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Lady Gaga brings Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to MTV Video Music Awards

DADT trial

(Cross-posted to LGBTPOV)

By Karen Ocamb

LadyGaGa_VMASuperstar Lady Gaga won eight awards at the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday night. But for many LGBT fans, her greatest win was following through on her promise to make LGBT equality one of the priority fights of her life and career. She transformed her website into an action page to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and appeared on the red carpet with service members impacted by DADT – former U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. David Hall, former Air Force Major Mike Almy, and former U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Stacy Vasquez, who were discharged under the policy, and former West Point cadet Katie Miller, who resigned last month in protest of the policy.

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis told the Washington Post that Gaga’s move “casts a spotlight on the unjust burden that ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ imposes upon the brave men and women who defend our country every day, and further underscores why the Senate must swiftly act to get rid of this despicable law for good.”

Gaga also announced her own arrival (seen here in a photo by Terry Richardson) on Twitter: “Silks, fabrics, shoes + jewels, fashion dreams + breaking rules. Real heroes on my arm, tonight, is for us monsters, and our fight. X.”

This from SLDN: A U.S. Soldier in Balad, Iraq watches Lady Gaga on MTV, calls the Senate switchboard, and writes a thank you note: – “Thank you Lady Gaga! I called my Senators from Iraq…it took all of three minutes (one minute was dedicated to all the numbers I had to push on the telephone). Let’s keep the pressure up!”

This week is critical to move on the bill to repeal DADT, which is in the Defense Appropriations bill.

Here’s a reminder of Lady Gaga’s commitment, her speech at the Oct. 11, 2009 National Equality March in Washington. Her scream to President Obama is something many others are screaming now.]


The Courage Campaign also has a petition letter from Lt. Dan Choi to Sen. Harry Reid that you can sign here.

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  • 1. Ann S.  |  September 13, 2010 at 3:50 am


  • 2. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  September 13, 2010 at 3:53 am

    She is an amazing allie for sure

  • 3. Rhie  |  September 13, 2010 at 9:09 am

    I know, right? I don't really care for her music or image in general but gotta give her props for that!!

  • 4. Mark  |  September 13, 2010 at 4:05 am

    You go Gaga!

  • 5. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  September 13, 2010 at 4:13 am

    How about the title of her new Album!? "…Born this way…" 🙂 go Gaga! OOO LA LA!

  • 6. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 13, 2010 at 4:15 am

    Scribin (was hoping we were all going to get cookies…)

  • 7. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  September 13, 2010 at 4:17 am

    Always cookies for you LLB 🙂
    With MILK no less……

  • 8. BK  |  September 13, 2010 at 4:24 am

    Yay! Even if I don't agree with the message some of her songs give, she *is* an important ally, as aforementioned. 🙂 I will definitely remember her support of the LGBT community. Oh, and I mean that in a good way. 🙂

  • 9. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 13, 2010 at 4:29 am

    Go, Go, GaGa!

  • 10. AndrewPDX  |  September 13, 2010 at 4:34 am

    🙂 good one, Richard.. now, I'm just imagining Lady Gaga redoing "'Wake Me Up (before you go go)"

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

  • 11. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  September 13, 2010 at 4:45 am

    I saw George Michael in concert in Phoenix AZ not so long ago…it was awesome! Don't remember if he did "go go" though :/

  • 12. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 13, 2010 at 5:45 am

    As a duet with Cher!

  • 13. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  September 13, 2010 at 4:32 am

    This may be old news to some, but I found it a fun read

  • 14. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  September 13, 2010 at 4:42 am

    Fun news Mark! I had not seen the article thanks for posting 🙂 I'm continually amazed at how most all groups regardless of ethnicity, race, sex, gender, religion, geography…. seem to respond positively to her music…kind of like Village People when Y.M.C.A starts to play in a grocery store usually some with start to sing along and do the Y.M.C.A gestures with their arms….Glad we have GAGA on our side!

  • 15. Sagesse  |  September 13, 2010 at 4:43 am

    Subscribing from work. From the clips I've seen, her appearance was… noteworthy :). Will read when I get home.

  • 16. Vaati  |  September 13, 2010 at 4:54 am

    She's an amazing person and one of our biggest supporters, giving the love right back to her. Went to her concert in Denver, that woman is spectacular and as long as Lady Gaga supports us, I support Lady Gaga. That means every jerk I see on youtube who has something mean to say about her gets a piece of my mind, just like any bigot on matters of our rights. You go Mama Monster!

  • 17. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  September 13, 2010 at 4:58 am

    Nice post here Vaati

  • 18. Anonygrl  |  September 13, 2010 at 5:31 am

    I think Lady Gaga is a well marketed character, certainly, but not much of a musician. The lyrics to "Telephone" are insipid and by the time she gets to the first chorus I want to just say "Your phone has an off switch, babe. Use it."

