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The latest on DADT: Trial briefs submitted today; SU targets Senators to call

DADT trial

(Cross-posted at LGBTPOV)

By Karen Ocamb

LCR-DADT-Dan-Woods-headshot-243x300Servicemembers United is lobbying Congress all day Thursday to legislatively repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – a move stalled by concern the repeal didn’t get caught up in the far right-wing swing of the Republican primary. However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told Lady Gaga (and the rest of us) that next week he’s bringing the Defense Appropriations Bill and the DADT repeal to a vote in the Senate.

Meanwhile, in the other major development on the DADT front – District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips, who ruled on Sept. 9 that the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy is unconstitutional, gave both sides a deadline of between Thursday and next Thursday, Sept. 23 to submit briefs on the permanent injunction against enforcing DADT.

Dan Woods, (pictured) the straight Republican the lawyer in the Log Cabin case, told me:

“As per the judge’s order, we plan to submit (Thursday in the early afternoon) a proposed permanent injunction that would prevent any further application of DADT. The government then has a week to object to our proposal. The judge would then be expected to sign either our proposed injunction or a modified version of what we submit.

Our proposed injunction would cover all military installations, wherever located. We expect the government to object to this and try to limit it to California but feel we are on solid ground.

Once the judge signs the injunction, the government is free to appeal. I have no idea whether it will. If it does, it will also move for an order staying the injunction pending the appeal. We will vigorously oppose any such motion.”

UPDATE BY EDEN: Karen posted this a few days ago, but it couldn’t be more timely:

Jarrod and AlexBack in the beltway, the Washington Blade broke the news that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is bringing the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’’t Tell to a vote next week as part of the Defense Appropriations bill. The Advocate looked at where the vote stands.

A senior Democratic aide told Kerry Eleveld that they expected Republicans would filibuster the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, which provides funding for the Defense Department, and 60 votes would be needed to end debate on the bill and bring it to the Senate floor for a vote. GOP Senator John McCain of Arizona renewed his filibuster threat last week.” MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow reported during a segment on DADT, however, that McCain may now be “softening” his stance now that this Republican primary is over.

Jarrod Chlapowski of Servicemembers United (pictured here with his partner Alex Nicholson, SU executive director) says SU is holding an in-person lobby day on Thursday. And a Facebook message asks people outside of Washington DC to call Senators between 8:00am and 5:00pm EST. Jarrod asks that calls be made all week. Here’s the message and list -– note the number of Democrats:

***This is a CALL TO ACTION: Pick up your phone and get ready to call Congress!***

Sources say Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is going to be bringing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal up for a vote next week. We need to make sure we have the votes we need to end this viciously discriminatory policy once and for all!

Please call one or more (or all!) of the following senators – identified by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network as key senators for this vote – and urge them to support repeal! Even if you do not live in any of these states, DADT is a national issue and we need to make sure the Senate votes our way.

Harry Reid (D-NV): 202-224-3542
Mitch McConnell (R-KY): 202-224-2541
John McCain (R-AZ): 202-224-2541
Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.): 202-224-4843
Mark Pryor (D-Ark.): 202-224-2353
Richard Lugar (R-Ind.): 202-224-4814
Jon Tester (D-Mont.): 202-224-2644
Max Baucus (D-Mont.): 202-224-2651
Judd Gregg (R-N.H.): 202-224-3324
Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.): 202-224-2551
Kent Conrad (D-N.D.): 202-224-2043
George Voinovich (R-Ohio): 202-224-3353
Tim Johnson (D-S.D.): 202-224-5842
Mark Warner (D-Va.): 202-224-2023

UPDATE BY EDEN: Rachel Maddow interviews Vice President Joe Biden on DADT:

Part 1: Setup for interview, including Rachel on Gaga/Reid:

Part

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144 Comments

  • 1. Sagesse  |  September 16, 2010 at 12:59 am

    Amping up the pressure on the Senate to vote for repeal. Now they can see the injunction language.

    I'm surprised that everyone is talking about this as passing 'DADT repeal'. It is the entire Defense Authorization Bill, and there are other legitimately contentious matters to be debated and potentially amended. Hoping some deals are cut so that the whole thing can be passed and reconciled.

  • 2. Bolt  |  September 16, 2010 at 1:23 am

    If the repeal of DADT is passed on the heels of a "defense authorization" bill, the gays lose their license to be anti-war. Anyone who claims that they're anti-war, and supports this at the same time, is behaving like a hypocrite.

  • 3. Kate  |  September 16, 2010 at 1:32 am

    This is what worries me. Something tells me that this bill was planned exactly this way — and can be used for political hay against us. As one of the folks who fought to eliminate the draft, I certainly find myself in a confusing position. Of course all people should have the right to join the military if that's what they want …… but that still doesn't make me want to embrace the existence of the war machine.

  • 4. Steve  |  September 16, 2010 at 1:49 am

    *sigh*
    It's possible to be against war while still supporting the troops fighting it.

    There was never any possibility that DADT repeal would be a standalone bill. It was introduced this way and this is how it's removed.

    Being against the passage of the defense authorization bill is simply ridiculous. You can be against certain parts of it (and there can be motions to strike specific passages), but it must pass.

  • 5. bJason  |  September 16, 2010 at 1:51 am

    I believe that we have to have a military to defend our country.

    I believe that any eligible person who wants to join said military should be able to do so without regard to his/her sexual orientation.

    I am still anti-war.

    I think all of the above, together, are reasonable and not at all hypocritical.

  • 6. Lee  |  September 16, 2010 at 1:53 am

    I served in the army with Chlapowski. =) We were stationed together for 2 years. I'm so proud of all his hard work. Thank you, Jarrod!!!!

  • 7. Ronnie  |  September 16, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Just DO IT!!!!….<3…Ronnie

  • 8. Kate  |  September 16, 2010 at 1:58 am

    Well said, Jason.

  • 9. Sagesse  |  September 16, 2010 at 2:00 am

    Guys,

    It's procedural politics, period. The only way to get DADT repeal is to put it in a 'must pass' bill. Besides, it's hard to argue that the particular LGBT souls who are affected by this are anti-war.

    When these wars end, the US will still have its military, and will need to fund its operations. The conduct of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are a separate debate, I think.

