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White House, Pentagon certify repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

Don't Ask Don't Tell

By Adam Bink

The final nail in the coffin:

Today, we have taken the final major step toward ending the discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law that undermines our military readiness and violates American principles of fairness and equality.  In accordance with the legislation that I signed into law last December, I have certified and notified Congress that the requirements for repeal have been met.  ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ will end, once and for all, in 60 days—on September 20, 2011.

As Commander in Chief, I have always been confident that our dedicated men and women in uniform would transition to a new policy in an orderly manner that preserves unit cohesion, recruitment, retention and military effectiveness.  Today’s action follows extensive training of our military personnel and certification by Secretary Panetta and Admiral Mullen that our military is ready for repeal.  As of September 20th, service members will no longer be forced to hide who they are in order to serve our country.  Our military will no longer be deprived of the talents and skills of patriotic Americans just because they happen to be gay or lesbian.

I want to commend our civilian and military leadership for moving forward in the careful and deliberate manner that this change requires, especially with our nation at war.  I want to thank all our men and women in uniform, including those who are gay or lesbian, for their professionalism and patriotism during this transition.  Every American can be proud that our extraordinary troops and their families, like earlier generations that have adapted to other changes, will only grow stronger and remain the best fighting force in the world and a reflection of the values of justice and equality that the define us as Americans.

On September 20th, 2011, servicemembers can serve openly.

You can read the official certification letter here.

What a great week.

76 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. Alan_Eckert  |  July 22, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Woopee, Hooray!

  • 2. Ann S.  |  July 22, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Hip, hip, hooray!

  • 3. d_ott_1  |  July 22, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    This is amazing news. Something I don't see mentioned in these discussions though is what about the individuals that have been released from the military due to 'Don't ask don't tell'. Will they get their positions back? Will they be reinstated? will they receive anything for being dismissed under the hate policy?

  • 4. Ronnie  |  July 22, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    I concur……. ; ) …Ronnie

  • 5. Seth from Maryland  |  July 22, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    im pretty sure , they can rejoin if they chose to

  • 6. DaveP  |  July 22, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    While I'm as happy as everyone else about the end of DADT, I am often bemused by some of the wording in the announcements about the repeal. All sorts of remarks from the military and various govornment officials about all of the 'hard work' being done to 'prepare for the repeal' and all that is being done to 'assure this change goes smoothly' etc.

    Sheeeesh, it's not like we're training everyone in the military to learn to serve with a race of amphibians and learn how to breath underwater. The only thing they are doing different is they have to stop throwing people out just for being gay. It aint rocket science.

  • 7. Ann S.  |  July 22, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    You'd think, but people will have to answer all sorts of ridiculous questions about what to do if you see two people of the same sex kissing or holding hands, about housing, about (gasp!) showers, about clergy, etc., etc.

    You and I could sum it all up with Don't Act Like A Jerk, but some people want it all spelled out.

  • 8. Lar  |  July 22, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Finally I can breath freely, I came in before DADT, thought it was a good thing, found out otherwise and then stayed in until it was dead. I can now let my guard down a little bit and not worry about a discharge. Best of all, I can now marry my fiance and not worry about breaking the regulations.

  • 9. Straight Dave  |  July 22, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    My understanding from previous statements by military leaders, and the training, is that troops discharged by DADT can apply to reenlist and be considered under the same standards as anyone else enlisting, e.g. you're fit, there's a need for your skills, you committed no other offenses, etc. There will be no back pay or other compensation, and the 50% of normal discharge pay DADT victims received will not be topped up to the 100% that others received when discharged for other reasons – a real sore spot with me.

    However, the Log Cabin suit might bring better remedies to right all those wrongs, if it's allowed to reach a final conclusion. That's why I don't think it is remotely moot and should be pushed to the end. While stopping the discharges is great, I think a bit more is owed to our loyal troops.

  • 10. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 22, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    They can all reenlist if they so choose.
    The militaries position is they did nothing wrong in discharging them…the regulations/law was what it was.

  • 11. Straight Dave  |  July 22, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    … remotely not moot…

  • 12. Anne  |  July 22, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    it's great that it finally happened – but no way should it have taken this long.

