The Odd Blog

And when our cubs grow / We'll show you what war is good for

Posts Tagged ‘equal rights’

DADT Officially Over

Posted by That Other Mike on 20/09/2011

With Tuesday’s repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, gays and lesbians are now free to serve openly in the U.S. armed services.

The U.S. military has spent months preparing for the repeal, updating regulations and training to reflect the impending change, and the Pentagon has already begun accepting applications from openly gay men and women.

The historic shift follows years of battle and debate over the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, also referred to as “DADT.” When it was signed by President Clinton in 1993, the policy was hailed by proponents for extending protection to gays and lesbians serving their country. Under the law, commanders were not allowed to ask about someone’s sexual orientation, and gays and lesbians were expected to keep their orientation under wraps.

But as gays and lesbians continued to fight for equal rights in other areas of society, the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy grew to become a painful reminder that those in the military still had to hide their sexual orientation. Moreover, gays and lesbians who were open about their sexual orientation — or who were outed — faced punishment and expulsion.

Such punishments and expulsions will now stop. And the repeal ends any pending investigations or inquiries.

The original drive to lift the ban, and later the DADT policy, pitted those fighting to recognize the service of gay servicemen and women against those who feared it would disrupt the service’s sense of order and undermine critical military relationships.

President Obama signed the law that repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell” and officially certified this summer that it would not diminish military readiness. But plenty of opposition still remains.”It’s a tragic day for America,” said Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council.

While gays and lesbians can now serve openly, there are still limits: All servicemen and women — regardless of sexual orientation — must continue to abide by strict standards of personal conduct, such as those pertaining to public displays of affection.

Navy Lt. Gary Ross celebrated the appeal by marrying his longtime partner in Vermont at midnight Monday — the exact moment of the repeal. Ross told the Associated Press that when he returns to work as a surface warfare officer at Ft. Huachuca in Arizona near the Mexican border, he does not plan to make a big deal about the marriage. But he no longer has to keep it a secret either.

The old system “requires you to lie several times a day,” he said.

LA Times

It’s about time, and I, for one, eagerly await our homosexual overlords.

In all seriousness, though, over the next couple of weeks, expect the following:

  1. Rightwing chicken littles will be pouncing on every opportunity to discredit gay and lesbian soldiers, whether it’s by the same generalised unpleasantness they always employ when it comes to GLBT rights, or by pointing out individuals who happen to be gay and who have done something wrong as how it was all a big mistake.
  2. Firebaggers will continue to act as if it just wasn’t enough, and will continue to try to paint Obama as a man unfriendly to the GLBT community

See also.

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Not Redefining, Just Expanding

Posted by That Other Mike on 03/10/2010

Excellent quotation. Via.

Cynthia Nixon

“Gay people do not want to redefine marriage. When women got the right to vote, it did not redefine voting.”
Cynthia Nixon

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As if Mississippi didn’t have enough to be ashamed of…

Posted by That Other Mike on 10/04/2010

… it has now emerged that the town of Fulton staged a pro-forma fake prom because of legal pressure while parents of the remaining kids held their own private event.

For those not paying attention, recently Itawamba Agricultural High School recently denied one of its students, Constance McMillen, the change to dress in a tuxedo and bring her girlfriend to the senior prom. Constance, being a good American, said “Bullshee-it!” and sued the school district; the judge agreed that her rights had been violated and that school had to allow her to attend.

The school then cancelled the prom in a fit of pique; further legal pressure caused them to reinstate it. With me so far? When the date of the official prom rolled around, the only people attending were Constance, her date, and seven other kids.

Meanwhile, more or less the entire rest of the senior year were holding their own private prom elsewhere, with the blessings of their parents, and, presumably, the school district.

They have since been found out and are actually now blaming Constance for the fact that a large swathe of America is calling them a bunch of hateful douchebags – see here, here, hereAh, just google it.

This isn’t the first time Fulton county has been at the centre of this kind of thing – in January, they suspended Juin Baize, a transgendered student, after one day of school because, well, we don’t officially know – the school failed to properly fill out the suspension notice; the area of the form for the reason for suspension was left blank. But given the recent travesty involving Constance, is it unreasonable to assume that IAHS has a serious problem with LGBT students even existing?

At the moment, the ACLU is investigating the situation with Constance, although it says that as Baize has moved out of the area, it would be difficult to file on his behalf; frankly, I hope they manage to sue the pants off the school district, and that this follows the students around for at least a couple of years like a bad smell.

Update: NMissCommentor, who broke the story about the bait and switch involving the fake prom attended by 9(!) students while the real prom was going on elsewhere, confirms that little-known old media outlet MSNBC has come in on the story. Expect IAHS to get a media drubbing and for someone to get fired or reassigned while the students and administrators continue to be dicks.

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Dunar’s Day Round-Up

Posted by That Other Mike on 15/05/2008

I’ve decided to start using old-style Saxon god names for the days of the week now; Monday would be Mani‘s Day, Tuesday will become Tiw’s Day, Wednesday is Wodin’s day as we know, Dunar’s Day will stand in for Thursday, and Friday will be Frige‘s Day. Saturday will change to Sun’s Eve, and Sunday stays the same.

Well, I say I’ve decided. What I actually meant was that I won’t do that, I just wanted to have a rationale for using Dunar’s Day in the title.

Anyway, handpicked by the gods of my ancestors, here are your selected links.

Lottie has an excellent post over at Rambling On about online romantic involvements. As you may know, this is something which has particular relevance to us. It’s called Getting to Know You (if you’re like me, you’ll soon start humming bits of The King and I), and she starts with the biggest question that couples who have met online usually face: How can you fall in love with someone you don’t even know?

Gary has a post highlighting the ridiculous, moronic behaviour some right-wing Christians recently embarrassed themselves with. The object of their misguided idiocy? Petrol.

Caitlin May has a post positing the Wizard of Oz as an Atheist film, which is certainly an interesting and overlooked perspective.

PZ spears Michael Medved for a ludicrous jamming together of pseudoscience and right-wing politics. Eugh. It’s one step away from advocating forced eugenics…

Mother Jones has Alyssa Quart analysing the new trend for fertility movies coming out of Hollywood. I have to say I don’t 100% agree with every syllable, mainly because I liked Juno rather a lot. Other than that, good article.(HT – Feministing)

And finally, in some good news, the California Supreme Court has ruled that the State’s Constitution requires equal treatment for homosexual couples in regards to marriage laws. Well done, California (HT – Alas, A Blog).

Edit to fix link.

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