  • 10. Ann S.  |  September 16, 2010 at 2:00 am

    Hear, hear, Jason

  • 11. AndrewPDX  |  September 16, 2010 at 2:20 am

    I mostly agree… I am not anti-war, per se… some battles are worth fighting… I just don't think the Iraqi war is one of them.

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
    Andrew

  • 12. nightshayde  |  September 16, 2010 at 2:53 am

    The same phone number is listed for McCain and McConnell while each other person listed has his/her own individual number.

    Should McCain and McConnell really share a phone number, or is the number for one of them incorrect?

  • 13. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  September 16, 2010 at 2:55 am

    Voting to approve or not to approve funding for the military is NOT just about war issues….our military also needs funding to operate bases, hospitals, etc….this bill funds ALL of that not just the war. Your statement is not at all accurate
    I can support our troops and yet not be in support of the war….these things are not at all mutually exclusive.

  • 14. Bill  |  September 16, 2010 at 3:15 am

    With all due respect, Bolt, your statement is intellectually untenable.

  • 15. Joel  |  September 16, 2010 at 3:20 am

    OT, but is today the day that briefs are due in the Perry case?

  • 16. elliom  |  September 16, 2010 at 3:28 am

    The proposed injunctive relief (what we want) for the DADT trial is due today.

    The Perry briefs from the appellants (that is, the Other side) is due tomorrow, and I don't think they can get an extension. Our response is due 10/18.

  • 17. Steve  |  September 16, 2010 at 3:38 am

    In fact, much of the operational costs of the current wars are not paid out of the defense budget, but through separate bills.

  • 18. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  September 16, 2010 at 3:53 am

    I'm getting sick of people using that tired old line
    'You can't be anti-war/against the war and (fill in the blank)"
    It IS possible to be against a specific miliraty action and still support the troops….it is possible to be FOR a specific military action and NOT be Pro-war.
    And who said ALL LGBT persons had to be against military action?
    Thanks for your support Bill :-)

  • 19. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  September 16, 2010 at 3:53 am

    Correct!! :-)

  • 20. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  September 16, 2010 at 3:55 am

    Not anything at all to be worried about kate….this is just politics as usual.
    calm yourself and have a cookie :-)

  • 21. elliom  |  September 16, 2010 at 3:55 am

    Bolt:

    All snarkiness aside, I disagree with you on this totally.

    My father was career Navy (22 yrs), and retired when I was 15. I learned that supporting the troops and supporting the actions of DOD are not the same thing. I rarely support the actons of DOD. I ALWAYS support out troops.

    Supporting the troops is a combination of things. It's ensuring that they have what they need when they're gone, It's understanding that what they want to do and what they have to do are different, and duty to country comes first…always. It's making sure they have loving and supportive homes to return to.

    Sometimes, supporting the troops means you have to accept that guns and bombs are part of the package for getting beds, food, places to live, recreation, and protective gear. I'd pay for 1,000 bombs, if I knew that just one flack-jacket out of that appropriation brought one of our service members home safely. Do I think too much is spent on guns and bombs? Of course. Do I think too little is spent on medical care, psychiatric services, and other destressors? You betcha. But, unfortunately, others disagree. And so we have to compromise. Am I happy about it? Nope. Can I live with it? Yep. It's a price we pay for our social contract.

    I don't like the bill that's up. I think there's a lot of wasteful spending in it. I think it puts more of our people in harms way, and will add to even more sadness and loss. But the compromise is strong, and the good outweighs the evil. I hope it passes.

  • 22. JakeInPhx  |  September 16, 2010 at 3:57 am

    McCain's is incorrect — the real number is 202-224-2351.

    Just called and emailed.

  • 23. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 16, 2010 at 4:00 am

    Thanks for the hat tip, Eden. I do what I can to help get the word out to everybody here when I find out about things.

  • 24. JakeInPhx  |  September 16, 2010 at 4:03 am

    I correct my correction: 202-224-2235 for McCain. My phone's redial display said something else!

    Regrets and regards,
    Jake

  • 25. Kate  |  September 16, 2010 at 4:10 am

    Mark, it's an internal philosophical worry I'm doing.

  • 26. Michelle Evans  |  September 16, 2010 at 4:23 am

    The question I would ask, and am surprised has not already been asked is, if repealing DADT is somehow saying that LGBT people are for war, then isn't that also saying that any LGBT person who has or is serving is also pro-war?

    I know a lot of people on the P8TT site, including myself, have served in the military proudly, responsibly, and with honor. Supporting the military, and the people serving in it, does not mean that any of us support war directly. It says we support the idea of serving and protecting our country. The Iraq war unfortunately had nothing to do with protecting our country, and in fact, may have made matters worse, but that is besides the point of the people who serve.

    Saying that supporting the DAB (no matter that it removes this onerous DADT law), is tantamount to supporting war in general, is a great disservice to all of those who have and do serve our country, LGBT or not.

  • 27. BK  |  September 16, 2010 at 4:29 am

    Very similar thing with abortion, too, Mark M….

  • 28. BK  |  September 16, 2010 at 4:31 am

    Remember to refrain from counting your chicks before the eggs hatch.

    :

  • 29. nightshayde  |  September 16, 2010 at 4:33 am

    Thank you, Jake. I don't make it a practice to call senators from different states — but I'll make an exception for McCain.

  • 30. nightshayde  |  September 16, 2010 at 4:34 am

    Hee hee — thanks again. =)

  • 31. Sagesse  |  September 16, 2010 at 4:44 am

    @BK

    In my personal opinion, the abortion provision will be sacrificed to get DADT passed. In fact, it may have been put in for precisely that purpose.

    Speaking in terms of political expediency only… I have no intention or desire to start a debate on abortion.

  • 32. Ann S.  |  September 16, 2010 at 4:50 am

    Sorry, been out of touch — is there an abortion provision in the Defense Authorization Bill?

  • 33. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 16, 2010 at 5:04 am

    Just got a notice from the case website about some sort of mediation order that was filed. Do any of our legal eagles here know anything about this, and what it means?

  • 34. Sagesse  |  September 16, 2010 at 5:05 am

    @Ann S

    If I recall, it was added late in the process in the Senate Armed Forces Committee. It includes funding that has not previously been available for abortion procedures performed at military facilities. It is controversial, and I don't think there is a counterpart in the House bill, so it would be subject to reconciliation.

    Please correct me if I have this wrong, folks.

