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Obama Seeks Delay in DADT Trial

Trial analysis

By Robert Cruickshank

Same-sex marriage isn’t the only LGBT equality-related issue making its way through federal courts here in California. The Log Cabin Republicans have filed suit in a federal court in Riverside seeking to have the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy ruled unconstitutional and overturned. Today we learned that the Obama Administration is seeking to have the case delayed while Congress debates the issue:

While President Obama struggles to get Congress to roll back the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law for gays and lesbians in the military, the last place he wants his lawyers to be is in federal court defending the policy — against a group of Republicans, no less.

But that’s where the Justice Department finds itself, with a trial scheduled July 13 before a federal judge in Riverside in a suit by the Log Cabin Republicans. Now the department has asked the judge to put the case on hold while the issue is before Congress.

Since the House has already voted to add a repeal of the policy to the military appropriations bill, and the Senate is preparing to consider the same step, a little patience might spare the judiciary from the time and expense of a trial, government lawyers argued in court papers. Besides, they said, the Supreme Court has recognized that judges don’t know much about the military, and Congress is much more qualified to make these kinds of decisions.

It certainly would look really bad if the Obama Administration were to defend DADT in court – probably because it would indeed be the objectively wrong thing to do. They’ve been facing an avalanche of criticism over their slow pace of action on LGBT rights issues, much of it deserved. Defending DADT in court would reinforce these criticisms, at a time when the White House is seeking credit for action in support of equality, and on DADT in particular.

As the SF Chronicle post indicates, the federal judge doesn’t seem inclined to take the Obama Administration’s side in this:

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips is scheduled to consider those arguments at a hearing Monday. If she refuses to delay the case, Justice Department lawyers have a fallback position — the only legally appropriate trial in this case would be one without any witnesses.

The Log Cabin Republicans want to present testimony from former service members who’ve been affected by don’t ask, don’t tell, and from scholars who would assert that the policy serves no useful purpose and actually hurts the military. But the Obama administration — which is in the case because of its stated policy of defending all federal laws — says all that evidence is irrelevant.

Because the suit is a “facial challenge” against the entire policy, rather than against its application to anyone in particular, the only evidence that matters, the Justice Department says, is the evidence before Congress when it passed the law in 1993. And because Congress “could have rationally determined” that a ban on openly gay or lesbian soldiers would maintain military effectiveness by protecting privacy and reducing sexual tension, the department says, there’s no need for testimony from witnesses about whether lawmakers acted wisely.

But that argument might not fly because Judge Phillips has already said she’s inclined to hold the government to a higher standard, an issue she also plans to address at Monday’s hearing. That standard would require the Justice Department to prove that don’t ask, don’t tell serves some legitimate public purpose in today’s military. It might be an uncomfortable task for an administration whose leader has publicly called the policy unfair and discriminatory and wants it repealed.

In other words, there is a specific dispute here about what kind of trial and what kind of evidence can be presented, owing to the fact that the case is filed against the policy and not on behalf of any individual impacted by the policy. The White House would clearly prefer that if it did go to trial, that the trial be as dry and legalistic as possible, without testimony from witnesses.

Why might that be? As we’ve all learned through the Prop 8 trial, testimony matters. When those who have been victimized by a systematic policy of discrimination are able to tell their stories, it creates a powerful moral argument against discriminatory policy, making it politically difficult to sustain that policy. It also makes it very difficult for a judge to overlook the evidence of the discriminatory impact of such a policy.

That’s not to say the White House is deliberately trying to silence LGBT voices the same way as, for example, the National Organization for Marriage. President Obama has called for DADT to be repealed, and has worked to get a repeal through Congress.

Still, it’s clear that the White House brought this situation upon themselves by their desire to delay DADT repeal. Had they moved quickly to repeal the indefensible policy in 2009 upon taking office, the policy might well be on its way out, or might be repealed altogether. Not only would it help the White House avoid further embarrassment and public anger, but it would also, you know, have been the right thing to do for all the LGBT soldiers serving our country.

80 Comments

  • 1. Bob  |  July 1, 2010 at 10:13 am

    this post is hopefully first, for Ronnie in his absence

    WTF Get on it Obama, geeze things are getting complicated

  • 2. Kathleen  |  July 1, 2010 at 10:15 am

    I'm confused. Isn't the above cited SF Gate article from June 26 and referencing a hearing that has now taken place (on June 28)? And hasn't the judge in this case already rejected the government's argument and set a date for trial?
    http://sdgln.com/news/2010/06/30/log-cabin-republ

    Or am I missing something?