  • 13. Donald  |  July 22, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    C'mon, all you Obama-bots. It was Congressman Patrick Murphy, a straight who fought in Iraq and in Afghanistan, who is responsible for this. The only thing Obama did is sign the bill. In fact, Harry Reid had to beg Obama to get involved, which he did not do. If it wasn't for Murphy, DADT never would have happened. Murphy got defeated in his last election because he pushed through this bill.

    In addition, Obama has filed papers in the 9th Circuit requesting the Court to dismiss the case as being "moot". As a law professor, I can tell you that It is far from moot, yet Obama is arguing that it is. If Obama has his way, military members who were kicked out will have no remedy; however, if the Court case continues, then the discharged members will have a remedy.

    In addition, Obama filed papers in a case in which he argued that it was OK to kick someone off a jury just because they are gay. Now, blacks can't be kicked off juries simply because they are black,, but Obama thinks it's OK to kick someone off a jury simply because they are gay.

    This is your fierce defender. And these are only a few of the bigoted things Obama has done; if anyone wants anything more, just ask. I have been a life-long (72 years) Democrat, but Obama is simply Bush-lite.

  • 14. Gregory in SLC  |  July 22, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    : D !!!!

  • 15. Gregory in SLC  |  July 22, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Ditto!!! Congrats Lar!

  • 16. Ann S.  |  July 22, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    I don't think the members who comment here are blind to Obama's faults, nor do I see how calling people names helps anyone.

    Do you have a cite for the gay jurors case?

  • 17. 415kathleenk  |  July 22, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    hey donald
    NOT an Obama bot – please don't throw around epithets like that on this site. I happen to agree with you that Patrick Murphy was instrumental in getting this done- great public servant.

  • 18. NetAmigo  |  July 22, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Obama is difficult to read on the "gay issue." I'm beginning to think it is an issue where you have to look at what he does, not what he says.

  • 19. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 22, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Wow… September 20th… the eve of the 15th anniversary of DOMA being signed into law. We'll celebrate DADT being gone one day and then mourn because of DOMA anniversary the very next day. Well, that's history in the making. Hip, Hip, Hooray, I guess…

  • 20. Donald  |  July 22, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Sure, it's a 9th Circuit case, entitled US v. Osazuwa, Case: 10-50109, pages 43-46, filed 2-15-2011.

    As a senior citizen who lives on Social Security, I am deeply offended that Obama wants to cut Medicare and Medical benefits. My social security check is $1300 a month. Obama want to phase out the cost-of-living increases (which we have NOT gotten in 2-1/2 years, although the politicians have gotten a COLA) because the COLA is too expensive. Try living on $1300 a month when you have AIDS.

    My friends, check out Section 4 of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution. Then check out the US Supreme Court case of Perry v. US which was decided in 1935 which held that Congress has no power to impede the President from paying the obligations of the US.

    President Clinton agrees with me that all Obama has to do is declare the 14th Amendment if full force and effect (which he took an oath of office to do) and then go out and borrow the money. Pres. Clinton has publicly endorsed Obama's simply declaring that there is nothing to negotiate with Congress. Instead of spending hours and hours in a circle-jerk with the Repubs, he could be trying to create jobs — with the effective unemployment at just over 20%. Instead he is sitting around playing golf with Boner.

  • 21. Bob  |  July 22, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Done,,, woot woot,,,, remember when we were making the calls for the Hail Mary Pass,,,,, DONE ,,,,next

  • 22. Mackenzie  |  July 22, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    This will be a fabulous 48 hours :-)

  • 23. JonT  |  July 22, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Yep… I remember being pretty pessimistic that it would get passed.

    A nice way to start the weekend.

    PS: I love 'edit' :)

  • 24. JonT  |  July 22, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    I don't know what an 'Obama-bot' is, but do you really think McCain would have done it? At all?

    The correct answer is: No.

  • 25. Jim  |  July 22, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    NetAmigo mentioned that we should be looking at what Obama does, not always what he says. I totally agree. The man (Obama) knows what he is doing, step by step.

  • 26. Ann S.  |  July 22, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    OK, I've read a little about the Osazuwa case and I'm not offended — as the law stands, it's a rational basis test, but it's not a done deal. Further briefs were due July 20.

    I'm not going to get into the debt thing here, because it's off topic.

  • 27. Donald  |  July 22, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    This is just step 1. What about the benefits for spouses of gay military members? What about housing arrangements; what about notification of death of spouse. There are lots and lots of military benefits which gays will not get — simply because they are gay. So what's going to be done about that — or are we going to rest on our laurels?