  • 35. Anonygrl  |  September 16, 2010 at 5:06 am

    Bolt,
    I disagree entirely. I am anti-war, and support the repeal of DADT, in much the same way that I would probably never get an abortion, but am firmly pro-choice.

    I believe that, while *I* do not support war, or the armed services, I understand completely that there are some that do. If they wish to participate, I will do my best to talk them out of it, but in the end, it is not my choice. And there should not be the current arbitrary restrictions on service that DADT causes.

  • 36. Anonygrl  |  September 16, 2010 at 5:13 am

    Can't WAIT to see what they come up with in their brief, considering all the efforts at establishing standing that have fallen through.

  • 37. Bennett  |  September 16, 2010 at 5:19 am

    When you control the money, you can control the discrimination. Discrimination, no money. Equality, money. Makes sense to me, even if overly simplistic. Part of the balance of power.

  • 38. Ann S.  |  September 16, 2010 at 5:22 am

    I didn't read the document, but the description is that the case was "not selected for inclusion in the Mediation Program".

    To which I say, "ya think??"

  • 39. Ann S.  |  September 16, 2010 at 5:24 am

    To clarify, mediation is a process where both parties are heard by a neutral third party whose goal is to try to move each party toward a compromise acceptable to everyone. It is extremely useful for many cases, in that a lot of things can be amicably resolved once each side feels that they have really been heard, and mediation permits that.

    However, I would say that this is not an ideal case for mediation.

  • 40. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 16, 2010 at 5:24 am

    Also, let us remember that if the DAB does NOT get passed, our military personnel do not get paid!

  • 41. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 16, 2010 at 5:29 am

    So who was trying to get this into mediation? And how do you compromise on civil and human rights?

  • 42. Ronnie  |  September 16, 2010 at 5:32 am

    Everyone…anti-gay trolls are flooding the memorial Facebook page for Billy Lucas….report, flag, counter flood… >I ……Ronnie:
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Billy-Lucas-Memoria

  • 43. Bennett  |  September 16, 2010 at 5:37 am

    BK

    Are you saying that the abortion provision will be sacrificed to gain "conservative" votes while the DADT provision will be preserved to gain "liberal" votes? And the number that can make that comprimise will carry the day and fight their respective causes later.

    This is good as it makes conservatives choose. That thing which they hate, abortion. vs. that thing which they hate, equality (with that little rider -"extinction of the human race.") This kind of puts things into perspective.

    Will their true Christian values trump their CINO values if and when they have to choose? Or would they say no military funding you.

    Why I have to say this is beyond me, but by way of disclaimer, I too, have no desire or intention to start a debate about abortion and my use of the term "Christian values' should be interpreted in light of the point I am trying to make. I am well aware of the existance of self identifying pro choice Christians.

  • 44. MJFargo  |  September 16, 2010 at 5:38 am

    So supporting and fighting for integration of the troops, both racially and gender, has me hand over my "license" to be a pacifist? That's not a "rule" I'm familiar with.

    Fighting discrimination/segregation/inequality in any of its manifestations in no way means I (or anyone) can't have other even opposing opinions or stances on…anything.

  • 45. Ann S.  |  September 16, 2010 at 5:41 am

    Richard, cases are automatically evaluated to see if they are candidates for mediation. The lack of a middle ground here is no doubt why it was not selected.

  • 46. Bennett  |  September 16, 2010 at 5:46 am

    Bolt,

    Are you saying "anti this particular war"? Otherwise your point implies that you can't support this and be a pacifist.

    Which might be true unless you are also a pragmatist and realize that we are going to have a military and its going to get funded (as Gavin Newsome would say "whether you like it or not!) so you might as well manipulate that process to other desireable ends.

    Although I would have to say, DATA leaves most gay people in an envyable postion–all the benefits of having a military to protect you and no responsibility to join it. All without being a draft dodger. I know. I know. The careers that are ruined ect.

    Would an outright ban on gays be preferrable to a dont ask dont tell policy? Not implying that discrimination is in any way acceptable, just which is the less of two evil evils.

  • 47. Apricot  |  September 16, 2010 at 5:52 am

    "the gays lose their license to be anti-war"

    erm…I'm sorry, no.

    First of all, lets not go down the road of seeing the LGBT community as a political party with completely partisan political affiliates. There is no such thing as a universal LGBT position on all political issues, or any political issue that isn't directly related to the rights of LGBT peoples. We're talking about the troops and their families, not the war effort itself.

    The minute we go down the road of partisanship [the liberals own the gay rights 'franchise'] we alienate people. This is not how progress happens. Some of us are pro war, pro abortion – some are anti war and anti abortion.

    Bolt, to keep what you said from happening, we'd hold this position. We are liberals, conservatives, libertarians, progressives, republicans, democrats, and independents who all have varying political opinions, and it should stay that way.

    On a personal note, I'm not sure how much I support this war, but I am generally pro-war. I don't think the war effort as a whole is relevant to LGBT rights.

  • 48. fiona64  |  September 16, 2010 at 5:58 am

    Okay, here's the history on the abortion thing in the Defense Authorization Bill.

    Back during the Reagan Administration, there was something passed called the Hyde Amendment. This document stated that no Federal funds would be spent on abortion — regardless of the reason. This was intended to keep Federal employees from using their health benefits for abortions, but also had the effect of banning abortions in military medical centers, both stateside and abroad. So, even in a case where a female servicemember was impregnated by rape, in a country where abortion was not legal "on the economy" (as we called it when I was a military family member), she could not get an abortion in the military base hospital. Ditto if her life was in danger, etc.

    It may shock some of you to learn that approximately 1/3 of female service members will be raped — most frequently by a fellow service member — during their tour of duty. It doesn't take much logic to figure out that some portion of those women will be thus impregnated.

    The abortion language in the Defense Authorization Bill is to remove military medical facilities from under the Hyde Amendment language — for exactly the reasons I specified.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 49. Straight Ally #3008  |  September 16, 2010 at 6:03 am

    I'll go one step further. If there's going to be military hegemony in the world, I want it to be ours instead of, for example, China's.

  • 50. Ronnie  |  September 16, 2010 at 6:05 am

    New PSA from We Give A Damn (.org)…..<3…Ronnie:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ng4-twi7pxQ&fe

  • 51. Ann S.  |  September 16, 2010 at 6:08 am

    @Fiona, thank you for that explanation.

