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CNN’s Soledad O’Brien talks DADT with soldiers both current and former

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By Julia Rosen

This segment on CNN with Soledad O’Brien speaking with current gay soldiers in the closet, those who have been kicked out and SLDN’s Aubrey Sarvis is well worth a watch.

Transcript from Pam’s House Blend:

SOLEDAD O’BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You may not be able to see it, but this man is nervous. He has every reason to be. He is one of an estimated 60,000 members of the U.S. military serving in the closet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wondering if this is the day that my secret is going to fly out. Is this the day.

O’BRIEN: You live like that? Everyday?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, whenever you get the e-mail to come to the office by your boss or somebody is on the phone, and who is on the phone? I don’t know. You never know, is this that phone call.

O’BRIEN: The phone call that will kick you out of the military?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

O’BRIEN: He is a 10-plus year veteran are army intelligence and currently serving overseas. He can’t reveal his identity because of the military policy “don’t ask, don’t tell,” but that is about to change.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R): The committee’s focus is today on the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

O’BRIEN: The service members’ legal defense network has been lobbying Congress to pass the Pentagon’s military spending bill. It has an amendment that would repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell.” You think you have it?

AUBREY SARVIS, SERVICE MEMBERS’ LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK: This bill will be close. We won the voting committee. We are going to win the vote on the Senate floor. Senator McCain has threatened to filibuster, and so we may have to come up with 60 votes. If we have to we will.

O’BRIEN: But some say that the military is not ready for openly gay service members. For former air force Major Mike Almy, the upcoming vote comes late. How did you find out that you had been caught?

MIKE ALMY, FORMER AIR FORCE MAJOR: My commander called me into his office for a routine meeting which was not out of the order and the first thing he did was to read me the DOD policy on homosexuality, just like and I’m sure I turned ghost white, because I was completely flabbergasted and as if somebody had pulled the rug out from under me.

O’BRIEN: Five years ago, a co-worker found his e-mails to a man he was dating. Almy was booted from the air force.

ALMY: I’m pissed off. I really am. I want my job back. I want my career back.

O’BRIEN: Can you get it back realistically?

ALMY: There have been about 14,000 men and women who have been thrown out under “don’t ask, don’t tell.” So you’ve got to figure there’s maybe two or 3,000 of those who want to come back in. How do you revive a career that’s been completely derailed like mine where I’ve been out for four years now?

O’BRIEN: The repeal won’t automatically lift the ban, and the services could take months to implement the policy. There is no guarantee that ousted members like Almy could return. As it moves forward what advice would you give the members of the military who are closeted? What do you tell them? Wait?

SARVIS: Well, they have to keep in mind that this law has not gone away and serve in silence until you get the green light.

O’BRIEN: When the time comes, breaking that silence will not come easily. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it is repealed soon, and I decide to come out, I think it will be some pushback from the colleagues.

O’BRIEN: Pushback in what way?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pushback and major penalties from the co- workers.

O’BRIEN: You will lose friends?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, I will probably lose some friends.

O’BRIEN: Make it worth it, still?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, because I am me. I am who I am.

O’BRIEN: For CNN in America, I’m Soledad O’Brien, Washington, D.C.

If you get a chance to watch it, vs. reading the transcript, do. It is always incredibly powerful watching someone who is serving silence speaking about how physiologically difficult it is to hide who you are on a daily basis and fear you are going to lose your career.

This is the type of clip that is so useful in changing the minds of Americans, as they hear from themselves the stories told by LGBTs about the impact of current laws and policies on their lives.

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103 Comments

  • 1. Alan E.  |  June 25, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Scribing my Sub.

  • 2. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  June 25, 2010 at 8:50 am

    I am anxious to watch this with my husband. he served for 24 years in the Navy and Navy reserves….always fearing his career would be ended in the blink of an eye should anyone ever find out about him…about us.
    He is still in fear that should someone find out and report him that he could lose his VA benefits and his pension.
    Ending DADT can't come to soon for us and the thousands of others out there.

  • 3. fiona64  |  June 25, 2010 at 8:53 am

    This soldier worked for me. He was our commander's "pet soldier," for lack of a better term — the example held up to all of us.

    Until Joe came out at the 1993 March on Washington.

    Our commander had nothing but badmouthing for Joe after that — and our soldier of the year was drummed out under DADT in three days.
    http://www.amazon.com/Soldier-Year-Jose-Zuniga/dp

    His is a truly amazing story. Joe was not out to me (I am pretty sure he had no idea that I was gay-friendly). He took me out to lunch a few weeks after the book came out and I told him the truth: "I am glad I read your book. I felt like I learned things that were none of my business about your private life, but I'm glad I read it."

    I took a deep breath and went on: "I like you better now that you're out."

    He replied, "I like me better now that I'm out, too."

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 4. fiona64  |  June 25, 2010 at 8:53 am

    I should explain that I meant "out" in the way of "coming out," not "out of the service."

    He was a good soldier, an outstanding writer … and he was treated very shabbily by a man who had been his champion right until the minute he learned that Joe was gay.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 5. Alan E.  |  June 25, 2010 at 8:55 am

    I have a friend who is in a branch of the military here in San Francisco area. His team, for their holiday photo one year, decided to take a picture in their speedos right in front of the Castro Theater. It makes me chuckle and sick at the same time, because they are making a stereotypical joke about SF, but little do they know, some of their crewmates are actually gay. It's tough for my friend because he can never let anyone know about his boyfriend, and his boyfriend feels left out and alienated at times.