  • 3. Kathleen  |  July 1, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Yeah, where is Ronnie? Anyone heard from him?

  • 4. K!r!lleXXI  |  July 1, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Scrubbing the sub

  • 5. nightshayde  |  July 1, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Can DADT be repealed by Executive Order? For some reason, I seem to remember that it COULD be lifted that way, but that President Obama wanted to go through legislative channels so the next president couldn't just waltz in and re-enact the policy.

    Could he put a moratorium on enforcement of the policy in play until the Pentagon review is complete? Would that stall the lawsuit?

  • 6. Alto  |  July 1, 2010 at 10:37 am

    This is another of those situations where I find myself saying 'You can't make this stuff up' …

    Subscribing.

  • 7. Jeremy  |  July 1, 2010 at 10:57 am

    I kept telling people that this trial will be the only way to get a true repeal– repeal being the end of all anti-gay discrimination in the military. The so-called "repeal" doesn't do this. It merely repeals the statue mandating the policy that discriminates, doesn't mandate non-discrimination, have a time-line, protect LGB service members in any way, or even prevent a more discriminatory policy being enacted.

    I predict we will probably win all our forthcoming motions and the trial will start on July 13th. Hopefully, the Judge will decide in our favor quickly, using heightened scrutiny, and put an immediate injunction on all DADT discharges pending appeal. IOW, the true death of DADT, unlike the turd sandwich the President is feeding us.

    BTW, wouldn't it be awesome if Perry and Log Cabin were to get to SCOTUS in the same term? I feel we would be way more likely to get suspect class status if the Justices could review the trial records of each case at the same time. It would provide a very broad and deep view of de jure anti-gay discrimination.

  • 8. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 1, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    I say NO DELAY! Try it today! Get rid of DADT and return our men and women to uniform. And for those who were ousted and denied their retirement benefits, restore those benefits fully and give them a full honorable discharge right now. And yes, there should be testimony presented in this trial. These stories need to be heard.

  • 9. Bolt  |  July 1, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Kagan was asked what she thought of DADT, earlier this week. Her questioner was Jeff Sessions. She replied, "I'm against DADT. It's morally reprehensible." That was said immediately before this federal challenge to DADT was filed.

    Does this create the illusion that she is prejudiced towards DADT, and wouldn't she need to recuse herself from the case?

  • 10. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 1, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    I just heard from Ronnie. He is fine. He is on vacation at Fire Island, enjoying some liquid refreshment.

  • 11. Kathleen  |  July 1, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Well, her view of DADT was very public before her nomination, so there would have been no point in her declining to answer questions. However, believing that the policy is "unjust" and "unwise" doesn't answer the question as to whether it is unconstitutional. It is that latter question she will be asked to answer if a case ever comes to her as a Supreme Court Justice.

    Whether or not she would have to recuse herself from any case involving DADT will have more to do with whether she previously served as an advocate in federal court (e.g., was a lawyer defending the policy for the government) than whether she has a personal opinion about the 'wisdom' of the law.

    And even if she would be required recuse herself in the future, this fact alone won't be determinative in confirming her nomination to the Court. Many Justices in the past have had to recuse themselves from cases in which they had been previously involved.

    The political right is troubled by her position on DADT; they are going to scream about it whether there is an obvious case on the horizon or not. I don't see how this case will have any effect on her confirmation.

  • 12. Kathleen  |  July 1, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Thanks for letting us know. Puts my mind at ease.

  • 13. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 1, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Any time. In fact, I sent the first text marked as urgent, then called and left a message that left no doubt that we all miss him. Boy will he have some subscribing to catch up on when he gets back!

  • 14. Sarah  |  July 1, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    This is probably a dumb question, but why in the world would republicans take DADT to court anyways? Are they doing it specifically to make the Obama Administration look bad? It seems rather… it's hard to think of the right term, but Disney Villain-esqe will have to do.

  • 15. MichGuy  |  July 1, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    http://articles.sfgate.com/2010-05-29/news/216497
    http://echelonmagazine.com/index.php?id=1629&…

    Looks Like this suit was originally filed in 2004 and ammended afterwards to add more plaintifs

  • 16. Kathleen  |  July 1, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Also here: http://online.logcabin.org/motions.html

  • 17. nightshayde  |  July 1, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    I really wish people would stop messing with the space/time continuum whenever I go to lunch. >.<

    Last week it was the TX GOP party platform trying to take us back to 1955 or something. Now at least we're just going back a few days instead of a few decades. =)

  • 18. Bolt  |  July 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    More importantly, wouldn’t this gum up E. Kagen’s senate nomination? She commented on this the other day.