    And it is this provision that has been taken out to pacify certain members of Congress to get them to vote for this DAB?

  • 52. Straight Ally #3008  |  September 16, 2010 at 6:13 am

    At least based on public opinion polls, I'm hoping that DADT has found its way into the region of "I'm in favor of X for LGBT people, just not marriage." The Religious Right know it's another stepping stone to treating LBGT people as equal human beings, which means a huge dent in their power, which means stopping DADT repeal is more important than providing funds for our troops. I'm hoping that Joe Biden and Harry Reid are right about their estimates of support in the Senate. I'm making my voice heard, even though I predict my state will be one vote pro, one anti….

  • 53. Freddy  |  September 16, 2010 at 6:19 am

    I just wanted to point out a few things;
    1. I am Gay
    2. I am in the US Army and have been for the last 22 yrs
    3. I am anti-war
    4. I am anti-terrorism
    5. I like what I do
    6. I like to get paid

    Question: If you are anti-war, does that make you pro-terrorism?

  • 54. JonT  |  September 16, 2010 at 6:23 am

    Seems one of my favorite nutballs, eugene delguadio is all in a tizzy. Here's a excerpt from an email I received from him:

    'Soldiers share very close quarters and are under a great deal of stress while serving on the front line.

    The sudden change in military structure would add distractions from worrying about accidentally contracting AIDs by sharing showers and quarters to unwanted sexual advances and flamboyant displays of homosexual “pride.”'

    This man's stupidity and ignorance knows no bounds.

  • 55. Sagesse  |  September 16, 2010 at 6:23 am

    @Ann S and Fiona

    Nothing has been taken out. I was just making a gloomy ticked off prediction that, as with the Health Care bill, women's reproductive rights will be traded away to get a vote or two to pass the DAB. Those who oppose DADT also oppose the abortion language… so a compromise would be to agree to take out the abortion language.

    For the record, I am pro-choice, not pro-abortion… so that the women who want or need the choice will have it.

  • 56. Ronnie  |  September 16, 2010 at 6:25 am

    No…I am anti-war…but terrorism is not a war…terrorism is an uncontrollable ideology that can be committed by a group of misguided "people" or even a single misguided individual who needs to seek professional medical help before he/she hurts him/herself &/or others…..If I have to defend myself & others I will for good reason but this "war on terrorism" is bullshite & will never end….

    Thank you for your service, btw…..<3…Ronnie

  • 57. JonT  |  September 16, 2010 at 6:25 am

    Hi Ronnie – I looked, it seems they are being dealt with – All I could find was the aftermath.

    How low some people will go…

  • 58. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  September 16, 2010 at 6:26 am

    OMG!!! Is he still living in 1985???
    Talk abuot uneducated!

  • 59. Ronnie  |  September 16, 2010 at 6:26 am

    facepalms….what an epic failure at all levels of humanity that "person" is….. : / …..Ronnie

  • 60. Tim in Sonoma  |  September 16, 2010 at 6:29 am

    There are also heterosexuals who are anti-war and some who are not. Same with us.It is still ok for them to join the military.
    We just want to be treated equally wether we join or condem.

  • 61. Elizabeth Oakes  |  September 16, 2010 at 6:33 am

    There's another issue here which I hate to mention, but it may be a factor in getting DADT repealed: Congress lives in mortal fear of having to re-establish the draft and has since the war(s) started. The Bush administration did everything it could to avoid calling up soldiers (including admitting felons and out-of-shape candidates, as mentioned in Judge Phillips' court decision ordering the injunction against DADT, and heavy use of "private contractors"….or "mercenaries," as we used to call them.)

    Though we're *technically* no longer at war in Iraq, we're upping involvement in Afghanistan and recruitment needs are still desperate. I'm going to guess that fact is being leveraged against those in the Senate who oppose, and they may actually be persuaded that letting in *gulp* gay soldiers is preferable to the possibility of being booted from office for signing a draft bill in the near future.

    Pathetic, but as long as we get repeal I guess it's just business-as-usual, huh?

  • 62. Kate  |  September 16, 2010 at 6:37 am

    They know darned well that if the draft were to be reinstated, there would finally be rioting in the streets about these damned wars. People at long last would take notice of all these deaths, which the gov't has successfully kept out of the public view and off the evening news. That's one thing they learned from Vietnam, where gruesome news footage appeared daily, and it's biting us in the butts.

  • 63. Kate  |  September 16, 2010 at 6:38 am

    Nope; see numbers 3 & 4, above.

  • 64. Ann S.  |  September 16, 2010 at 6:45 am

    @Sagesse, thank you for the clarification.

  • 65. Rebecca  |  September 16, 2010 at 7:02 am

    @Fiona

    Thank you for the explanation.

    The Hyde Amendment is ridiculous. Not only are servicewomen not allowed to have an abortion if they were raped, they aren't allowed to do it even if they pay for it! That totally removes the "federal funding" portion of it, and shows just how politically motivated this was.

    "You may not have an abortion, a totally legal act, even if you pay for it with your own money." Seriously?!

  • 66. Joel  |  September 16, 2010 at 7:04 am

    Thanks Elliemom. I am having trouble keeping track of all the deadlines.

  • 67. Apricot  |  September 16, 2010 at 7:07 am

    LOL, contracting AIDS by sharing a shower!

    "OMG Officer – I looked at a man's penis! Do I have teh AIDS nowz?"

  • 68. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 16, 2010 at 7:28 am

    If you are phone-shy, here is an easy way to contact your senators.
    http://www.facebook.com/rightsideofhistory

  • 69. Steve  |  September 16, 2010 at 7:46 am

    They got around a draft by using the National Guard is massive, unprecedented numbers. At some points during the Iraq war, 40-60% of the combat troops were NG. That didn't happen during Vietnam.

  • 70. fiona64  |  September 16, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Rebecca, the "logic" behind that is that the military is paying for the infrastucture of the medical facility. So, a female service member could go off-base and pay out of pocket to terminate a pregnancy (assuming she is someplace where such is legal), but she could not pay out of pocket on-base because of the electric bill at the hospital being paid for by the Federal government — which would be construed as Federal funds going toward abortion.

    I wish I were making that up.