    And, most importantly, sodomy is still a crime under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Does that mean that gay men can serve openly, but that they just can't have sex? What about getting rid of that?

    The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, not known as a liberal or progressive gay organization, gave Obama a list of 85 things he could do by himself without any action by Congress or by the Courts. That was 1 month BEFORE he was elected. So, how many of these gay issues have been addressed by Obama — try 7. Remember, these are all things that Obama, by himself, could do.

    Being slightly to the left of far right wing extremism does not make you a liberal.

    Finally, who can forget the McCulkin affair — Asking a religious right activist who claims to have been “cured” of his homosexuality to headline campaign events in South Carolina. Then letting the anti-gay bigot spend half an hour, on stage, haranguing gays at the Obama event.

  • 28. Kathleen  |  July 22, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    UPDATE: LCR v. USA (DADT case)
    Order. Withdraws July 6 order (lifting stay) and replaces the temporary order of July 15 with the present order. Stay reinstated in part. Government still enjoined from "investigating, penalizing, or discharging anyone from the military pursuant to the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy." Oral argument schedule remains (Sept 1). Filed 7/22/11
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/60679501

    In simple terms, this makes permanent the way things have been since the July 15 order issued: stay reinstated, but only in part. The government is still enjoined from investigating and discharging service members under DADT.

  • 29. _BK_  |  July 22, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Ding, dong, DADT is dead!

    On September 20th, but still.

  • 30. dsc77  |  July 22, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    I was wondering the same thing about the sodomy rules…

  • 31. AnonyGrl  |  July 22, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Hey, do you all remember that "tipping point" discussion that pops up here every so often? Do you feel like, maybe, we actually have reached it? NY, DADT repeal, DOMA hearings, Governor O'Malley in MD, a possible voter referendum in Colorado to overturn the ban, Senator John Kerry came out in favor of equality, 56% of Catholics support equality, Prop 8 decisions coming soon…

  • 32. Ronnie  |  July 22, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Adding to all of the awesomeness that AnonyGrl mentioned above…….

    Nation’s Fourth-Largest School District Adds Gender Identity Protections http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/07/2

    <3…Ronnie

  • 33. Sagesse  |  July 22, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Williams Institute Estimates that Marriages by Same-Sex Couples will Boost New York Economy By Over $150 Million
    http://www3.law.ucla.edu/williamsinstitute/pdf/Fi

  • 34. Tasty Salamanders  |  July 22, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Wouldn't sodomy rules be unconstitutional under Lawrence v. Texas?
    (Why do I feel that if there was a hater here they would try to make an argument about the army being above the US Constitution and the Supreme Court?)

  • 35. Kathryn Howie  |  July 22, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    Court of Military Appeals, Marcum v US, I think covers the application of s125 (sodomy) as applicable to the Lawerence Supremes judgment.
    Kathryn Howie

  • 36. Bob  |  July 22, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    you know what you guys,,, AnnonyGrl's mention of a tipping point is so nice to consider,,, along with Gaga;s the edge,,,, I feel so piviledged as your neighbour to have had the priviledge to share your discussions,, and watch you make history for the Rainbow Tribe,,,,, the arc has bent , and I think the momentum is there,,,, we've been to the edge and I don't see anyone turning back…. woot woot…. oh and I'm surprized at my first real envy of my American neighbour and how things can work over there

  • 37. Straight Ally #3008  |  July 22, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    One one hand, you have the steadily changing public opinion polls:
    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/

    This is balanced out somewhat by places where gubernatorial power has stalled equality in its tracks, like Maine and New Jersey, but there's no denying New York was a huge win, as will be California.

  • 38. Donald  |  July 22, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    May 2000 Technical Sergeant Eric P. Marcum is tried and convicted by a general court martial on multiple criminal charges, including a charge of violation of the military’s sodomy law (Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice).

    July 2002 Marcum’s conviction is affirmed by the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals.

    October 2003 Lambda Legal, the ACLU, the ACLU of the National Capital Area and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network file a friend-of-the-court brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

    August 2004 The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces finds that Lawrence applies to the military’s sodomy law, but that, the special nature of the military means that, in certain circumstances, that sodomy law can be applied constitutionally. The court affirms Marcum’s conviction because of his supervisory authority over the subordinate with whom he had oral sex.