    However… all that aside, I am very glad to have her on our side! I think the fact that she wants to jump in and stand up for Equality is a marvelous thing and I am delighted with what she has done so far for the cause.

    I think it is ok to agree with people on some things, and disagree on others. She might read (for instance) a book I have written and hate it, and that is ok too. It is not necessary for me to be a fan of her music in order for me to be a fan of her stance. So thank you, Lady Gaga, from the bottom of my heart for everything you do for the cause of marriage equality. You are a hero.

  • 19. Tee  |  September 13, 2010 at 5:45 am

    I do agree that Telephone sucks… But I will have you know she didn't write that song. They actually offered it to Brittany Spears first. There is a leak of it on the net. You should look up her acoustic stuff. She is an amazing piano player. You might like it better than her main stream stuff :o)

  • 20. Anonygrl  |  September 13, 2010 at 5:55 am

    Fair enough, I will. Thank you!

  • 21. Mandy  |  September 13, 2010 at 8:17 am

    I disagree. While not everyone may agree with her music or her lyrics (even if she didn't write it) I do think she is a talented musician. Just listening to her sing or play the piano, I don't think there is a doubt that she has talent. But whether you agree with her lyrics or performances is to each their own.

  • 22. Steve  |  September 13, 2010 at 9:36 am

    There is a majorly awesome version of "Telephone" here:

  • 23. Gregory in SLC  |  September 13, 2010 at 11:05 am

    I loved it Steve! Another example how Lady G transcends all groups…in this case Classical 🙂 btw. My first major was piano performance (classical). Until recently I was uneducated and uninspired by any music written after 1900…as I have accepted myself, I've opened up myself to many truths and new experiences…one of them is modern music. Now I have MANY modern favorites including Lady Gaga 🙂

    Wishing you well in your part of the world! Gregory

  • 24. Vaati  |  September 15, 2010 at 5:46 am

    Skip Telephone, try Speechless, it's easy to say she isn't a good musician if you haven't heard her play, sing, and perform something with just her voice and a piano. She has more talent than Britney Spears ever did and is given a lot less credit than she deserves in that arena.

    That bit aside, she's kept her promise to keep LGBT issues in the front of people's minds and it's her platform of shock fashion and music that made it possible. Gotta love fame being used the right way.

  • 25. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 15, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Or how about Alejandro? I for one think Alejandro is a great song. And then there was her performance of Imagine!

  • 26. Christopher in San F  |  September 13, 2010 at 5:11 am

    Hi all. I'm on an iPhone now and it's difficult to provide links but I was reading today on the Joe My God blog abt the possibility for the Lt. Gov of California considering an appeal today. Gov. Schwarzenegger is in China now and the Lt. Gov is in charge of the state. Does he have the right to do this? I'm a little concerned. Any legal eagles out there who can shed some light on this??
    Thanks! As always, love,
    Christopher in San Francisco

  • 27. Don in Texas  |  September 13, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Christopher, IANAL, but I understand that Lt. Gov. Maldonado has all of the authority of the Governor’s office while Gov. Schwarenzegger is out of the state (on a visit to Asia.) He has until 6pm (your time) to file notice of appeal with the 9th Circuit Court, if he decides to do so.

    But there are several considerations against Maldonado’s filing such an appeal, foremost of which would be the political consequences. Second, it seems to me there is nothing to prevent Schwarzenegger from withdrawing Maldonado’s appeal once he resumes his office.

    Stay tuned.

  • 28. Don in Texas  |  September 13, 2010 at 5:35 am

    Off topic, but I think this will be of interest.

    The Supreme Court is set to hear an appeal in its new term starting in October in the case of Snyder v. Phelps.

    The lawsuit was filed by Albert Snyder, father of a fallen soldier whose funeral was picketed by two daughters of Fred Phelps of Topeka's Westboro Baptist Church.

    Mr. Snyder lost in District Court and the 4th Circuit, so it will be very interesting to see the outcome before SCOTUS. If the justices rule in Mr. Snyder's favor, it could be a devastating financial blow to the Phelps cult.

  • 29. Don in Texas  |  September 13, 2010 at 5:37 am

    CORRECTION: A jury in District Court found IN FAVOR of Albert Snyder, but the 4th Circuit reversed.

    I regret my error.

  • 30. AndrewPDX  |  September 13, 2010 at 5:40 am

    heh… don't regret your errors. Celebrate them: they mean you're human! 🙂

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

  • 31. Don in Texas  |  September 13, 2010 at 5:43 am

    Sorry, Andrew — that's a reflection of my experience as an editor.

  • 32. Anonygrl  |  September 13, 2010 at 5:46 am

    Yes, he won in District court, then lost on appeal when the court basically said that the District court should never have even taken on the case, as it was clearly a first amendment issue and Snyder had no grounds for his suit.