    I am so sick of womens' reproductive rights being thrown under the bus by a bunch of misogynistic old men …because those are primarily the folks making the decisions by which they will never be even remotely impacted.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 71. fiona64  |  September 16, 2010 at 7:50 am

    To Steve's point: the National Guard and Reserves are being *grossly* misused in Dubya's Desert Bungle. Those troops are only to be federalized in a full mobilization, to backfill active duty troops who have been shifted into combat.

    Of course, there has to be an actual war declared in order for that to happen. This is Dubya's Viet Nam … no real declaration of war, just an extended "armed conflict."

    I worked for the DoD for 16 years, part of that time in mobilization planning. I have given up shouting at the television, because raising my blood pressure over how the regulations governing military mobilization are disregarded *daily* for this "conflict" over oil doesn't change the illegality of it.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 72. fiona64  |  September 16, 2010 at 7:51 am

    PS — The draft has been reestablished already. That's why every male is expected to register with the Selective Service when he turns 18. It has not been *implemented.*

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 73. Kate  |  September 16, 2010 at 7:52 am

    When a gay soldier dies, does s/he only add 2/3 of a person to the US death tally?

  • 74. fiona64  |  September 16, 2010 at 7:53 am

    If that's all it takes to acquire AIDS, I'm surprised I'm still above ground. With all of the communal reenactment and theatre dressing rooms I've used, I've seen a whole bunch of penises (penii?).

    Gah.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 75. nightshayde  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Well — you'd only be in danger if you looked at gay penii. Everyone knows you can't get AIDS from a straight man. Sheesh!

    *twitches from the horror of having typed that*

  • 76. bJason  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:02 am

    @ Fiona:

    Thanks for that. I did not know of that facet of the Hyde Amendment. That is deplorable!

    If the ongoing ferocity of the grotesque debate on women's reproductive rights (as tied to religion) are any indication, our ultimate achievement of legal equality will only be the beginning of our fight.

  • 77. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:06 am

    I'm sure you've seen this already;
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_mupm2BmIjtc/SkD_UY48LzI

  • 78. nightshayde  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:07 am

    @Anonygrl

    Blah blah blah… overturning the will of the people… blah blah blah… channeling responsible procreation… blah blah blah… marriage exists solely for procreation… blah blah blah… 8 million voters could not have been wrong… protect freedom of religion… blah blah blah… protect the children… blah blah blah… social experiment… blah blah blah…

    I think that covers most of the bases.

  • 79. bJason  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:08 am

    I can't wait to see the next "anything" having to do with any of this.

    Hi, my name is Jason. I am an Equality-Battle-aholic!!!

  • 80. Jeff  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Side note… nothing like amicus briefs to bring out the crazies. One just got filed (or is this a request to file one?) with the court, and you just have to shake your head and shrug. I believe misspelling "Schwarzenegger" right off the bat set the tone for the whole thing… :) http://www.scribd.com/doc/37584215/Motion-to-File

    Thanks as always to Kathleen for uploading these PDFs!

  • 81. Rhie  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:13 am

    I don't see how. Just because someone can now join the military doesn't mean they have to or will be hypocritical for not joining.

    Defense Authorization also provides money for things like body armor and VA hospitals. It is certainly not hypocritical be anti-the current wars and pro-individuals in the military.

  • 82. bJason  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:20 am

    Holy crap. THis is batshit crazy. A must-read.

    Snip:
    "that ''homosexual'' and ''marriage are defined in the canon of scripture commonly called the ''Bible'' which is'' at the least religious in nature and therefore beyond the reach of the court for adjudication"

  • 83. Kate  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:21 am

    My dear men friends here, move along to the next post …. go ahead, I'll wait…..

    Gone?

    OK — re penises: you see one, you've seen 'em all!

  • 84. Kate  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Of course you are correct, Fiona. It would take practically nothing for the gov't to decide to call up all those 18 year olds.

  • 85. JonT  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Haha, that was… hi-larious!

  • 86. Bob  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:26 am

    NOM'S ideology, is our worst present terrorist threat, they want to take over gov''t and run the country,

    I'm all for using heavy artillery, and bombs to blow them out of the public square. would that make me pro war.

    It would be an effective way of getting NOM to STFU, but I don't think war is necessary, if we can convince people of other solutions, like parcipating in debates, and voting wisely.

    NOM=TERRORISM we are currently using every available resource to combat them,

    anti terrorist does not make me pro war, but it's definetly got me thinkin

    Freddy, thanks for your comment, and the work you do.
    can you give us any idea of what the feeling is among the troops, about DADT, and the upcoming vote.

  • 87. bJason  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:28 am

    @ nightshayde:

    Umm, she DID say theatre bathrooms :)

    Yeah, Fiona's got teh aidz.

  • 88. fiona64  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:29 am

    BJason, I strongly suspect that (sadly) you are correct. The Religious Reich has been chipping away at Roe v. Wade since the day it was enacted, and I'll not be surprised if they try the same thing once marriage equality is the law of the land.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 89. Ronnie  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Another uneducated, un-American dipshite who is fundamentally incapable of comprehending that the "Bible" is not the law….not to mention that the words "Homosexual" & "Marriage" do not appear in the Bible..& since the courts & government are there to defend & protect the constitution the bible is in every way possible within reach of the courts, the government, & those of us who enforce our 1st amendment rights (to not follow the Bible) for adjudication as well as within our reach to say SHUT THE F@#K UP!!! & stop imposing your autocratic religious beliefs & definitions on the rest of us for.

    <3…Ronnie

    P.S. "adjudication"?….oooooo big words coming from a benighted fascist

  • 90. fiona64  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:32 am

    ROFLOL, BJason …

    I knew someone would get the connection.

    OMG, I are ded now. I am so glad someone told me I had teh AIDZ, so I is not sprized. Don't look at gay boyz peeners in teh theatre …

    ::kathunk::

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 91. nightshayde  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Some penii are more equal than others.

    … or so I've been told.

    *adjusts halo*

  • 92. fiona64  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:34 am

    I realize that my last post was beyond irreverent; I have dear friends living with HIV and AIDS.

    I cannot help laughing at anyone so stupid as to believe that AIDS is spread by sharing showers and living space.

    Criminy.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 93. bJason  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Looking at penis made me gay.

  • 94. Rhie  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Wait…so…

    Bigoted sociopaths were going on a memorial page for a child that died and calling him names and spewing hate? What the hell? A CHILD DIED.

  • 95. bJason  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:49 am

    or, wait, being gay made me look at penis.

