Tag Archives: executive order

You Just Don’t Realize It Yet…


It’s becoming more and more obvious that my prediction the other day foresaw the future of DADT, that archaic and bigoted law that has made second-class citizens of our honored men and women in the military for no other reason that they happen to be gay.

When I was in the Air Force, my job was to process administrative separations at Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota and at Eglin AFB here in Florida, including those of gays. Although I occasionally felt a ping of remorse and hypocrisy (why is a gay kicking out gays?) I was comforted by the fact that (as far as I recall) 100% of these discharges were, a. Straights who couldn’t really handle the pressure of military life and just wanted out; or b. Gays who were the victim of the homophobia and hate within the workplace.

Fortunately, I merely processed the paperwork, preparing the documentation, forwarding it to the Judge Advocate’s office for his or her review, then to my Chief Personnel Officer (Surprise: He was gay too!), then on to the Unit Commander (none of these cases were “serious” enough to be sent to the Wing Commander for signature) who signed the package. All in all, it was an expeditious manner to accomplish the service member’s goal: A quick discharge with an Honorable Certificate of Service.

Oh. Back to my prediction. I said:

“Why Would any “next guy in office” take the chance of reducing the size of the military by 10% by kicking out all the open gays in the military following such a pronouncement?”

It’s becoming obvious, day to day as the death knell tolls for the end of DADT, that the simplest way for it to die is happening…

Let DADT die on the vine. Tie up a half-hearted appeal in the courts. Make it so hard to process these discharges that it just isn’t worth the effort, time, or leaving the decision in the hands of five people with a lot more pressing things out there to worry about…like Afghanistan and Iraq:

At present, discharges will now require approval of the service secretary, who would consult with Defense undersecretary Clifford Stanley and the general counsel Jeh Johnson, putting the entire separation process in the hands of political appointees.

DADT is dead. You just don’t realize it yet.

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Equality in the Armed Services Is Here…


Earlier today I was in a discussion on The Huffington Post regarding the Obama Administration’s pending appeal of U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips groundbreaking ruling halting the military’s ban on gays in the military, DADT.

Espousing my claim in support of the easiest way for the President to end DADT, I noticed the following comment:

Just get rid of this ridiculous policy. But let’s make sure when it’s done away with it can’t be overturned by the next guy who sits in the White House.

I’ve been in support of the President issuing an Executive Order repealing DADT and directing Congress and the Department of Defense to implement the changes necessary to do so for over a year now.

One of the most frequent replies to this mimic the quote above. Something along the line of “Yeah…but if Obama signs an Executive Order the next President can just rescind it!”

I’ll admit that does happen, but not in instances historically crucial to civil rights – such as the Truman Executive Order desegrating the military or Abraham Lincoln’s Executive Order abolishing slavery.

Then I had an epithany and replied to my friends quote with the following:

“Why Would any “next guy in office” take the chance of reducing the size of the military by 10% by kicking out all the open gays in the military following such a pronouncement?”

Apparently, I’m not the only one…

This afternoon, it was announced that military recruiters would accept openly gay recruits. In fact, one of the heroes of the movement to repeal DADT, Lt. Dan Choi, is attempting to reenlist as I write this.

Equality in our Armed Services is near…

The End of The Line: Permitting Hate in the Military


Allan Schindler

Joseph Rocha

Kyle Lawson

Barry Winchell

August Provost

Who are the people named above? They all share something in common. They were all in the military. They were all reportedly gay. They were all murdered, severely injured or faced humiliation and torture at the hands of their superiors.

Their families are facing the shame of (or currently are, in the case of August Provost) the military preventing and/or denying an open investigation into their murders and/or assaults.

In the words of Joseph Rocha, who survived his attacks and described them in an article in the Washington Post:

rochaI can’t say for certain when the abuse started or when it stopped. Now, several years removed from those days in Bahrain, it blends together in my mind as a 28-month nightmare.

Once, the abuse was an all-day event; a training scenario turned into an excuse to humiliate me. Normally we ran the dogs through practice situations — an earthquake, a bomb or a fight — that we might encounter in our work. That day, in a classroom at an American school in Bahrain, with posters of the Founding Fathers lining the walls, the scenario happened to be me. I was the decoy, and I had to do just what Chief Petty Officer Michael Toussaint ordered.

In one corner of the classroom was a long sofa, turned away from the door. When you walked into the room, it appeared that one man was sitting on it, alone. But I was there too — the chief had decided that I would be down on my hands and knees, simulating oral sex. A kennel support staff member and I were supposed to pretend that we were in our bedroom and that the dogs were catching us having sex. Over and over, with each of the 32 dogs, I was forced to enact this scenario.