    So, yes you can be discharged because of sodomy. The factors considered in a military context are different from those in a civilian context.

    The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces held that Lawrence does apply to the military and establishes a zone of privacy for certain conduct. The court established a three-prong test to analyze whether it was constitutional to apply Article 125 in a given case. The test examines the particular conduct at issue and factors such as privacy, age, lack of coercion and lack of monetary compensation to determine whether the conduct normally would fall within the liberty interests identified by Lawrence. It then looks to whether factors peculiar to the military take the conduct outside the protection against government interference that Lawrence recognized to exist in civilian contexts.

    So, in 2004, a year after Lawrence, it is still possible to be kicked out for sodomy.

  • 39. Donald  |  July 22, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    So, Obama says that in the jury case you can apply a rational basis test, but in DOMA cases you have to apply at least a heightened scrutiny test. Does the right hand know what the left hand is doing?

  • 40. Donald  |  July 22, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    I haven't been on this site since the Prop 8 trial ended, but at that time, this web site was filled with all kinds of derogatory comments about heterosexuals — primarily by Ronnie. I hate to say this,but some of my best friends are heterosexual, and I was deeply offended by Ronnie's comments about my friends. If the rules have changed, I'll abide by them. But if heterosexual bashing is appropriate, then bashing gays who are into schadenfreude is also appropriate.

  • 41. Ronnie  |  July 22, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    ROFLMGAO…….I have NEVER "heterosexual bashed" & have NEVER posted derogatory comments about heterosexuals… lol… Have I had some choice words for, to & about homophobic bigots? yes & they deserved it…..OTIO.

    8 / ..Ronnie

  • 42. PBJ  |  July 22, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Exactly. By all mean, be frustrated and push for more, but be honest about things. McCain did all he could to stop this when it came to the Senate last year, and the Republicans running in 2012 are all out pledging to reinstate it.

    No choice is perfect. Supporting the one that's best, in spite of its faults, is not a sign of blind obedience, but of maturity.

  • 43. FlexSF  |  July 22, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    In your opinion, do you believe the DOJ trying to build precedent in the 9th Circuit by continuing their defense of DADT? It's motives and maneuvering are bewildering.

  • 44. Taelyn  |  July 23, 2011 at 2:05 am

    NOT THE FINAL NAIL!

    Gender Dysphoria/Gender Identity Disorder/Gender Incongruence are all terms used by the writers of the DSM to vilify transgender and transsexual identified people throughout the country, and for those that fail that test, they get the Transvestic Fetishism Disorder label. UNTIL this is changed, the military codes will not allow them to enlist transgender and transsexual people, and will CONTINUE TO DISCHARGE transgender and transsexual people for even mentioning transition to a medical professional.

    DADT may be dead in fact, but REMEMBER your "T" brothers and sisters in LGBT!!

    ~Taelyn, transgender army daughter never allowed to serve.

  • 45. Rev. Will Fisher  |  July 23, 2011 at 4:21 am

    Totally OT, NOM set to rally in NY tomorrow. Pray for Turnout Fail.

  • 46. Str8Grandmother  |  July 23, 2011 at 6:06 am

    I agree with Ronnie

  • 47. Str8Grandmother  |  July 23, 2011 at 6:21 am

    You're Good Donald! Really good!

  • 48. Str8Grandmother  |  July 23, 2011 at 6:23 am

    BK hey! You didn't finish that thought.

    Ding, dong, DADT is dead!
    The wicked DADT is dead!

  • 49. Str8Grandmother  |  July 23, 2011 at 6:26 am

    Bob, your efforts and support is GREATLY appreciated! Really.

  • 50. Str8Grandmother  |  July 23, 2011 at 6:27 am

    You are RIGHT!

  • 51. Str8Grandmother  |  July 23, 2011 at 6:28 am

    Rev. Will let's take bets. I say hardly anybody will show up. What say you?

  • 52. AnonyGrl  |  July 23, 2011 at 6:50 am

    Tonight at midnight, the first same sex weddings in NYS will be held at city hall in Albany. As I promised you all a while back, I will be there with the rice!!!! I'll post tomorrow about it to let you know how it went.

    NOM is also holding a rally here in Albany tomorrow afternoon, which I plan to attend. As you all may know, I am not in the least religious, but I think maybe I need to make a sign, with something from Corinthians 1:13 on it (maybe not all of it… but I quote it in full here because it is a good quote)

    1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

    2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

    3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.