    I don't remember. It has been a while.

    And, yes, Nightshayde, some ARE more equal than others. :)

  • 96. Kate  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:52 am

    It was pretty gruesome. Those are the kinds of kids the NOMbies are raising.

  • 97. Rhie  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:52 am

    How did that stay off news about the draft being established again? Wow.

  • 98. Bennett  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:52 am

    OK, I held it in as long as I could.

    When a woman chooses to terminate a man's baby he is somewhat remotely empacted. Rabid pro choice politics that seek to deny the man any rights to his offspring by assigning all choice and descretion to the woman is even more tyrannical than denying equality and equal protection to all of us, at lease we are allowed to live, for now.

    Stay tuned for upcoming usual rabid generalization about men. 3, 2, 1.

    :)

    I am so happy we can all coexist in this forum. After marriage equality is achieved, we can have each other for dinner on some other forum.

    Love much as well,

    Bennett

  • 99. Kate  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:55 am

    No, no, Rhie — the draft hasn't been invoked, but it has been a requirement all along that 18 years old register for it "just in case."

  • 100. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:55 am

    I am a veteran. As such, as well as being the son of two veterans, I do not want war. However, I do realize that we will have wars. And due to that fact, we must have a military that is competent and well-trained to carry out those duties that are required by war. I also feel that those of us who are gay, and who are in the military have the same rights to be honest about who they are and who they love, and that their spouses deserve the same support system that is available to the family members of straight military personnel. I also feel that our LGBT personnel deserve the same rights to job security, medals earned, commendations, etc. that our straight military personnel have. I also feel that DADT needs to be repealed, and I also know that in order for our military to continue to be paid, and for the DOD to continue to fulfill its duty to our military personnel we need to pass the DAB. WE also need to make sure that the repeal of DADT remains in the DAB and is not watered down or filibustered by those who have hijacked the term conservative.

  • 101. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Mark M. it is even worse than that. This man is living in a fantasy world where women are covered from head to toe with only their eyes visible, and even then, that is only so that they can make sure they remain the prescribed three paces to the rear and one pace to the left of their husbands. If they are unmarried, they are not to go out unless accompanied by a male relative, preferably an older male relative.

  • 102. fiona64  |  September 16, 2010 at 9:07 am

    And when a man who has never even met the pregnant woman has more of a say in her reproductive rights than the woman herself, what do we call it?

    I'll wait for your response, Bennett, because I'm curious.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 103. AndrewPDX  |  September 16, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Hi, Jason!

    Now, we just need to come up with a 12-step recovery process… let's see:

    1. Contact your Representatives and Senators urging them to repeal DADT.
    2. Campaign to repeal DOMA.
    3. Find a way for Franck to be with his fiance.
    4. Throw a wedding party for Kevin & Felyx.
    5. Let Straight Grandmother be a legal grandparent.

    Um….

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
    Andrew

  • 104. fiona64  |  September 16, 2010 at 9:10 am

    The draft was reestablished in 1980, by Proclamation 4771 — it has not been *implemented.*

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 105. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 16, 2010 at 9:19 am

    I still remember when they had everybody afraid to go outside because they were so sure you could get it by being bitten by a mosquito that had bitten someone with HIV. I mean–it takes a greater amount of blood than that!

  • 106. bJason  |  September 16, 2010 at 9:20 am

    @ Bennett: Though many may not share your stance, I doubt they'll be so intolerant as to eat you. (get it, "have you for dinner?) :) :)

    To me, this is a tough one. Strictly looking at the mechanics of pregnancy, ultimately the woman should have rights over her body. If she does not want to carry a child she should not be forced to for any reason. There are cases in which that definitely sucks.

    Abortions suck but they are a reality and a necessary one. People who use them as their only method of birth control should be sterilized (IMO – but then I also think that people should have to pass some basic competency test to have children).

    I find it heartening to hear passion in a man's desire to keep a child. Would that all men felt that way. Then, at least, NOM could shut up about fatherless children.
    I can only imagine how devastating it would be to learn that a child you wanted was aborted. To men in this situation the best I can say is find a woman who also wants one and have one with her. Is that "fair", no. But, I think that is the reality of it – and it sucks.

  • 107. JonT  |  September 16, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Yep… and insulting/hurtful pictures too.

    Pretty pathetic.

  • 108. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 16, 2010 at 9:25 am

    And Rhie, while the draft itself has not been reinstated, since 1981 (I know because that was when I first registered), you have no more than 1 month from your 18th birthday to register, and you must keep that registration current up to and including your 26th birthday. You cannot even get financial aid for college unless you are registered. This applies to every male who is a US Citizen.

  • 109. Mouse  |  September 16, 2010 at 9:26 am

    This attitude has always frightened me.

    Basically, a "straight" man who believes "No gay man could shower with me without raping me," thinks this because he knows he would not hesitate to rape any woman who had the misfortune of sharing a shower with him.

    Newsflash, homophobes: Not everyone is a sociopathic rapist like you.

    As for sharing very close quarters – when you are in a ditch with enemy's firing bullets over your head, you are too busy doing your job and saying alive to have any time for raping your fellow soldiers. Again: Not everyone is a sociopathic rapist like you.

  • 110. JonT  |  September 16, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Agreed on all counts Richard.

    One thing I am worried about though is Obama's threat to veto the bill if it still contains the $450 million 'second engine' funding for the JSF.

    Would be a shame to get it all the way to the president's desk, then have it vetoed due to it's expensive pork.

  • 111. Mouse  |  September 16, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Terrorism is just another tactic of war. In today's world, with all the military advances available, it's a pretty darn effective tactic, too.

    NOM knows this, at the very least on the subconscious level, which is why it's the tactic they use best.

  • 112. JonT  |  September 16, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Oh Mark, this guy is just nuts. I got on his mailling list sometime ago when I used his website to 'notify my senators' (wink wink) about my views on some anti-gay related thing he was pushing.

    His emails indicate he is positively obsessed with gay people and gay sex. He's a total batshit-crazy american talibani.

  • 113. bJason  |  September 16, 2010 at 9:42 am

    You read my mind!! As soon as I sent this, I thought "how fun to come up with the 12 Step Program for recovery"!