  • 6. Alan E.  |  June 25, 2010 at 8:57 am

    "I like me better now that I’m out, too."

    That says it all.

  • 7. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  June 25, 2010 at 9:05 am

    I know just how his BF feels. For years while my Robert was away (for months and months) I could only write him letters…letters that I had to sign as Marsha so as to not draw suspicions…..his calls home had to be short and very limited because we just never knew who might be listening in. This was all LONG before cell phones and the internet. ( We're old LOL )
    Waiting on the docks for his ship to pull in was SO hard…I had to appear happy but not OVERLY happy again so as to not raise any eyebrows. Taking female friends with me as well so it looked 'normal'. UGH!!!

  • 8. JonT  |  June 25, 2010 at 9:28 am

    sub subscribing.

  • 9. eDee  |  June 25, 2010 at 10:31 am

    I always thought that don't ask don't tell meant that it just wasn't talked about. I thought people could go off base and be themselves – what happened off base stayed off base kind of thing. I never knew that people actually had to hide who they were to that extent.
    That is absolutely heart breaking.

    An "estimated 60,000 members of the U.S. military serving in the closet."
    I'm sitting here just shaking my head, how can this be? This is America! Why aren't we all free?!?!?!?!

  • 10. Billy  |  June 25, 2010 at 11:03 am

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don't_ask,_don&… :

    "The "don't ask" part of the policy indicates that superiors should not initiate investigation of a service member's orientation in the absence of disallowed behaviors, though credible and articulable evidence of homosexual behavior may cause an investigation. Violations of this aspect through persecutions and harassment of suspected servicemen and women resulted in the policy's current formulation as don't ask, don't tell, don't harass, don't pursue."

    Basically, they ignore the last two parts, because its convenient. Everyone loves a good 'ol fashioned witch hunt, apparently. >.<

  • 11. Richard A. Walter (s  |  June 25, 2010 at 11:06 am

    This story, and the many tens of thousands like this one, show exactly why nothing short of full repeal of DADT and full equality for all LGBTQQI's in America is enough. And Soledad was brave enough to do this story. And those men and women in uniform who spoke, and those who have already been ousted, are heroes for standing up for the right thing.

  • 12. JonT  |  June 25, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Yes, especially the don't pursue part. I would recommend reading:

    "Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America" by Nathaniel Frank.

    He goes into quite a bit of history WRT gays in the military, how the attitudes (and laws) changed over time, and talks to several ex-military and other people currently serving in the military.

    A good read.

  • 13. JonT  |  June 25, 2010 at 11:55 am

    I'm… stunned. While checking out CNN's website: http://www.cnn.com, I see near the bottom, an entire section labeled 'Gay in America'.

    I've not seen that on CNN before. I'm guessing it will disappear on July 1, but hey, it's progress :)

  • 14. Marlene  |  June 25, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Because eDee, you have an entrenched patriarchy who still have problems with *women* in the service in non-traditional jobs like flying as fighter pilots and test pilots, let alone openly LGBT soldiers.

    The entrenched military leadership at the Pentagon in regards to LGBTs in the service have the same attitudes their predecessors had about desegregating the military in '48. It's a generational thing.

    Most of the rank and file will have no problem serving with openly living LGBTs, other than those who were uber-conservative and uber-patriotic to begin with. It's also dependent on their commanding officers to have a no-tolerance policy when it comes to harassment.

    The Barry Winchell murder back in 1999 could've been prevented had not Ft. Campbell's command structure been so lax with discipline. The fort's CO faced no charges, and in fact was *promoted*!

  • 15. Straight Dave  |  June 25, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    It's been there about a week or so now. A good mix of relevant topics. I think this is a huge step forward in getting conversations and ideas out into the open. For too long there was no conversation among run-of-the-mill straight people who were not allies and who mostly didn't have any idea what was going on. It will help de-mystify some of the subconscious assumptions most people carry around. I expect more allies to emerge and tolerance to increase as the reality of LGBT lives emerges from the fog. I hope this section stays up until it is no longer needed.

  • 16. Bolt  |  June 25, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    I would rather we entirely withdraw from the Middle East before we authorize billions of dollars for a fruitless war with our repeal of DADT attached to it.

    We should sue in federal court to repeal DADT!

    Peace.

  • 17. Kathleen  |  June 25, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    scribing scribe

  • 18. Richard A. Walter (s  |  June 25, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    And I am getting ready to order this book. I remember reading about Jose when all of this was going down, and I was so angry that for a long time I would not tell anyone that I was a veteran.

  • 19. Sheryl  |  June 25, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Wonder what would happen if all of the LGBT members of the armed forces came out on the same day. Perhaps kicking one or two out at a time is one thing, but all 50,000 or 60,000 or even 70,000 on the same day just might open some eyes to the situation. Of course, I realize that will not happen just a rambling thought.

    To any of you serving in the service or who have friends, relatives, or spouses in the military who are members of the GLBT community, please extend my thanks to them for being willing to lay their life on the line even though our government and some of civilians don't think they should serve.

    Personally, I don't understand how anyone who is LGBT would want to serve in the military under the conditions they serve under.

    Sheryl

  • 20. Mandy  |  June 25, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    I joined a mommy online forums when I became pregnant with my first. Prior to joining the forums I never really knew people in the military. Since joining the forums I really learned more about the military and their families. I thought I had an idea what military service people went through but I had really no idea what the service person and their family went through.