    Is this the Log Cabin Republican’s way of screwing everything up her?

  • 19. Kathleen  |  July 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    I don’t see a way this would impact Kagan’s confirmation. In what way?

  • 20. Kathleen  |  July 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Read the Palm Center study – link here:
    http://www.palmcenter.org/press/dadt/releases/New+Study+Says+Obama+Can+Halt+Gay+Discharges+With+Executive+Order

    Might be valuable to also find opposing view reaction to the study to see both sides. I haven’t looked for that.

  • 21. Straight Grandmother  |  July 1, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    More of this, much more. We all came to ths website to read and follow Trail information on Prop 8. I know I would love to see more news on all Trials. I wish this website were designed differently. If I was running the show LOL, I would set it up more like a true Forum. Where you have topics, Like Court Cases-Prop 8, DOMA, DAT- Legislation, DADT, Kagan's nomination, immigration, etc. etc. Executive Branch- Discusion on Obama inviting GLBT's to the white house. Protesting- This would be a great Section where people could post where different protests are going on and or maybe a spot where we could post- "Hey contact your congressman" But that might be better posted under Legislation. Legislation should be broken down into Federal then by State.

    This website is set up like Facebook and it is very hard to go back and find information. Not only that but I strongly feel that we memebers should be able to post topics. Select a few members as admins to supplament the Courage staff so it is not a huge burden for them. We are a pretty good group of people I think ,and i think we can be trusted to post our own topics. I would also like to attach, attachments and pics. If you agree with this please do two things. Send and e-mail to prop8trial@couragecampaign.org with a subject line of "Website Improvements Requested" Then Post back here also.

    I really would like to follow this DADT trail on P8TT as well as the DOMA trial. I would like the software to be bettor organized to do that. I have years of experience designing databases which requires building hierarchies.

  • 22. Kathleen  |  July 1, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Jeremy, you seem to have been keeping up with this case in a way I have not. Can you tell me whether the judge relied on the holding in the Witt v. United States Department of the Air Force (9th Circuit 2008) in deciding there needs to be a heightened standard of review?

    In general, it’s important not to read too much into any possible negative results in cases challenging DADT. That is, don’t take those results as an accurate indicator of how other glbt civil rights cases will be decided. The courts have traditionally given great deference to the executive and legislative branches in decided military matters. That’s why challenging DADT in the courts is going to be much more difficult than challenges to, say, DOMA.

  • 23. JonT  |  July 1, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    Oh Ronnie….. Where aarreeee yooouuu.

    (ƃuıqıɹɔsqns)

  • 24. Chris  |  July 1, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    I have felt for years that the Democratic Party is 'Republican-Lite.' On this basis, I vote Green in whichever races we have a Green candidate. I knew Obama would be a giant disappointment. What change? What hope? What transparency?

    It's time we had a candidate that lived up to their own hype. It's time we had a leader who does the right thing.

  • 25. Roy  |  July 1, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Am I to feel sorry for Obama and the Administration because they are feeling pressure and awkward having to defend DADT in a trial? I don’t think so! There’s been so much lip service for years…and tho I voted for Obama, I have lost patience waiting for him to deliver his promises. I dont want to hear how there are wars, and health care and oil spills…he’s an intelligent man and can do more than one thing/issue at a time. If he wants to wait for the Congressional vote, then Stop the discharges with a stroke of the pen..now. He’s feeling awkward saying DADT should go, yet have to defend it in court? Too f’n bad. Spend a day, a week, a month , a year in OUR shoes listening to empty promises. Then you might get some sympathy. Put up or shut up Boss. The sky won’t fall.

  • 26. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 1, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    The Log Cabin Republicans are LGBTQQI Republicans, not the John McCain-Sarah Falin variety. The Log Cabin Republicans are republicans with brains who know how to use their brains.

  • 27. JAG  |  July 1, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    Yet ANOTHER example of the Obama administration having the opportunity to do right and blowing it.
    From TARP, to the Auto industry bailouts, to a proper tax cut, to the BP disaster, to DADT, ENDA and DOMA, this administration has missed the chance to do right. Instead always making the big error in judgment.

  • 28. Ray in MA  |  July 2, 2010 at 3:20 am

    Doesn't TOPIX have a category to this Trial? Perhaps you could go there instead?

    You may be a Pro DB Architect, but the web is a different animal..

    Being a Web Technologist, I'm sure the designers of this site took many things into consideration, including the audience, the subject matter, and their ability to monitor, for example.