    I will take up the torch:

    1. Contact your Representatives and Senators urging them to repeal DADT.
    2. Campaign to repeal DOMA.
    3. Enact ENDA
    4. Find a way for Franck to be with his fiance. (Pass UAFA)
    5. Throw a wedding party for Kevin & Felyx.
    6. Let Straight Grandmother be a legal grandparent.
    7. Throw another wedding party for Richard and the Rabbi.
    8. Go arm-in-arm with Phyllis to Maureen's grave. Lay flowers, light candles and offer up a moment thankful silence to all those who fought hard but did not live to see this day.
    9. Join Kate and her love for a week long celebration (we promise to clean up after ourselves, Kate!).
    10. Lather
    11. Rinse
    12. Repeat :)

  • 114. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 16, 2010 at 9:51 am

    He is your typical self-loathing, repressed, deeply closeted gay man with internalized homophobia.

  • 115. nightshayde  |  September 16, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Heh — I got the connection, too, Fiona. My parents were both in theater, hence my pro-equality upbringing.

    I have a picture somewhere of my Dad (who passed away 14 years ago today, and whom I still miss dearly) dressed up as a ballerina for Halloween back in his theater days. All the gay boys in shows with Dad adored him.

    Sadly, a few of them were taken from us far too early by AIDS back in the early/mid 80s — probably infected before anyone really knew how to protect themselves properly (or before they realized the importance of doing so).

  • 116. JonT  |  September 16, 2010 at 10:05 am

    @bJason: 'Looking at penis made me gay.'

    LOL.

    Looking at my own penis made me gay. It's just so adorable.

    Maybe, in order to prevent 'teh ghey', boys should be forced to wear those cone-like things around their necks, like you use for dogs and cats to prevent them from messing with their injuries.

    In this case, all boys would be required to wear them until they've been properly prepared for the awesome power and responsibility of wielding the penis. Ie: until they marry a nice christian girl who doesn't even know what a penis is.

    Or, something like that. :)

    I digress…

  • 117. nightshayde  |  September 16, 2010 at 10:12 am

    *snerk*

    With great penis comes great responsibility!

  • 118. Bolt  |  September 16, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Hypocrite.

  • 119. bJason  |  September 16, 2010 at 10:21 am

    @ JonT

    AND somehow young boys would have to have their arms bound (think Chinese female foot-binding) so as not to be able to touch "the penis". Wasn't it George Carlin who said that if god didn't want us to play with ourselves he would have made our arms shorter?

    BTW: I am already "digging on you" from your posts/responses. Talk of your "adorable" penis is not helping. :)

    SHOUTING TO THE ROOM: "Everyone, JonT made me gay. It wasn't my fault!"

  • 120. bJason  |  September 16, 2010 at 10:25 am

    @ Nightshayde:

    ROTFLMAO!!

  • 121. bJason  |  September 16, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Good night, all!

  • 122. Bolt  |  September 16, 2010 at 10:49 am

    With all due respect, Bill, you're a hypocrite.

  • 123. Ray in MA  |  September 16, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Fiona, you got it right 100%.

    What happens between a woman and her reproductive concerns is no business of anyone else. No one. Not the government nor Bennett's business.

    What happens between a woman and her partner with respect to reproductive concerns is no business of anyone else. No one. Not the government nor Bennett's business.

    That is also what is behind the spirit of the Marriage Equality.

  • 124. Bolt  |  September 16, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Hello, Anonygrl,

    I've heard your opinion on this matter before, and you entirely disagree.

    If the LGBTQIAs are against the middle east war, and let's pretend that most of them are, if DADT were not attached to the defense authorization bill, would the defense bill have the support of the gays? I doubt it.

    Now that DADT is attached to the war authorization bill, it's worthy of support, for a lot in this forum. This is why it's hypocritical to claim you're against war, but are willing to finance it.

    The old adage has merit here. "Put your money where your mouth is."

    I'm not a war supporter; therefore, I hope the DADT/ defense authorization bill fails.

    DADT has been ruled against in federal court.

  • 125. Ray in MA  |  September 16, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Yes, the first politlcal cartoon that brought tears to my eyes.

  • 126. Sagesse  |  September 16, 2010 at 11:07 am

    @JonT

    "One thing I am worried about though is Obama’s threat to veto the bill if it still contains the $450 million ‘second engine’ funding for the JSF. "

    They have to find a way to negotiate that one out… or reconcile it out. There are real military budget issues in this bill, along with DADT.

  • 127. Rhie  |  September 16, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Good Lord. I grew up in very strict Religious Right but I was at least taught basic respect. If someone dies, you are respectful and sympathetic. All personal grievances end there, at least for that person and their family during mourning.

    Sheesh.

  • 128. Rhie  |  September 16, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Huh. Wow. I don't want it, of course, but I do wonder why the draft isn't applied to women – is it because they are theoretically not allowed in combat?

    I try not to worry but I am concerned for my brother. Last I heard he was trying to apply for the Army reserves.

  • 129. JonT  |  September 16, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    @bJason: 'BTW: I am already “digging on you” from your posts/responses. Talk of your “adorable” penis is not helping. :)

    Aww, thanks. Wait till I start posting pictures. :)

    “Everyone, JonT made me gay. It wasn’t my fault!”

    Yay! I've met my homosexual recruiting quota for the month! :)

    @nightshayde: LOL! Yes, it is a responsibility I take very seriously. Such power must be handled carefully. 😉

  • 130. JonT  |  September 16, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Actually I had not seen that. Thanks.

  • 131. Bennett  |  September 16, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Fiona,

    If you are referring to rape, forced insemination, and forced sterilization? I think we would both agree that these are forms of tyranny.

    My question is . . .

    Why is it always "a man", or "some man", with you, who is yada yada yada. Why not someone, society, or a government who is yada yada yada?

    Words do have consequences and I am afraid that your choice of words shows the type of bias that leads to stigmatization and disrespect for men and fathers.

  • 132. Elizabeth Oakes  |  September 16, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Civility is over, unfortunately.

  • 133. Rhie  |  September 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    I sometimes wonder. Goodness, i am only 28 years old but still feel like yelling IN MY DAY … and DAMN KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN!

    Seriously though, I don't think that people are any worse than they have always been. It's just that social shame is a lot more of a force in person. It's easy to say that shit online, under a user name. But, I bet they wouldn't say to the face of the parent.

  • 134. Elizabeth Oakes  |  September 16, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    So can I have your toaster oven then? Ourz is on teh fritz.