    4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

    5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

    6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;

    7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

    8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

    9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part.

    10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

    11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

    12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

    13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

  • 53. Cat  |  July 23, 2011 at 7:14 am

    I hope that, If any NOMmers show up they will be overpowered by the love and positive energy of happy people carrying rainbows. Much like what happened at Gunn Highschool when the Phelps group tried to protest there because of their anti-hate program there. I got goose bumps when I first saw how the community sang away those hat-filled WBC people.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEiwBCpiA0E
    http://www.niot.org/niot-video/gunn-high-school-s

    Love trumps hate!

  • 54. Joe  |  July 23, 2011 at 7:19 am

    Note there is no anti-discrimination clause in DADT repeal and in theory can be brought back by President Santorum in 2013, so it's important that the 9th Circuit affirms LCR v USA to prevent that.

  • 55. Steve  |  July 23, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Art 125 is never used an initial charge. It's something that is tacked on to other stuff (like adultery). And Marcum means that it's only used for things like sexual harassment, assault and rape which are punishable anyways.

    The Pentagon Working Group actually recommended striking the article and rolling its provisions into other articles that already cover these offenses.

  • 56. Sagesse  |  July 23, 2011 at 8:47 am

    I thought the LCR injunction would cover this.

    Gay sailor faces discharge despite 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal

    Read more: http://www.sunherald.com/2011/03/31/2988707/gay-s

  • 57. AnonyGrl  |  July 23, 2011 at 8:48 am

    President Santorum? LOL

  • 58. Joe  |  July 23, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Judge Phillips' injunction was stayed so they began the discharge process, it's been on and off. Just yesterday, the injunction was partly reinstated. Servicemembers can serve openly effective NOW, however the military can still deny enlistment to openly LGBT people but that has no teeth since you can walk into a recruiting office and once you swear the oath of enlistment they cannot apply DADT. Oral arguments are on Sept. 1st, DOJ is seeking to vacate the judgement. Since technically DADT doesn't end until Sept. 20th LCR argues the case is still relevant. Affirmation of the original ruling would prevent a future Congress or a President from reinstating DADT or a total ban.

  • 59. Bob  |  July 23, 2011 at 9:01 am

    If someone cannot look at their body and know what they are they are in no mental condition to serve.

  • 60. Adam Bink  |  July 23, 2011 at 9:17 am

    No, Donald, none of it is appropriate, and two wrongs don't make a right. There is a report button at the bottom of each comment, and everyone should use it if they feel a comment is inappropriate.

  • 61. Ronnie  |  July 23, 2011 at 9:35 am

    U.S. Marine Cpl. Andrew Stevens says "It Gets Better"………<3…Ronnie:

    [youtube w5rFV9upqpY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5rFV9upqpY youtube]

  • 62. Leo  |  July 23, 2011 at 9:54 am

    In theory, maybe, but in practice it will be very difficult to argue that DADT needs to be reinstated after gays and lesbians have been serving openly for 1.5 years and the sky hasn't fallen.

  • 63. Taelyn  |  July 23, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Spoken like an epic mass of cisgender privilege. That means the opposite of trans-, in case you didn't know. No, see, to a trans person, we look down and realize that something is VERY bloody wrong with those bodies, and that we must change them to reflect who we are. Just like same-sex pairings in nature, however, this is perfectly normal behavior. See the parrotfish, for just one example.

  • 64. Bob  |  July 23, 2011 at 10:31 am

    what do you mean by that??? Canadian Bob asking

  • 65. Carpool Cookie  |  July 23, 2011 at 11:51 am

    [b]You and I could sum it all up with Don't Act Like A Jerk, but some people want it all spelled out.[/b]

    hahahahaha!!!

  • 66. Carpool Cookie  |  July 23, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Oh dear. Edit button disappeared!

  • 67. Carpool Cookie  |  July 23, 2011 at 11:54 am

    "No choice is perfect. Supporting the one that's best, in spite of its faults, is not a sign of blind obedience, but of maturity."

    Hey, did you just make that up?

    I'm definitely copying and pasting that for the rest of my life : )

  • 68. Carpool Cookie  |  July 23, 2011 at 11:56 am

    [b]" I hate to say this, but some of my best friends are heterosexual…"[/b]

    Is that supposed to be a joke? Of course we're all surrounded by heterosexuals that we love deeply.