Lawson, in the interview with the Arizona Star, tells of having to sleep in fear on a cot after having his nose broken during an attack by a fellow soldier because he was rumored to be gay. His attacker went unpunished.

Why is this happening? The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) reports that last year alone over 900 cases of hate crimes against gays (in the form of verbal and physical assault) in the military occurred.

This past Wednesday, President Obama made history:

Yet, in signing this historic legislation, the President has further perpetuated the shame of homophobia in the military.

Today, the only group of people NOT PROTECTED against hate are our gays in the military. These men and women, guardians of our nation, are at the end of the line when it comes to protection for hate. Why?

It’s time to immediately suspend DADT, pending legislative action in Congress. Please contact the President HERE to request his immediate action.

The Bottom of the Barrel


For nearly three years, I participated in a little forum populated by a lot of good people, but a few die-hard Republicans who had little need for a gay, ex-Air Force guy around them. Particularly the guy who ran the forum, affectionately known as The Despot, who was a straight ex-Navy guy who thought I, as a gay ex-Air Force guy, was a criminal because I lied to the recruiter when I joined the military and was nothing but a fraud because of it. Really!

Of course, it didn’t help that I frequently and loudly pointed out the blatant (or thinly disguised) homophobia and racism sometimes voiced on said forum either…which finally led to my being banned. The good news is that little bit of censorship resulted in this blog and now I have thousands of people reading my rants instead of twenty. And thankfully, you, my readers, seem to appreciate my words and for that I’ll be forever grateful.

Being the only gay guy on the forum amongst a lot of chest-pumping, heterosexual, (mostly) God-fearing, sometimes racist bunch of guys and gals wasn’t always fun but I actually made one or two lasting friends over there, especially Kelly, who caught a whole hell of a lot of grief for coming to my defense time and time again as I posted my words and thoughts time and time again. Probably even to this day and especially after this post.

I don’t miss those who hated me and continue to have a great friendship with those that miss me…so I guess it’s obvious now who came out on top.

All that leads up the this, the latest edition of The Howey Truth Squad.

Back in May, I started a thread on the forum celebrating those whom I feel are true American Heroes: folks like Daniel Choi and Victor Fehrenbach and thousands upon thousands of other gays in the military who are forced to live a lie in order to serve their country and fight for your freedom.

Somehow, in the course of the conversation, I found an interesting article from the SF Gate, reporting on the suspect recruiting tactics of the Armed Forces and the  lax, very lax, standards the military is using to recruit soldiers to the point that, today, gang members and members of racist hate groups, are working alongside the young men and women of our military while honorable, nee honored, gay soldiers are being discharged from the military under DADT for no reason other than they are gay! From the article:

Last month, the Sun-Times reported that a gang member facing federal charges of murder and robbery enlisted in the Marine Corps “while he was free on bond — and was preparing to ship out to boot camp when Marine officials recently discovered he was under indictment.” While this recruit was eventually booted from the Corps, a Milwaukee police detective and Army veteran, who serves on the federal drug and gang task force that arrested the would-be Marine, noted that other “gang-bangers are going over to Iraq and sending weapons back … gang members are getting access to military training and weapons.”

This weekend, the Stars and Stripes, not a liberal rag, underscores my point:

But there’s one other thing that dozens of members of newsaxon.org, a white supremacist social networking website, have in common:63650_79133349b They proudly identify themselves as active-duty members of the U.S. armed forces.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, the Montgomery, Ala.-based watchdog group that tracks extremist hate groups, has compiled a book containing the online user profiles of at least 40 newsaxon.org users who say they are serving in the military, in apparent violation of Pentagon regulations prohibiting racist extremism in the ranks.

On Friday, the SPLC will present its findings to key members of Congress who chair the House and Senate committees overseeing the armed forces and urge them to pressure the Pentagon to crack down.

“In the wake of several high-profile murders by extremists of the radical right, we urge your committees to investigate the threat posed by racial extremists who may be serving in the military to ensure that our armed forces are not inadvertently training future domestic terrorists,” Morris Dees, SPLC co-founder and chief trial counsel, wrote to the legislators.

“Evidence continues to mount that current Pentagon policies are inadequate to prevent racial extremists from joining and serving in the armed forces.”

Can I make a suggestion to the President, Congress and the American people? Can we at least get an Executive Order suspending DADT? Especially when the majority of Americans, Democrat and Republican, support it?

Perhaps then the President, Congress, and the American people can be assured that at least our tax dollars are being used to ensure our military’s not training future terrorists on our dime.

And keep the real liars, frauds, and criminals out of our military.