  • 135. Elizabeth Oakes  |  September 16, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    No, but they'd tell them via cell phone while standing in a public place and forcing you to listen to it. :)

    You might be right, maybe people are the same as always. Wasn't it 1944 when Sartre said, "Hell is other people"?

  • 136. Straight Grandmother  |  September 16, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Such great topics and my internet went down for most of yesterday and I am swamped with work today… Will catch up

  • 137. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 16, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    And unfortunately, we all know a family who would say it to the parents' faces. And I am so glad that they weren't at Billy's funeral. And I don't think I need to mention any names, just there base city of Topeka, Kansas.

  • 138. elliom  |  September 17, 2010 at 1:14 am

    So, since some penii are more equal than others, does it make me a bigot to treat different penii differently? :>

  • 139. fiona64  |  September 17, 2010 at 1:47 am

    All right, Bennett … I'll get down to specifics.

    Since we are talking about the Hyde Amendment's passage, signed into law by Ronald Reagan (who was notoriously anti-choice), let's use Mr. Reagan.

    Why should the late Mr. Reagan, who has never met Servicemember Nancy Jones, who was, in fact, not even born yet when the Hyde Amendment was signed, have had a say over her ability to terminate a pregnancy that resulted from her rape at the hands of Servicemember Bob Smith during her tour of duty in Iraq last year, since she couldn't get an abortion "on the economy" nor at the military medical facility in the Green Zone.

    Because that's exactly what the Hyde Amendment did. A man — a DEAD man — who never even met Nancy Jones has more of a say over her reproductive freedom than she does.

    So, how about if you answer the question I asked instead of pulling out the "men's right's advocacy" card and pretending that any man, anywhere, assumes the physical risks of pregnancy that women do and should therefore have a greater say in what she does with her uterus than she does herself?

  • 140. fiona64  |  September 17, 2010 at 1:48 am

    Re-posting, since it showed up in the wrong place:

    13. fiona64 | September 17, 2010 at 8:47 am

    All right, Bennett … I’ll get down to specifics.

    Since we are talking about the Hyde Amendment’s passage, signed into law by Ronald Reagan (who was notoriously anti-choice), let’s use Mr. Reagan.

    Why should the late Mr. Reagan, who has never met Servicemember Nancy Jones, who was, in fact, not even born yet when the Hyde Amendment was signed, have had a say over her ability to terminate a pregnancy that resulted from her rape at the hands of Servicemember Bob Smith during her tour of duty in Iraq last year, since she couldn’t get an abortion “on the economy” nor at the military medical facility in the Green Zone.

    Because that’s exactly what the Hyde Amendment did. A man — a DEAD man — who never even met Nancy Jones has more of a say over her reproductive freedom than she does.

    So, how about if you answer the question I asked instead of pulling out the “men’s right’s advocacy” card and pretending that any man, anywhere, assumes the physical risks of pregnancy that women do and should therefore have a greater say in what she does with her uterus than she does herself?

  • 141. fiona64  |  September 17, 2010 at 1:53 am

    Bennett wrote: "Words do have consequences and I am afraid that your choice of words shows the type of bias that leads to stigmatization and disrespect for men and fathers."

    Really? And your misogynistic attitude that a woman is too damned stupid to know her circumstances and determine her own reproductive future is what, exactly?

    You know what, Bennett? I have absolutely *no respect* for anti-choice men. There. I said it. Men bear none of the physical risks of pregnancy that women do — up to and including death. Yet, anti-choice men feel that they have a right to tell a woman what she can and cannot do about her pregnancy. I call that misogyny of the very worst sort, because it flat-out says "You're too damned stupid to think for yourself/know your own circumstances/medical history, etc."

    I am a rape survivor. I am grateful as hell that I didn't get pregnant, but if I had there would have been an abortion so fast that your head would have spun right off. Do you know what some guy said to me ("some guy," because I don't care to remember the asshole's name)? "Oh, if you'd had a baby, you would have forgotten about being raped the minute you held it."

    Guess what, Bennett? That's *bullshit.* Rape survivors never forget; we just learn how to cope with it. Being forced to bear a rapist's baby — and I already posted the links about how rapists can pursue visitation rights in several states — is punishing the victim again.

    Men who don't think that women are smart enough to have self-determination (which includes reproductive rights) make me sick.

    Draw your own conclusions.

  • 142. fiona64  |  September 17, 2010 at 1:56 am

    Rhie, you're exactly right. The draft is, essentially, for infantry troops — and women are not permitted in the infantry.

    Now, the idea that women are not in combat is bogus, of course … but you have the gist of it.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 143. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 17, 2010 at 4:01 am

    Bennett, you keep harping about a man's rights when a woman is pregnant. Well, then, how about you look at the flip side of the coin–a man's responsibility? In order to truly be able to call oneself a man, one must be willing to assume the responsibility that goes along with having sexual intercourse, and that includes using a condom or other means available to men for birth control unless you truly want all of the responsibilities that go a long with being a father in the truest sense of the word–in short, to be called "Dad.' And unfortunately, there are too many men who do NOT take that responsibility and always assume that the woman is on the pill, using an IUD, or a sponge, or even the spermicidal creams. Not only is this not always the case, but I know of two women for whom those methods failed. I know a woman who was using the pill and got pregnant three times while on it. I have a sister who was using an IUD the last two times she got pregnant. I guarantee you that if men got pregnant, there would be NO debate about birth control and the reproductive rights of women. This is also why I firmly believe that women are the stronger sex, not the weaker. As one of my sisters said, you try pushing something the size of a watermelon out of a hole the size of a golf ball and see what you feel like afterward. I really think you need to try putting yourself in the woman's position before you go griping about abortion. And it is better that it is legal and has controls in regard to the type of environment under which abortions are performed, than to subject women to infection, possible sterility, and possible death from coat hanger abortions or other unsafe procedures. On this issue, you are being as pigheaded and bigoted as Maggie and Brian are about marriage equality.

  • 144. Rhie  |  September 17, 2010 at 7:36 am

    Oh agreed. It is bogus. I am just trying to understand the process here.

    Another question: what is considered "front lines" or "combat" in a situation where there aren't any lines and combat can happen anywhere, any time? I know there are women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. What do they do?

    I did hear women aren't given the same training or protective gear as men because they "don't need it" since they "aren't in combat". I sincerely hope that isn't true.

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