  • 69. Out Military  |  July 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    OutMilitary.com, the social network for LGBT service members and their
    supporters, is proud to support U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision
    to certify the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.

    This was, hands down, the right thing for the president to do. The
    estimated 65,000 active-duty and reserve troops that bravely serve our
    nation no longer have to do so in silence this September. The end of
    DADT will bring equality to the ranks; an all volunteer force comprised
    of Americans from every conceivable background – including lesbian women
    and gay men. OutMilitary.com members are happy about Obama’s decision
    to finally put an end to a discriminatory chapter in American military
    history.

    OutMilitary.com provides a supportive environment for “friending,”
    sharing and networking between active duty military, veterans and
    supporters – around the world.

  • 70. Straight Dave  |  July 23, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    OT, but always on topic.
    No other good place to put this, but this thread has had the most visitors lately.

    The first NY LGBT weddings are taking place tonight. There's several around the state set for 12:01AM Sunday. The best may be at Niagara Falls, on an island overhanging the top of the falls. http://www.outcomebuffalo.com/marriagepolooza-07-

    A live webcam of that spot can be seen at http://www.fallsviewcam.com. The scene alternates between 3 different views, so be patient. The island in the river to the right of the American Falls is where the action takes place. The actual ceremony will be on tiny Luna Island http://www.google.com/imgres?q=luna+island+niagar

    Is that cool or what!

    Maybe Adam or someone else at CC could be kind enough to start up an open thread for all the NY marriage activity over the next couple days. There apparently will be lots! Thanks

  • 71. DaveP  |  July 23, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Bob said: "If someone cannot look at their body and know what they are they are in no mental condition to serve. "

    Wow, Bob. Are you trolling? Or are you really that completely uneducated about what "Transgender" means? In case this is just a matter of you being uninformed, or for the sake of any lurkers who don't know but are genuinely interested in learning something, here's a short explanation.

    Your name is Bob so we'll assume you're a male. Now let's say you look down at your body and instead of seeing a male body you are dismayed and upset to see that you have the wrong genitalia. You know you are a man, you have always felt like you are a man, but you have what amounts to a serious birth defect in the form of genitalia that doesn't correspond to the gender that you KNOW you are. Take a minute and try to really put yourself in that position.

    Would you just think "OK, guess I was wrong, I'm really a woman, no big deal"? No. You're a man and you would want very much to have this medical condition corrected so you cold live your life the same as any other man who did not have this condition.

    Come on, Bob. It's not that hard to figure out. I'm not trans and I was able to grasp this just by being slightly open minded and being willing to listen to what some of our trans friends have been saying.

  • 72. DaveP  |  July 23, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    OK, New York equality folks – Let's see you step up and try to out-do Madison Wisconsin!! (remember that? That was awesome!)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DqhFPfISnI

    Like the wonderful crowd at Gunn High, this one still gets me choked up.

  • 73. Taelyn  |  July 23, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Dave hit it pretty well. Trans people know, often for most of their lives, that their body does not match their mental identity of gender, which is a broad spectrum. A trans person will take whatever steps they can to correct the differences.These steps can be anything from dressing the role part time to full legal identity change including hormone replacement therapy and surgeries.

    Note that this identity is completely different from sexual orientation, as many different orientations exist throughout the trans community. I myself am a lesbian, and the trans woman I'm taking as my wife in April of '12 is bi.

    The far-right enemies of the LGBT community realizes that LGs and occasionally Bs are at the very least gaining some popularity, and that's why they focus their attacks there. But if you're watching, they will always take the chance to demonize the T even harder because they know, for now, that there is much further to go for trans people in the public acceptance eye. Part of that is seeing more trans people in media and public portrayal (see Chaz Bono, for example). The very least thing that our cis LGBS allies can do is try to remember that we are in similar fights and not stoop to far-right transphobic talking points as you did in your first reply.

  • 74. Meagan  |  July 24, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    There were actually two different people who replied to you–Bob from Canada is a great ally, while the other Bob is a troll.

  • 75. DaveP  |  July 24, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    hee hee hee.

    "Santorum".

    hee hee hee.

    (snort)

    hee hee.

  • 76. Taelyn  |  July 25, 2011 at 12:13 am

    That I had no way of knowing…if that's so, I'd like to apologize. As well as <insert "ffffuuuu" face here>

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