    I like this format just fine!

  • 29. fern  |  July 2, 2010 at 3:46 am

    The log cabin may be part of the GOP but that is their bad too. It looks to me that Obama's message was that the GOP would take it w/out vaseline and DADT would be repelled by the end of this year just in times for the gubes and by 2012 DOMA would be close to extinction so he could be re-elected to a second mandate and eradicate it.
    I also believe (it's a hunch) that that if 'Perry v. Schwartzie' succeeds it will remain for California a GLBT victory but only California. Obama needs Gay money to pull it through and you got more than the Mormons do and more than a donkey's got hair(spray?).
    I like Obama in ways I like Sarkozy of France, both of them have a speech closer to the common people, when you hear Giscard or Mitterand from France they speak out of Claudel's book 'Le pain dur', most French people didn't even understand them.

    By the way austerity is wrong and no good it will only help the financiers to get back on their bikes and try to give you more of the same you had before when people are out of money they stop buying stupid they stop buying period, they're out of money, so, who's going to sell? Look at BP everyone is trying to sell them share, they liked the profits not the spill. People been ripped off by Madoff, they were so greedy they got stupid, I don't like Madoff but I don't feel sorry for the investors.
    Enough of my rambling mu puter will wake me up with the National Anthem.

  • 30. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 2, 2010 at 3:50 am

    Texas GOP platform: criminalize gay marriage and ban sodomy, outlaw strip clubs and pornography

    Not sure if I am making the link correct. But, even though Same Sex Marriage is not yet legal in Texas, they want the ability to arrest anyone who issues a marriage license to a Same sex couple.

  • 31. Bob  |  July 2, 2010 at 3:53 am

    I like this fromat just fine as well, I'm grateful for it's existence and the sense of community and communication it affords,

    We have always been able to post links to subject matters which are perhaps off topic for the day, but very relevant at the moment for us.

  • 32. fern  |  July 2, 2010 at 4:16 am

    I still don't like republicans.

  • 33. fern  |  July 2, 2010 at 4:51 am

    right, my thinking.

  • 34. Alan E.  |  July 2, 2010 at 4:52 am

    Hi everyone. I wanted to let you know that a new history museum will be going into the Castro very soon. This will be the first of its kind in the US and the 2nd in the world (after Germany)! I got to meet with the ED of the GLBT Historical Society here in San Francisco yesterday, and I got a sneak peak at the new space it will be going in. Everyone involved has a grand vision for this project, so hopefully it will be amazing when it's completed. Anyone who went to the Castro last year might have seen a museum right on the corner, and that was a 9 month test to show that it would be viable. This one will be even bigger and better than that one!

    Go check out the Historical Society's web site here:
    http://www.glbthistory.org/index.html

  • 35. fern  |  July 2, 2010 at 4:58 am

    Maybe he could, but he doesn't want to look like a dictator does he?
    I feel that if the lawsuit is stalled DADT will be gone by the end of this year in time for election, just like DOMA will be gone by 2012 and a second mandate.
    Wanna bet?

  • 36. Mark M  |  July 2, 2010 at 5:19 am

    May only appeal to some but let's not forget the Leather Archives and Museum in Chicago http://www.leatherarchives.org/home.htm

  • 37. Straight Grandmother  |  July 2, 2010 at 5:27 am

    Ray, and others just go to http://www.TractorByNet.com see a good heirachy. Heirachy is Heirachy wether a database or a website. It is simply logic and a way to properly classify in ascending and desending order information/data. Just go look at tractorby net then come back here and suggest that that is not organized better than this. It is organized by the type of tractor, by projects, etc. The ability of users to create topics is huge. The main reason I believe this website ebbs from time to time is simply because of the software. I know for myself I get bored here sometimes, which is why I don't post. How many times does Kathleen link in the middle of a discussion to an important court document that has nothing to do with the discussion because there is no proper place for her to post the link?

    I mean no disrespect but I am surprised that anyone finds this to be acceptable web software to follow this case. I am trying not to be disrespectful. This website could be so much more vibrant than it is. Witness how few posts this topic receives.

    People, myself included get bored with a format like this, just my humble opinion. Oh and consider I was the Technical Lead for a 6 BILLIION dollar business so just perhaps I might have more insight than the average user. Nothing got developed or deployed witout my sign off. We have a saying, "You don't know, what you don't know." This website could be soooooooooo much better. I think it is an acdeptable rev.1 but we are way beyond where rev.2 should have been rolled out.