On This Independence Day


gayflagAs we Americans sit outside in the sunshine, enjoying our hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, and beer I ‘d like to ask you to think of and honor those who are serving our country.

Especially those who are forced to live a lie and serve as second-class citizens –

Our gay members of the military.

Over 200 hundred linguists and other skilled specialists in the military have been discharged since Barack Obama took office. Not because they were doing their job – it’s been documented many were the best in their field – but because they were gay.

Can you join 67 members of Congress and join the ranks of those asking President Obama to take action now to stop this disgrace?

Put down the hot dog, hamburger, and beer for just a moment.

Call, write, or email your Representative today and ask that action be taken now, not next month or next year or the next term – NOW! – to finally create equality and end discrimination within our military.

While you’re at it, check out In Their Boots, an informative video essay and website by and for gay military members and their partners. Thank you!

Remembering Stonewall


Fourty years ago today, police stormed a Mafia-owned bar in Greenwich Village known to have been frequented by gays. The subsequent riots that occurred over the next day following the brutal treatment of American citizens at the Stonewall Inn are credited with the birth of the modern LGBT movement.

This one event solidified in the minds of homosexual men and women that our government and our society treat us as second-class citizens, denying it’s citizens the right to equality and protection from hate.

Today, despite advances in the movement, we are still second-class citizens. We are denied the right to marry, the right to adopt, the right to serve openly and honorably in our military, and the right to share medical, insurance, hospital visitation, and internment rights enjoyed by mainstream Americans of every race, creed, and religion.

Our government, the one based upon the simple principle that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” has failed a segment of it’s population larger than most minorities. Think for a moment…according to the US Census, blacks account for 14% and hispanics make up 15% of the minority culture in this nation.

How many Americans are gay? 2%? 10%. We really don’t know. The stigma of homosexuality in our society still, to this day, forces millions of Americans to live their life in a lie – closeted in fear of their neighbor, their government, their family. Right now, the number could arguably surpass the populace of Asians, American Indians, and other minority groups.

Even as the majority of the American public now approve of gay unions, the repeal of DADT and other rights denied to the LGBT citizen, our government continues to fail to recognize such a right to equality.

Our President, Congress, and senior military are still living twenty years in the past and cast a myopic eye on what the people of this country want for the LGBT community – equality.

But the problems of the community do not specifically lie with the government. We are our own problem.

TIME magazine, in 1966, three years prior to the Stonewall Riots, said this about gays:

Beset by inner conflicts, the homosexual is unsure of his position in society, ambivalent about his attitudes and identity—but he gains a certain amount of security through the fact that society is equally ambivalent about him.

We haven’t changed much, have we? Whether the gay male or female merely consigns themselves to defeat, or is complacent with his or her own personal situation,  the activism that arose from the riots of the Stonewall Inn forty years ago has subsided. Instead the community has allowed itself to be splintered into factions so numerous, fractile, and divisive we’ve lost sight of the goal.

It’s not about the G, L, B, or T…it’s about Equality!

The gay community will never achieve our goal of equality until such time as we organize with a singular purpose – to effect the changes needed within our government through community activism, financial contributions to our supporters, and yes, withdrawal of financial support to those who are fearful of voicing their support, up to and including the President of this country.

In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln issued an Executive Order abolishing slavery, thus freeing and providing a path to equality for the black man of America. In in 1948, President Harry Truman signed Executive Order 9981, which ended brought up the end to racism in the Armed Forces.

I implore you, my friends, to contact your Congressman, your Senator, your Governor, your President, and ask that the road to equality begin.

With The Stroke of A Pen


Mr. President: The time is now.  In recognition of your proclamation celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month 2009 I’d like to present this question to the you:

Why not do something more than issue a declaration?

Why not do something now to honor gay Americans who are serving for and fighting for the country you lead?

Why not take out your pen and issue an Executive Order suspending all discharge proceedings under the archaic DADT until such time as Congress can repeal it?

Nearly sixty-one years ago, in 1948, President Harry Truman signed Executive Order 9981, which stated:

“It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin.”

Amid protestations from military leaders, Congress, and a majority of Americans, President Truman kick-started the end of racial discrimination in the military; allowing black soldiers to serve openly and equally alongside their white counterparts.

This action, along with those of heroic civil rights leaders over the next twenty five years and continuing to this day, opened the door of opportunity that allowed an intelligent, compassionate, educated black man to become President of the United States.

Mr. President: You have the opportunity this month, June of 2009, to end the discrimination against gays in the military. You have the opportunity to honor the Victor Fehrenbach’s and Dan Choi’s and countless other heroes in the military who happen to be Gay and Lesbian. You can make history.

With the stroke of a pen.