    It breaks my heart that all those benefits (completely earned), support and help that all the service people's families get do not apply to lesbians and gay men. It is worse in that they have to hide their love, their family and have no help. I couldn't imagine wondering where my lover was (if they are deployed) and being the last one to know if they are alive. Plus I have read enough horror stories of in laws to make me saddened that the service member's lover is at the whim of the in laws. Or the stories of lesbians who were forced to have sex with their coworkers or their attackers would have turned the women in under DADT.

    All I can say is that our service men and women and their families deserve better then this!!!!!!!!

  • 21. Michelle Evans  |  June 25, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    As a transgender person, and someone who served in the US Air Force for seven years under constant fear of anyone finding out my "dark" secret, I can identify with all those who still serve our country even though their country would abandon them in a second just because of their sexuality.

    When I joined the service, I was just out of high school, and couldn't afford to go to college. So entering the USAF was a way to pay for college, but also a way to serve my country. I very much enjoyed the job I did and was well respected for it. But that fear was always lurking, and in the end I got my degree and then felt I had pressed my luck far enough, so I got out before I was found out.

    There was a time when I truly thought I would make the Air Force my career. I believed in what I was doing and I know I did it well, but fear can be a horrible thing to have hanging over you every day of your life. I actually had a couple guys that found out and tried to out me, but I was saved by the fact that these guys were know to hate me already so no one believed them! But the incident drove me much deeper into the closet that I ever was before.

    There is simply no excuse for this, no excuse for the garbage from people like John McCain. I think it would be especially ironic if one of McCain's old crew mates or friends from his time in the military were to come to him and tell him that they happened to be gay. How would he respond? Probably with rejection, but who knows, maybe he would get the idea that LGBT people are everywhere and I think it would be a pretty good bet that some of those whom he did work with at some time were a closeted part of our community.

  • 22. Straight Grandmother  |  June 25, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    Very Thoughtful and enlightening comments form everyone.

  • 23. Don in Texas  |  June 26, 2010 at 12:34 am

    Soledad O'Brien's story will air on CNN at 6 pm ET on both Saturday and Sunday.

  • 24. Sagesse  |  June 26, 2010 at 1:37 am

    Subscribing.

  • 25. Alan E.  |  June 26, 2010 at 3:48 am

    Is it on a news program? The only thing I see is the Gary and Tony Have a Baby (it's repeated a lot too).

  • 26. Kathleen  |  June 26, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Here's a media report from the "other side" – they're expecting to lose… of course according to Maggie, it's only because the Judge is biased. Riiiiight. http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/jun/10061715

  • 27. Mark M  |  June 27, 2010 at 5:03 am

    Always playing the poor victims….they make me sick!
    Thanks for posting Kathleen

  • 28. JonT  |  June 27, 2010 at 5:15 am

    Awww. I weep tears of sadness for them.

    I like how they mention that "…Walker is himself openly homosexual". I wonder how they define 'openly'. I was under the impression he kept his sexuality to himself.

    And if being gay makes him biased against the heteros, then wouldn't being straight make him automatically biased against the GLBT's?

    Oh wait, I forget. That 'logic' thing is confusing to them. :)

  • 29. Felyx  |  June 27, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Totally off topic but I love this comment by Boies regarding Blankenhorn…

    During your questioning of defense witness David Blankenhorn, president of the Institute for American Values, you brought up his academic credentials. Why?

    He was being called as an expert on marriage, and the presumed effects on gay and lesbian marriage in particular. And he simply had no academic or educational background in any of the subjects that were relevant to the issue. He had had only one peer-reviewed article in his life, and that was about cabinetmakers in Victorian England. And even though there were presumably gay and lesbian cabinetmakers because there are gays and lesbians in every walk of life, he didn’t really focus on that aspect of cabinet making in Victorian England.

    Seriously ROTFLMAO!!!!
    http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2010/06/27/davi

  • 30. Kathleen  |  June 27, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Great interview. I note Boies says he thinks the decision will come mid-August. I sure hope it's not that long!

  • 31. Straight Grandmother  |  June 27, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    My birthday was this week and our son had inquired as to what I might like as a gift. I said to jsut skip a gift as I couldn't really think of anything I needed or wanted. He had just went out and bought a used sofa sleeper and new padded matress cover so we would have a comfortable bed when we were there in May and I know he spent over $500 on that so I thought that was awfully thoughtful of him and I didn't really want him to go to any additional expense for my birthday.

    We talked by Skype today as he calls us every Sunday (what a great son he calls his parents every Sunday) and guess what he got me for my Birthday? I am so pleased- He made a $40 contribution to GetEqual. The main focus of GetEqual, removing DADT, does not affect anyone in our family, we don't have anyone in the military. However I do like them a lot because they do public protests and I firmly believe that public protests are what is going to accomplish our goals of Equality for All (inclding Equality in the Military even though our family is not directly impacted). We have to become visible and GetEqual is visible, they make people watch them and they make the mainstream news. On a side note I personally have contributed to the Courage Campaign as well.

    My grandchildren turned 2 in May and I wonder how long it will be until the day that I can become their legal grandmother. It is that simple, I want to be the legal grandparent to my grandchildren and the way the laws are now I am not. I want the laws changed so that my daughter's children born to our daughter in law, are legally MY grandchildren. When will I get Justice????

  • 32. HunterR.  |  June 27, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Happy BD Straight Grandmother!

  • 33. JonT  |  June 27, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Oh SNAP! :)

  • 34. Kathleen  |  June 27, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Happy Birthday, SG!

  • 35. Kathleen  |  June 27, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    A question to all the close trial watchers. Does anyone recollect Walker ever ruling on Tam's motion to withdraw as Defendant-Intervenor? I've looked through all the court documents, at least by title, and haven't found any reference to a ruling on the matter.