  • 38. Straight Grandmother  |  July 2, 2010 at 5:30 am

    LOL FERN!!!!

  • 39. Bob  |  July 2, 2010 at 5:59 am

    thanks Straight Grandmother, I think I just bought a tractor, Maybe you could volunteer to take us to rev 2

  • 40. nightshayde  |  July 2, 2010 at 6:08 am

    Not only arrest — but have the person charged with a FELONY.

    *twitch*

  • 41. JonT  |  July 2, 2010 at 6:21 am

    I've proposed a forum here several times too. The benefits would be:

    1. ability to be notified when any post is made with out having to subscribe to each topic first.

    2. ability to post your own threads.

    3. Coposition improvments: ability to correct/edit your posts for spelling/html tag/other errors. Preview ability. Much more advanced editing ability. Deeper threads.

    4. avatars/pictures

    5. easy search-ability, etc.

    6. True threading! I hate the way this comment system limits replies to 3 level max.

    This blog format is OK, but *is* quite limited IMO compared to a true forum. Basically all this format allows is a 'Post' by a suitably privileged individual, and then comments on that post. It's easy to maintain and implement and is relatively secure.

    Forums on the other hand are a little more complex to setup and maintain – some have had security/spam issues. Uder registration would be required. Spam could become a problem.

    There are some forum modules that can be integrated into a workpress blog (like this one). bbPress is one – written by the same people who wrote wordpress, so it is possible to do.

    It may just not be something CC want's to deal with – I don't know what their staffing/maintenance for this site is.

    Perhaps as the trial winds down one of us (I'd be willing to try) can setup another wordpress site, like a p8tt-alumni or something that would allow us to continue on. I have enjoyed participating here – indeed, it's the only blog I regularly post to :)

    Just my opinion.

    Happy July 4th weekend to you Americans out there!

  • 42. Kathleen  |  July 2, 2010 at 6:22 am

    Thank you for reporting this here, Alan. I had heard about this project getting approval. I think it's very exciting. As we've discussed here on this forum before – learning, preserving and teaching our history is so important!

  • 43. Sagesse  |  July 2, 2010 at 6:35 am

    Keeping up with the crazies. If they find something on Tony Perkins, maybe they’ll run out of ‘witnesses’ altogether?

    What dummy chose Tony Perkins as a witness against Elena Kagan?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alvin-mcewen/what-dummy-chose-tony-per_b_633261.html

  • 44. fiona64  |  July 2, 2010 at 8:42 am

    This lawsuit was filed in 2004, under the Bush administration. It is only now coming to trial.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 45. PamC  |  July 2, 2010 at 10:48 am

    I think Sessions invited him.

  • 46. Ben  |  July 2, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Unfortunately, politics isn't clear cut. I've seen the inside of the workings of a state political party, and that's as much the same process as you'd see in governance. The best comparison is to sausage-making. You're perfectly fine knowing the essentials of what goes in, and you're perfectly happy (well, maybe not with politics, but you see the point) with what resutls, but you really don't want to see the process.

    Obama ran on an unsustainable platform. However, he was also the more palatable option, and honestly, we were all a little sick of the fearmongering. With the unfortunate state of politics today, there is no way every promise can be made truth, and, honestly, if Obama were to repeal DADT through Executive Order, it would be easy to reimplement, there would be nothing baring the question, "Are you gay?" from being asked in the screening process, and DADT could just be reinserted by another president. On the other hand, if Congress repeals it, they can implement a whole raft of protections—the end goal. So, while this may seem like a disappointment, it is unfortunately the best path of action.

    My own opinion? Obama and the Justice Department should refuse to defend DADT, like the State of California and Prop 8. Some other group might step in as D-Is, but they'd have one hell of a hard time defending it, to my mind. (I am not a lawyer — not writing that acronym here — so I do not know if they are legally allowed to do that or not, so I may be just blowing smoke.)

  • 47. fern  |  July 2, 2010 at 10:50 am

    BTW GOD BLESS AMERICA.
    Even though I don’t believe in no f*** God.

  • 48. Bob  |  July 2, 2010 at 10:59 am

    thanks for that simple yet amazing distinction Richard, it helps me I’m Canadian Eh!!

  • 49. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 2, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Yes. Everyone have a safe holiday!

  • 50. fern  |  July 2, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Obama may seem disappointing and I didn’t like him for starters but changed my mind. You would not be able to live up your own hype even if you were the president.
    Things are not that simple, the president has to please everyone which is impossible.
    You know what I liked Nixon too ’cause he ended the Viet-Nam war on the best terms possible, It was a Texan dem who though he could beat the s*** out of the pi** ant country (his words). So far no draft so far so good.
    Vote for whoever support SSM.

