlier?

    Things that make you go hmmmm.

  • Bill Perdue

    @whatever: I don’t know. Ask them.

    This is not about getEqual, this is about the betrayals of Obama and people who support him while pretending to be agaisnt the war and DADT. When you shill for Obama you support his war and his policies on DADT.

  • toyotabedzrock

    The difference is that he was willing/able to talk to them.

    The president partly because of security needs has to follow a ultra ridged schedule

    Also since the nature of the meeting is eventually, if not immediately, entered into public record the white house needs to know what questions will be asked, and the complete backgrounds of the participants.

  • SocialistSecurity

    Wait, Robin McGehee gets paid $90,000 plus expenses to be an “activist?” Is this a joke?

    She was the idiot that barged into a House Committee Hearing to give them “some markers because they couldn’t afford them.” This crazy bag lady is being paid for this crap? No, it must be a joke.

  • Justin

    I see AndrewW has arrived with his sock puppets. Hi AndrewW….need you diaper changed? You sure are making a mess all over the internet today. Why do you spend so much time commenting when nobody views you as anything but a complete idiot that is in serious need of medication?

    You are banned from legitimate sites that monitor IP addresses (for multiple puppet names) and comments that distract from intellectual conversation…thank God.

  • Jesse Helms

    There is no legitimate reason to ban qualified LBG troops from serving in the Armed Forces,

Comments are closed.