  • 36. Richard A. Walter (s  |  June 27, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    I may be wrong, but I think that in one of the documents you recently posted to scribd that the motion to remove him was denied. I will check again when I get back from the courthouse here.

  • 37. Straight Grandmother  |  June 28, 2010 at 12:25 am

    Katheleen, Yes I also remember the motion to withdraw him was denied by Walker, err Judge Walker that is LOL.

  • 38. Goerge  |  June 28, 2010 at 1:23 am

    When I see these peoples' stories, I feel sorry for them because someone messed up their lives at a relatively early age, most likely their parents who were unable to provide a healthy environment for the child to embrace a heterosexual family life for themselves. All the more reason to change our laws to encourage healthy, nurturing m/f parental relationships with their children, not screw up even more lives by encouraging non-traditional "families" of same-sex partners. Sad stories indeed.

  • 39. Alan E.  |  June 28, 2010 at 1:27 am

    How very Freudian of you. Have you looked at data for this since the 1970's?

  • 40. Dave P.  |  June 28, 2010 at 1:31 am

    Hey, Happy Birthday, SGM!

    And I wanted to bring attention to your comment:

    "I want to be the legal grandparent to my grandchildren and the way the laws are now I am not. I want the laws changed so that my daughter’s children born to our daughter in law, are legally MY grandchildren."

    …. I would bet that hearing about things like this could help change the minds of a lot of folks who are only somewhat aware of the issue of equal marriage rights. I bet it never enters their minds that marriage discrimination hurts the grandparents too.

  • 41. fiona64  |  June 28, 2010 at 1:46 am

    George, you are so full of crap.

  • 42. Dave P.  |  June 28, 2010 at 1:46 am

    Patriotic Americans who happen to be gay, and who are doing more to serve this country than you and your kind ever could or would, are telling their stories about how they are at risk of losing their careers due to senseless witch hunt regulations, and your warped logic concludes that it is a 'sad story' not because of the way they are treated by the military, but because 'something made them gay'…..

    How dare you. You should be thanking them for serving this country and protecting your rights. The fact that you don't return the favor and in fact are working to deny them equal rights speaks volumes about you. Your motives are clear and you are a bigot.

    Sad story indeed.

  • 43. David Moisan  |  June 28, 2010 at 2:23 am

    Shame on this country.

  • 44. Goerge  |  June 28, 2010 at 2:29 am

    Why do you think the one person figured only 2-3K of those discharged might want to get back in? Do you think it's because he thinks the other 10-11K just used the DADT policy as a means for getting an easy honorable discharge?

    I fear that allowing homosexuals to openly serve will discourage enlistment by many who live in rural/southern/religious conservative states. Then we'll need a draft and have a non-voluntary service. This is another wild social experiment conducted at the risk of destroying yet another important American institution responsible for the greatness of this country.

  • 45. Sheryl Carver  |  June 28, 2010 at 2:51 am

    Goerge,

    Try reading something current about DADT & homosexuality in general, as suggested by Alan E. And I mean things other than the garbage on the so-called "religious" fundamentalist sites. You might actually learn something.

    As for the guesses as to how many forced out by DADT who might not want to return to the military, there could be a number of reasons, such as:
    – now have a new career where they are successful & can be who they are
    – have new family obligations that make the frequent moves of military life problematic (children, aging parents, etc)
    – are enrolled in college
    and of course
    – reluctant to return to an institution that officially & legally discriminated against them for years. Depending on their individual experiences, just being back in uniform could trigger some very unpleasant & stressful memories, & they may feel "been there, done that, have moved on."

    BTW, Goerge, do you really spell your name that way, or did you mistype when you registered?

  • 46. Dave P.  |  June 28, 2010 at 3:07 am

    As usual, folks like 'Goerge' just try to change the subject when confronted and they know they don't have a valid argument.

    You still owe them your thanks. And you owe it to them to stop working on denying them their equal rights. You owe them big time. It's the very least you could do for these people who have done so much for you and this country.

    So what are you going to do?

  • 47. fiona64  |  June 28, 2010 at 3:32 am

    George wrote: I fear that allowing homosexuals to openly serve will discourage enlistment by many who live in rural/southern/religious conservative states.

    So what? All DADT does is protect the bigots, not the gay men and lesbians. Your assumption is that everyone in the rural/southern/religious conservative states is as bigoted as you are, and you are wrong.

    That said, the *exact* same argument was used by racists who didn't want the services to be racially integrated. And guess what? Somehow, the services survived.

    Get over your bigotry, with professional counseling if needed.

  • 48. fiona64  |  June 28, 2010 at 3:33 am

    @Sheryl: You may recall that George was banned for hate speech once before on this site; he re-registered with a deliberately misspelled name to get around it.

    I am weighing whether or not to report him to Julia, to be quite honest.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 49. Goerge  |  June 28, 2010 at 3:41 am

    Oh, I'm grateful for their service, and I'm sure that they are grateful for the tax dollars that I provide to them for their careers. I thank them for not revealing their homosexuality in the interest of keeping our military strong and morale high.

    Here's a thought: if you join an organization that has a rule against revealing your homosexuality, then don't reveal your sexuality or don't join. There are plenty of organizations that employ openly homosexual people, and many of these organizations are defense contractors.

  • 50. Goerge  |  June 28, 2010 at 3:45 am

    Oh, come on Fiona, I haven't said anything of a hateful nature. Why do you want to call the thought police on someone who has a differing opinion?