  • 51. Billy  |  July 2, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    This needs way more attention. You can find the full platform here:
    http://static.texastribune.org/media/documents/FI

    "We further call on Congress to pass and the state legislatures to ratify a marriage amendment declaring that marriage in the United States shall consist of and be recognized only as the union of a natural man and a natural woman. Neither the United States nor any state shall recognize or grant to any unmarried person the legal rights or status of a spouse. We oppose the recognition of and granting benefits to people who represent themselves as domestic partners without being legally married."

    Wow. What a bunch of bull!@#$. Can we just give Texas back to Mexico already?

  • 52. Ray in MA  |  July 2, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    Ms. Grandmother, there are a lot of costs ($) associated with improving a site or buying/converting to new software (here they depend on contributions!)

    Heirachy is Heirachy …

    and spelling in extremely important in searchable web sites… I wouldn't be able to find your reference to Heirachy very easily!. (Hiearchy)

  • 53. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 3, 2010 at 12:49 am

    I wish we couls. However, Mexico has said repeatedly over the past 25 years that they don't want Texas anymore.

  • 54. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 3, 2010 at 12:50 am

    Oops! That was supposed to read "could," not "couls."

  • 55. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 3, 2010 at 1:58 am

    (¡ʞↄɐq ʎןןɐuı̣ɟ sı̣ əı̣uuoᴚ ʍɐs ı̣)

  • 56. Ronnie  |  July 3, 2010 at 2:02 am

    Tadah….I'm here….lol….Fire Island was great…..My sister brought her boyfriend…who has not been exposed to people who are openly Gay….where he lives most Gay people are in the closet….it was a culture shock for him but he is totally on our side when it comes to marriage, repealing DADT & DOMA, passing ENDA & SNDA….he even thinks its disgraceful that bi-national same-gender couples can't be here in USA together legally….He's good people and this trip opened his eyes to a lot

    anywho…I see a lot has gone on in the political field & more businesses have come out in support of LGBT rights…the anti-gays must be going bonkers over all this Righteous Gay energy thats been released this June aka LGBT Pride month….lol…<3…Ronnie

  • 57. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 3, 2010 at 4:18 am

    The question in the poll (emphasis added and spelling corrected):

    “Should the Texas GOP endorse a platform that criminalizes gay marriage and outlaws sodomy?”

    Emmm… “outlaws sodomy?”  Have they ever heard of Lawrence v. Texas?  I mean, that landmark decision is kinda coming from their own state, and it was just 7 years ago, for goodness sake!  You can't even do that after Lawrence!  The saddening thing is, 50% voted “Yes” on that one!  More people in the United States want gays in prison that in Russia (43%)!  Free country for all with liberty values my ass!

    It also states that homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle in public schools and “family” should not be redefined to include homosexual couples.

    Why?  Frigging Why?  No answer!  Because there is none!

    The 25-page proposal … includes other measures including outlawing “sexually oriented businesses” like strip clubs and banning “all pornography.”

    Yay!  Texas wants to go back into the stone age!  No wonder Mexico doesn't want Texas back!

    (¡pı̣ɐs suı̣əɿ̠suı̣ə ¡ʎɿ̠ı̣pı̣dnɿ̠s uɐɯnɥ ɹoɟ ɿ̠ı̣ɯı̣ן ou sı̣ əɹəɥɿ̠ ʻʎןnɹɿ̠)

  • 58. Ronnie  |  July 3, 2010 at 4:21 am

    "No wonder Mexico doesn't want Texas back!"

    hehehhehhehe….ROFLMGAO…..<3…Ronnie

  • 59. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 3, 2010 at 4:46 am

    I'm kind of a web technologist myself and I actually worked with forums, so I know how better it could have been, but people are right: it will be more complicated administratively speaking, somebody would have to do that job.  I guess, CC did not expect to see a huge community organizing here in the first place.  Look at NOM's blog: they don't even have comments whatsoever.  Besides, if it's not a specific solution like the aforementioned bbPress, you just won't be able to convert the existing comments into forum posts in threads.  Too much work nobody's really interested in.

  • 60. Ben Lewis  |  July 3, 2010 at 5:24 am

    @ Kirille : About the NOM site, part of me believes that they have turned off comments so they don't need to believe the other side exists. Sure, we've had trolls like G… (leaving the name incomplete so said troll doesn't return), but we're comfortable acknowledging that they're there. NOM, on the other hand, wants to go LALALALA and imagine we're not around. Comments could remind them of our existence, so they turned them off.

  • 61. Matthew  |  July 3, 2010 at 5:57 am

    Clearly if even the united states government wants to use the 'rational basis' defense to justify it's discrimination against lgbts then how politically powerful can we be? Looks like our solution is for the courts to use heightened scrutiny.

    Equality for all now!

  • 62. Bob  |  July 3, 2010 at 6:06 am

    Considering the tractor that I'm considering, that i didn't even know I wanted, and the fact that I've met an interesting character on that site, we're thinking, yes the costs are very high to bring this site up to grandmothers dreams, but that's where all things start.
    So what we need is something to sell, to create the funds, we're wondering what our product could be,
    We were thinking we could intice LGBT folks, back to the land, sell them tractors, and we could all till the soil and plant new crops . This would requlire also selling heritage seeds, that bear fruits of true equality and justice for all.
    Only one crop per season, allowing the soil time to regenerate, honoring the land, so as to save us from corporate greed, which presently pushes chemicals, and generic seeds which they own.

    We of course will use profits to provide tractors, and education to Rainbow Tirbes of every nation, so they can know who they are , their value, to the world, and begin loving the earth, in their own countries. Planting seeds of equality and justice, across the globe.

    Just imagine we know have a global organization, making multi milliion dollars, using the proceeds to lift us up.in a way never before seen by humanity.

    We think we could ask the Leader of Iceland, to be our first World King of the Rainbow People

    Uniting us, under Straight Grandmothers Motto, "We don't know what we don't know"

    REV 11 Rainbow Power

  • 63. Ben Lewis  |  July 3, 2010 at 6:10 am

    I wrote a reply much like this, actually, but I guess my link to Poe's Law got it quashed. Seriously, this is insane. When I first read the headline, I was sure it was a spoof news site. Then I read the article — do they really nit know their own state's history about this stuff?

  • 64. Ben Lewis  |  July 3, 2010 at 6:14 am

    EDIT: « nit » should be « not ». I ran afoul of my iPod's keyboard there.

  • 65. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 3, 2010 at 6:42 am

    Actually, Ben, they DO know their state's own history on this stuff. That is why the first thing they did was to require all the history books in Texas be rewritten. This way they can ignore the truth and write their own version of history. Kind of like GWB.

  • 66. Ben  |  July 3, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Well, ignoring their past is all well and good, but such a law can't even be enacted — the federal government would obliterate it before it could pass the legislature. So, they're running on an untenable platform that doesn't pass muster on any count … why are they a viable political party there any more ?

  • 67. Kathleen  |  July 3, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Because too few people understand how the law really works (as opposed to how they think it should work). They really believe that the federal government has overstepped its authority in 'dictating' to the states that it should abide by a national standard of civil rights, for example.

    If you read the original document, it reads, "We demand that Congress exercise its authority granted by the U.S. Constitution to withhold jurisdiction from the federal courts from cases involving sodomy." – as though Congress has such an authority. They live in a fantasy world where the majority has absolute rule and any judge who strikes down a law enacted by a majority of the voters is an "activist judge" who is disregarding what the constitution REALLY says, BY GOD!!!

    And the Republican Party protects its base by discouraging critical thinking; they have a vested interest in maintaining an ignorant electorate.

  • 68. Ben Lewis  |  July 3, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Yeah … I read the document, and then said aloud, « … but that violates the checks and balances concept. They can't just place something beyond the reach of the courts. At that point, the courts might as well not exist … » I then stopped reading, since I recognised that the rest of the document would similarly reject reality.

  • 69. Mandy  |  July 6, 2010 at 5:19 am

    I never understood why people wanted to outlaw sodomy laws because as far as I knew sodomy has never been defined as anal sex between two men. Sodomy can include oral sex and anal sex between men and women and as far as I knew hateros have never really objected to that kind of sodomy. Some even beg for it.

    It is sad that people's hate is so vast that it will outweigh the needs of their constituents. As far as I know texas is suffering from the recession and lack of money and instead of addressing the real problems that are going on they decide to throw their hate onto people who are different then them. Especially putting their energy into a hateful illegal law.

  • 70. Derrick Mathis  |  July 6, 2010 at 6:37 am

    Well, there's one thing I've learned about the LGBT community in the last couple of years. We're politically ignorant beyond embarrassment.