    You might think I'm a bigot because I post contrary opinions, but I do learn from you here. Can you suggest a site where I could have an intelligent discussion on the subject with gay people but not be called a bigot?

  • 51. fiona64  |  June 28, 2010 at 3:53 am

    Here's a thought:

    STOP BEING A GODDAMNED BIGOT.

  • 52. fiona64  |  June 28, 2010 at 3:54 am

    George, perhaps the reason you are being called out on your bigotry is because, oh, I don't know — you're a bigot.

    And, just so you know — this is a straight person calling you out.

  • 53. fiona64  |  June 28, 2010 at 3:56 am

    PS to George:

    It's interesting that a great many countries around the world have gay men and lesbians serving in their militaries and do not have a problem with morale. Nor are their militaries "weak."

    Isn't that amazing? In fact, most of those countries' service members are kind of astonished that it's even a question here.

  • 54. Mandy  |  June 28, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Supreme Court rules against UC student group that refused to admit gays
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la

  • 55. fiona64  |  June 28, 2010 at 3:59 am

    Yep. If you're receiving funding from the state (as Hastings does), you do not get to discriminate.

  • 56. Mandy  |  June 28, 2010 at 4:01 am

    "I fear that allowing homosexuals to openly serve will discourage enlistment by many who live in rural/southern/religious conservative states."

    Good don't want them. If they are not professional enough to distinguish between sexual orientation and being a soldier then they are not welcome in the armed forces. Our service men and women are well trained professionals who do their job under the most strenuous circumstances. Most service men and women recognize that DADT hurts the armed forces in that it removes good hard working men and women from the military.

  • 57. Goerge  |  June 28, 2010 at 4:10 am

    Haven't read the opinion, yet, but at first blush, this doesn't look like a discrimination case; it's a case about whether a university can have a constitutional policy that requires a sanctioned group to accept "all comers". Thus, if the group had a no-Nazi policy or a no-rapist policy, the school could reject it's status on the same grounds as gays.

  • 58. fiona64  |  June 28, 2010 at 4:15 am

    George, you are now comparing gay men and lesbians to Nazis and rapists.

    *Now,* my dear friend — you have crossed into verifiable hate speech instead of just treading the line.

  • 59. Goerge  |  June 28, 2010 at 4:23 am

    fiona, I wasn't making a comparison of gays to anyone; I was making an analogy to make a point: that even the most-hated people in the world could not be excluded from this group and be accepted by the school. If anything, the statement implied that gays are nothing like Nazis or rapists.

  • 60. Richard A. Walter (s  |  June 28, 2010 at 4:37 am

    Goerge ("Team George" in disguise)

    D bist ein dray kup. Klug na, dine kup arbit nit. Meshuggah Monist. Metornish. Du bisth ein SHANDA fer Menchen.

    Lubavitcher rabbi Harav Abraham Benzion ben Abraham Avenu vaSarah Emanu haIsrael Jernigan

  • 61. Richard A. Walter (s  |  June 28, 2010 at 4:39 am

    Goerge–

    Du bist ein dray kup. Klug na, dine kup arbit nit. Meshuggah Monist. Metornish. Du bisth ein SHANDA fer Menchen.

    Lubavitcher rabbi Harav Abraham Benzion ben Abraham Avenu vaSarah Emanu haIsrael Jernigan

  • 62. Kathleen  |  June 28, 2010 at 4:40 am

    I know Walker ruled on the question of the documents and associated testimony Tam (and the other Proponents') wanted stricken from the record. But I don't recall Walker ruling on Tam's motion to withdraw as a Defendant–Intervenor.

    Richard, if you can find the document you think ruled on this, that would be great.

  • 63. Richard A. Walter (s  |  June 28, 2010 at 4:55 am

    Goerge–
    In case the logic has escaped your brain, you may want to go back to the dictionary and look up the word analogy. You say you are not making comparisons, and yet that is exactly what an analogy is–a comparison. Now, when you get your head out of your rear end and actually begin to learn something that is of some use, rather than merely parroting all of the lame excuses of the LDS church, whose hierarchy is still mad that the men cannot have as many wives as they want, then you can come back. Until then, do the entire world a favor and keep your bigotry at home. I would suggest professional counseling, as Fiona has done, but to be quite honest with you, I don't think it would be of any use. You see, before someone can receive counseling for his problem, he must first admit that he has a problem. And this is something you are not man enough to do. YOu will simply continue to parrot what President Momson wants you to say, and add to that a parroting of what the ANazi Pope wants you to believe, and that will be good enough. Why don't you grow a pair and become man enough to admit that we are human beings, that we are NOT screwed up,and that we too deserve to have the full rights and responsibilities that come along with marriage under the law of this land, and stop trying to be an oppressor? If you want to live in a theocracy instead of a pluralistic democratic republic, move to Iran, Iraq, or Uganda? I am sure they would all love having you there. ANd once there you can beat your wife all you ant to and you can throw your children out when you find out they are born gay. But here, we believe in the value of ALL people, not just those of a certain gender, a certain religion, a certain skin color, or a certain socioeconomic class, or a certain sexual orientation. Her we believe in EQUAL RIGHTS for ALL AMERICANS, whether Goerge likes that or not.

  • 64. Richard A. Walter (s  |  June 28, 2010 at 4:58 am

    @ Fiona, #47:

    I have reported him, so please go right ahead. The more of us who do, the more likely that he will be banned permanently. Especially after they trace EVERY computer and/orsmartphone he has used in order to post.