    We also like to pretend that the majority of this country overwhelmingly supports LGBT rights across the board therefore our gov't leaders are withholding any quick and expedient action cause they're evil and well it's fun to tease and play head games on the fags. This is the part that I find sometimes amusing, most times tragic, all the time insane.

    Then there's of course the gay morons who continue to argue an argument that's been discredited so many time till it becomes a waste of time to discredit it again aka the baboon who post the Palm Center's report on the President issuing an executive order to repeal DADT.

    If anyone cared or tried to notice the reason the author of this post is so mild in his criticism of the president and the DOJs response to the Log Cabin case is everyone with any political acumen knows the case is bogus and that the White House pursuit of repeal in Congress is unquestionably the best route to take in the dismantling of DADT—period–out of whatever other options—that's the one which will get the job done and completely over with.

    And yet, gay KNUCKLEHEADS just can't seem to wrap their correspondence school miseducated heads around that. Maybe cause it seems to simple and not dramatic enough? ??

  • 71. Kathleen  |  July 6, 2010 at 6:51 am

    @ Derrick, did you just call me a baboon? If so, totally uncalled for.

    You may believe the Palm Center Report lacks merit. if so, explain why it reaches fallacious conclusions instead of simply stating it's been discredited. But there is really no reason to insult me for pointing to a published argument on one side of the debate.

    Just so you know, this is not an area of law in which I have much expertise. So when the question was posed, I simply posted a link to a paper which argues one possible answer and suggested that people look for arguments that reach the opposite conclusion to see both sides of the legal debate.

  • 72. Derrick Mathis  |  July 6, 2010 at 7:03 am

    Now I feel like a meanie jerk idiot why couldn't she have been this fat obnoxious slob of a guy who I could lay into and not some nice lady just trying to share information…

    I'm sorry. The Palm Center report is accurate with the exception that it is not taking into consideration of the political climate which is clearly devalued in these kinds of assessments and also the fact that executive orders have limited powers.

    So it becomes a toss up. Maybe following administration will leave it intact, maybe not.

    The actions that the Palm Center outline in terms of presidential activities supporting repeal by executive order are also problematic in that once again, the report does not take into consideration the reality of the administrative tasks that could and have easily changed, been prioritized and reprioritized.

    Bottom line: it paints a shaky platform. Too shaky for the LGBT community to risk in regards to repeal. However, legally it is quite sound. Your thoughts in seeing it is a satisfactory option is not off base in the least.

  • 73. Kathleen  |  July 6, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Apology accepted.

    To clarify, I was addressing the question as to whether the president has the authority to overturn DADT by executive order, not whether I think he should. And I agree that politics plays a major role in what the president is willing to do.

    I also agree that we should be going after a repeal that will withstand the political whims of the moment. For most issues, this means taking it up with the courts, but DADT is the exception. As I've pointed out here numerous times, the courts have historically granted a lot of deference to the executive and legislative branches of government on matters involving the military (and national security). Court challenges of DADT don't have the same odds of success as do those involving other civil rights cases.

  • 74. Derrick Mathis  |  July 6, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Yes, he in fact really does have the authority.

    Agreed. Courts have granted deference in a good many cases involving military and national security. And you are correct again in that court challenges regarding dadt is a different animal.

    Theoretically, I could see a win in this for Log Cabin and their case. And I also see immediate appeal and a political hailstorm to follow if it did win.

    This is also compounded with the issue that the President has already backed the Pentagon in its 1yr long study. That's really where the drama lies if Log Cabin should prevail in court.

    I don't honestly think it will; DOJ is still working on sidelining the case with the fact that DADT is in legislative process in Congress.

    Like you, my ultimate concern lies in a lockdown on repeal so that it can't be muddled with ever again.

  • 75. Kathleen  |  July 6, 2010 at 7:50 am

    Do we hug now? :)

  • 76. Kathleen  |  July 6, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Also wanted to add, one of the problems plaintiffs face in challenging DADT is that unlike other civil rights challenges (marriage, employment, housing, federal benefits, etc.) I don't think anyone has ever claimed there is a constitutional right to military service. So, there may arguments about being discharged under DADT that are stronger than claiming the military must dispense with the policy and allow openly gay citizens to enlist.

  • 77. Derrick Mathis  |  July 6, 2010 at 8:01 am

    ha! Yes. We hug now!!!! :)

  • 78. Sheryl Carver  |  July 7, 2010 at 4:55 am

    Big hugs all around for Derrick & Kathleen!

    Would that everyone everywhere could take an interaction that could have turned very nasty & turned it into rational discourse ending with hugs & goodwill!

    Is there some nice quick way to make this spread throughout the world population?

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