  • 65. Straight Grandmother  |  June 28, 2010 at 5:05 am

    Me too, just read my name, another straight person calling you out you BIGOT!!!! Get the hell otta here.

  • 66. Kathleen  |  June 28, 2010 at 5:26 am

    This seems appropriate in light of the news of the latest Supreme Court decision.

    A nice piece on retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, written by two of his former law clerks. http://www.law.com/jsp/ca/PubArticleCA.jsp?id=120

  • 67. Dave P.  |  June 28, 2010 at 5:29 am

    Goerge, you either have no idea what you are talking about or you are intentionally avoiding the truth – virtually NONE of the discharges under DADT have been due to someone ignoring the "DON'T TELL" part of the regulation and revealing their homosexuality. They have been due to SOMEONE ELSE engaging in witch-hunt behavior and ignoring the "DON'T ASK" part of the regulation, including giving direct orders to answer questions about sexual orientation.

    And please, you couldn't even offer a simple and genuine 'thank you' without tossing in a snide remark about your tax dollars, as if the fact that you pay taxes somehow makes it OK for you to deny these people their equal rights when you should be supporting them as much as they are supporting you. What a shallow selfish bigot you are. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  • 68. Kathleen  |  June 28, 2010 at 5:32 am

    Am I the only CSPAN nerd watching Kagan's confirmation hearings?

  • 69. Sheryl Carver  |  June 28, 2010 at 5:39 am

    @Goerge:

    Nothing about your posts has anything to do with "intelligent discussion." You only parrot old, worn-out cliches that have been disproved by research. As soon as someone here calls you on one of them, you just switch to a different one. You certainly don't seem to have learned anything, contrary to your assertion.

    People are free to hold onto their beliefs, no matter how illogical or unscientific. However, in THIS country that is not a valid reason for denying full civil rights to anyone.

    Since you appear to have no interest other than spewing your bigotry, we'd like you to just go away.

  • 70. fiona64  |  June 28, 2010 at 5:51 am

    George wrote: fiona, I wasn’t making a comparison of gays to anyone; I was making an analogy to make a point: that even the most-hated people in the world could not be excluded from this group and be accepted by the school.

    Your "analogy" makes gay men and lesbians the equivalent of "the most-hated people in the world," George — which you admit right here.

    An analogy is a direct, concrete comparison between two groups or objects (in case you missed that day in high school). You making an "analogy" to gay men and lesbians and Nazis and rapists is *hate speech.*

    Give it up, bigot.

  • 71. Sheryl Carver  |  June 28, 2010 at 5:51 am

    @fiona64:

    Yeah, I figured it was probably the old bigot "George" in a lame disguise. Sure sounds like him.

    Like you & others, I just sent an email to Julia to see if he can be either removed or at least given a warning.

    It's sad to see anyone's brain , even his, so totally trashed by bigotry.

  • 72. allen  |  June 28, 2010 at 5:52 am

    Perhaps these people from the South whom you have stereotyped are not joining because there are Muslims or blacks in the service? Are you suggesting we have a DADT policy on every private matter that can spark controversy?

    DADT is a disgrace to gay and non-gay service men and women. Imagine if the military adopted the same policy regarding religion, but only outed Muslims were kicked out and outed Christians were not.

    It should be common sense, but apparently it is not. Equality is not an experiment, it is an American struggle that we are all too familiar with. As much as you'd like to discredit, these gay people have lives and families waiting for them back home too. All they're asking is to be treated like everyone else, no more, no less.

  • 73. Kathleen  |  June 28, 2010 at 6:02 am

    Goerge,

    If you have a genuine desire to be involved in a serious discussion, I would suggest that you not only read the various studies that have been brought to your attention, but also read the transcripts of the testimony phase of the Perry trial. They are available here, spanning dates 1/11/10 – 1/27/10: http://www.equalrightsfoundation.org/our-work/hea

    Doing this will give you a chance to read testimony by experts in the relevant disciplines and also the cross-examination of those experts by a lawyer defending Prop 8. If, after reading this testimony, you feel there was some rebuttal to the evidence presented that wasn't adequately addressed by counsel, you could bring those issues to the discussion.

    I do want to stress, however, that it's important to read the actual trial transcripts, and not the spin put on the trial by media and/or advocates from either side.

  • 74. Richard A. Walter (s  |  June 28, 2010 at 6:02 am

    Allen, I live in a military town. In fact, the town I live near prides iself on being home to the 82nd Airborne and Special Forces Training. In fact, Forscom is in the process of the final moves so that they can finish this potion of BRAC by March of 2011. And when they had the first report to Congress about repealing DADT, the local news stations had a "man on the street" type of interview at one of the eateries here that is popluar with our men and women on post about DADT and it's repeal. And gues what 98% of our men and women from Ft. Bragg said about DADT? And this was all ranks from ennlisted to high-ranking commissioned officers? Contrary to "Team George" (aka "Goerge" so that he can troll and think he is fooling people who actually have abrain and know what a brain is used for) wants to believe, they said that morale would acctually go UP and that our military would be STRONGER once DADT is repealed. Hear that, George? This is coming from our military personnel in the toughest part of our military–the 82nd Airborne and Special Forces! And they are actually saying the exact OPPOSITE of the trash you are saying.
    Oh, and just so you will know. It isn't the openly gay men that you have to worry about when it comes to sexual harassment and sexual assault. It is the supposedly straight boys who are out to teach the gays and lesbians a lesson who are perpetrating the ssexual harassment and sexual assault. That is when people's lives get screwed u. And the best way to have a happy, well-adjusted, stable life is to be honest with yourself and not to lie about who you are and who you love.
    Now, when you can grow a pair and actually learn to be yourself and be honest about who you are, and stop parroting the same tired old cliches that have been disproven over and over again, the sooneryou will be on your way to being a happy, well-adjusted man who can actuallyadmit that he is gay, and is pretending to be a bigot because he does not want to be shot, beaten, stabbed, or burned because of who he loves.

  • 75. george's boyfri  |  June 28, 2010 at 6:14 am

    Here's a thought, george. You don't have to reveal your sexuality to get fired. I can do that for you and then you're out of a job and your plan for your future is ruined.

    It's not that I mean to hurt you, not really. I'm just tired of having to hide who I am because your job discriminates against you. So one little slip and – one way or another – I don't have to put up with your stupid military career any more.

    Honestly honey, your argument here is kind of like saying "Why do you keep trying to buy a house in the rich white neighborhood when there's plenty of ghetto housing available to you?" That's tacky and you're better than that, sweetheart.

  • 76. george's boyfri  |  June 28, 2010 at 6:20 am

    Sweety, we talked about this.

    The Internet is good for porn, but not for intelligent discussions. Honey, I don't mean to say that it is impossible to find one out there, because you can find anything on the internet, but you're going to get called names no matter where you post.

    And you're going to get labeled with more consistency and frequency if you act in a manner that earns and deserves the label in question.

    You have to realize that people like you and me, the gays behind the other posts, are actual people. When you type in your callous self-hatred it comes across as dehumanizing, and that makes us just as angry as it would any human who is being treated as less than.

    We're running low on milk. Could you pick up some on the way home tonight?

    Love you!

  • 77. george's boyfri  |  June 28, 2010 at 6:29 am

    What was it, dearheart, that happened to you at a young age?

    Nevermind the people here who fight your self-loathing by loathing you back. That doesn't matter, sweety. I give you permission to love yourself and to talk about whatever horrible thing it was that happened to you so that we can move past it together and you can let it go.

    There's no reason for you to continue suffering carrying around this baggage. Share it with me, and with these people, and we will all help you to heal, my love.

    It makes me sad to see you hurting. You come here with your pain and instead of asking for a shoulder to cry on, you lash out. Come. Cry with me – it doesn't make you less of a man to experience your emotions naturally. You don't have to try and be strong and go through this alone. I am here – we are here – to help you through it.

    Love you more than you know,

  • 78. Sagesse  |  June 28, 2010 at 8:21 am

    If I recall, this ruling would be very near the end of the trial, perhaps in Judge Walker's ruling, or even after it. The logic, again to the best of my recollection, is that Tam (and the other D-I's), caused this case to proceed, which means a lot of people went to the trouble to prepare and present evidence, and took up the court's time. Allowing someone to withdraw would mean it's ok, after they initiated all this expense of time and effort, to say…. oops, I changed my mind, or I didn't mean it.

    Wouldn't begin to know where to look for the reference where this was discussed, back when.

  • 79. fiona64  |  June 28, 2010 at 8:22 am

    George has been banned (again).

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 80. Kathleen  |  June 28, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Sagesse,
    you wrote, "perhaps in Judge Walker’s ruling, or even after it"
    Which ruling are you referring to?

    "this ruling would be very near the end of the trial"
    Do you mean it was near the end of the testimony phase – that it was a ruling that would be recorded in the transcript of the testimony?

    Thanks for helping me with this

  • 81. Dpeck  |  June 28, 2010 at 9:13 am



    Hmm…..

    ….Sounds like….. tumbleweeds….

    : )

  • 82. Monty  |  June 28, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Look up at post #76. He got banned again.

  • 83. Monty  |  June 28, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Meant that to be a reply to Dpeck. Oh well.

  • 84. Straight Dave  |  June 28, 2010 at 9:23 am

    I have just sat down to watch Milk on DVD with my wife. Just know I'm gonna have bad flashbacks and get upset about it. I had lived in SF for about a year when this happened and it was pretty much the start of my transition to Ally status. The shock of gov't officials getting shot, combined with the gay aspect, was a lot for me to digest at the time. The injection of violence, for whatever demented reason was behind it, helped me turn a corner. I couldn't help thinking at the time that Moscone was the main target and that Milk was just another gratuitous gay killing. White probably figured he was going to rot in hell anyway, so why not take another gay guy out as he was going down. I never saw or heard anything to dissuade me from that feeling. I think that's what did it for me. Now I'll get back to feeling sad and reminiscing about what I consider the best big city in the US I've ever been in.

  • 85. Dpeck  |  June 28, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Ah. Got it. Although I have to say I guess I had a teeny tiny hope that 'Goerge' had taken Kathleen's encouragement to heart and was busying himself reading the transcripts and that just maybe he was actually learning something.

    I mean, it might happen.

    And monkeys might fly outta my butt.

  • 86. Sagesse  |  June 28, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Kathleen, I mean his ruling on the case, the one we're waiting on. I don't recall Walker ruling on Tam's request to withdraw yet…

    I wish I could remember more clearly. I think it was around the time Tam took the stand, either in a liveblog, or in commentary, or maybe even Judge Walker himself explaining that even tho Tam had asked to be removed as a D-I, he still has to testify, and decision on his D-I status would not be made for some time.

  • 87. JonT  |  June 28, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    I've got MILK in my netflix Q – should arrive tomorrow. Don't know why I've waited so long to rent it – I guess I do not really want to see the killing :(

    But I will.

  • 88. Richard A. Walter (s  |  June 28, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    We bought it at Wal-Mart and got the edition with all the extras. We have watched it once already, and will be watching it again once we get Berfore Stonewall, Stonewall Uprising, After Stonewall, and 8:The Mormon Proposition. Make an entire day of it.

  • 89. Dpeck  |  June 28, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Here's another very good DVD about related topics – "The Castro", a great PBC documentary:
    http://www.kqed.org/w/hood/castro/

    Highly recommended.

  • 90. Kathleen  |  June 28, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Ah, now I understand. Yes, I don't think he has ruled on the motion yet.

  • 91. Sheryl  |  June 28, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    So, George, are you saying that my son is gay because I divorced his alcoholic, physically abusive father and denied him that "wonderful" father figure? That's certainly what I'm reading into "provide a healthy environment for the child to embrace a heterosexual family life for themselves."

    Could you please explain to me how raising him with a physically abusive alcoholic father would have provided those qualities. Oh, and while you are at it, please explain how his cousin, who did have the mother, father, sisters family life and with a father who was always involved with their little league activities and not alcoholic or abusive is also gay. They were not raised together (we live in different states).

    Looking forward to your comments on this.

    Sheryl, Mormon mother to a wonderful son who just happens to be gay.

  • 92. Sheryl  |  June 28, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Guess I should have read all of the way down before responding to George. I'll try to remember to ask the next one of that group my question. I think their answer should be very interesting.

    Sheryl

  • 93. Ed-M  |  June 28, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    "Goerge", or "Team George:"

    Fiona64 is right. There are lots of countries where lesbians and gay men can serve openly. One of them is called "Israel." The only reason we can't in THIS country, which was NEVER founded on the Christian religion, is because of your and your peers' Christian extremism and bigotry which the rest of us, uninfected believers and nonbelievers alike are totally sick and tired of!

    And if you're struggling with your own homosexuality, it's all the MORE important to get over your internalised homophobia and learn to accept who and what you are. IOW, it's okay to be gay; it's NOT okay to be an arrogant, self-loathing, closeted, bigoted extremist! Why? Because being the latter will gradually destroy your mental health!

  • 94. Ed-M  |  June 28, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    Aaw nutz! And I just posted a response to one of his earlier comments in this thread! But he deserved it, making an analogy like THAT.

  • 95. nightshayde  |  June 29, 2010 at 11:00 am

    As far as they're concerned, being biased against the GLBTs would make him right instead of biased.

    Remember – you're only an "activist judge" if you're not in lock-step with the fundamentalist Christians.

  • 96. Caitly  |  June 30, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_f7js0mLwY4

    That clip from The West wing pretty much cinches the argument for me.
    Sad thing is, that went on air over 10 years ago and people still aren't listening.

  • 97. Richard A. Walter (s  |  June 30, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Caitly, the argument was cinched for me back in 1981 when I met my first husband. He had served in Vietnam, several tours in-country with the USMC and had enough medals of valour and honor that he would have needed a sash similar to the green ones the Girl Scouts put their merit badges on in order to wear all of them at one time. His unit knew he was gay and did not care. In fact, they had more respect for him because he refused to lie about who he was. DADT should NEVER have happened, and neither should the sections of the UCMJ which bar gay men and women from serving. Those sections are thanks to Joe McCarthy's influence and also to Roy Cohn, who was a closeted gay man and was that much harder on other gay men and women in order to keep his own secret.
    And for those of us who are older and may remember, the admiral in that episode of the West Wing is the same man who played James Evans on Good Times. And I think he also had a large role in Roots. John Amos.

  • 98. JonT  |  June 30, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Damn – I forgot how awesome that show was :)

    Thanks for the reminder.

    As Richard and many others have pointed out, gay people already serve in the military, and always have. All DADT does is provide a weapon/extortion-tool for the bigots.

    Long past time for that shit to end.

  • 99. Ronnie  |  July 2, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    I'm crying a river for them..really…truly…facepalms…..<3…Ronnie

  • 100. Ronnie  |  July 2, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    YAYYYYYYY!!!!!!!…..Cancer star sign Babies….My B-day was on the 27th too…I went to Fire Island for the week…the reception sucked so I stayed away from the internet….Richard & Kathleen told me you guys were wondering what the D is….

    I'm alive guys/gals…lol….& refreshed ready for some freedom fighting…bring it on Hateros…BRING…IT…OOOON!!!!!….. ; ) …..Ronnie

    P.S. Happy belated b-day SG….& I agree with Dave P.

  • 101. Ronnie  |  July 3, 2010 at 12:01 am

    What use to be George=Guy Envying Our Righteous Gay Energy….

    has taken to cowardly way out since he/she/it/ugly thing has been banned…real stalker and sociopathetic…I mean sociopathic like….changing around the words in its sad little insignificant name and somehow spoofed an IP address or even more pathetic using an internet cafe to harass people who don't conform to its Hiter-esque, anti-American carp in which HISTORY shows never last long….

    aweeee….tear….that river I mentioned earlier that I'm crying…..getting wider…honestly…I mean like flood worthy……

    so now that the uneducated, anti-American, pathetic, ingrate troll has cowardly changed its insignificant little twinky name to….

    Goerge=Guy Obviously Envying Righteous Gay Energy

    P.S. F@#K you closet case….. ; ) …Ronnie

  • 102. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 3, 2010 at 1:14 am

    Ronnie, I am going to forward some things to you. Watch your email box.

  • 103. Ed-M  |  July 3, 2010 at 3:16 am

    These people are not happy unless they get to force their beliefs on everyone.

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