    I hate to say it, but I think that Phelps (who is very careful about such things) DID follow the letter of the law, and I would stand up for his first amendment rights, while loathing every word of what he actually says while using them.

    If we take away freedom of speech from those we don't want to hear from, they will have every right to take it away from us.

    If there was ANY other statute or law they could nail Phelps, that he was standing two feet too close, that he was 5 decibles too loud, I would say nail him to the wall, but since he is very careful to stay within the letter of the law that may not happen.

    But when we get into debating whose words are offensive to whom, it seems to me that we all stand to lose.

  • 33. Don in Texas  |  September 13, 2010 at 6:09 am

    It seems to me the trial court answered all of your objections and that the 4th Circuit erred in overturning the jury's verdict.

    I, too, am a stanch defender of the Bill of Rights, but First Amendment rights are not absolute and the trial court pointed out instances in which free speech exercise should be balanced against the rights of others.

    Incidentally, the trial court subsequently reduced the damages to $5-million.

    IIRC that Phelps sued Snyder after the 4th Circuit's decision and won $16,000 to pay for legal fees. Outraged Americans have donated most of those funds, I believe.

  • 34. Anonygrl  |  September 13, 2010 at 6:40 am

    I just read the case, and I have to say I find it weak. I can certainly understand a jury feeling that Mr. Snyder had been wronged, what occured was vile and reprehensible. I am still not sure I see it was illegal.

    Not that I want to defend Phelps, but… the intrusion on secluson claim seems to fall apart when you look at what they did. Their religious beliefs are that God wants them to chastize people because of what they see as supporting homosexuality. That they choose to do so at a funeral is pretty horribe, but they were within the lette of the law by being NOT on the grounds of the church, nor the graveyard, but on public property. In fact, Mr. Snyder was not even aware they were there until later when he saw it on tv, so they obviously did not intrude particularly on the event. I don't agree that Mr. Snyder should expect seclusion if he watches the news or goes to Phelps website and reads about it.

    Intentional infliction of emotional distress? Yes… maybe. Their message is distressing, but that one is much harder to prove, and it SHOULD be. The line is very fuzzy there, and I am uncomfortable making that call. As to the specific harm, Mr. Snyder had a preexisting condition of depression and diabetes which may have been exacerbated by Phelps, but there is no reasonable way that Phelps could have been expected to know that, so it seems undreasonable to say his harm in those areas was intentional. Defamation was NOT proved, and the defamation charge was thrown out. I think that one is much more of a concrete, provable charge, and infliction of emotional distress is not.

    Civil conspiricy. That one only relates to the other two charges, and is even fuzzier, and I must confess I don't really get that one without a lot more research.

    I HATE to say it… really I do… and I am not going to defend him any more after this post here, but if I were on that jury, I would have likely been the hold out that would have hung the jury and let Phelps off.

    I feel all icky now. Can we please talk about something else?

  • 35. Rhie  |  September 13, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Don in Texas —

    Bill O'Reilly promised to pay for the money that Phelps stole through the courts. When that idiot thinks a person is out there…they REALLY are.

  • 36. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 13, 2010 at 10:13 am

    @Rhie: It isn't just Bill O'Reilly who thinks that Fred Phelps and his family are way out there. The KKK has a disclaimer on the home page of their website that says they have never had anything to do with WBC or any of its member, nor will they ever have anything to do with them. That's pretty damning evidence when even the KKK doesn't want to be associated with them.

  • 37. Don in Texas  |  September 13, 2010 at 5:42 am

    You can read the District Court's opinion in this case here.

    By the way, the jury awarded Mr. Snyder $10.9-million in actual and punative damages.

  • 38. AndrewPDX  |  September 13, 2010 at 6:46 am

    @Anonygrl…for what it's worth, I agree with you re: Phillips (icky, but legal)
    <cite>Can we please talk about something else?</cite>… how about:

    "The time has come," the Walrus said,
    "To talk of many things:
    Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
    Of cabbages–and kings–
    And why the sea is boiling hot–
    And whether pigs have wings."

    Either that, or new cookie recipes 🙂

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

  • 39. Anonygrl  |  September 13, 2010 at 6:49 am

    They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
    They pursued it with forks and hope;
    They threatened its life with a railway-share;
    They charmed it with smiles and soap.

    and later…

    In the midst of the word he was trying to say
    In the midst of his laughter and glee
    He had softly and suddenly vanished away
    For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.

    I do love Lewis Carroll. Thank you Andrew.

  • 40. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  September 13, 2010 at 7:00 am

    My personal favorite:

    `Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    "Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
    The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
    Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
    The frumious Bandersnatch!"

    He took his vorpal sword in hand:
    Long time the manxome foe he sought —
    So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
    And stood awhile in thought.

    And, as in uffish thought he stood,
    The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
    Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
    And burbled as it came!

    One, two! One, two! And through and through
    The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
    He left it dead, and with its head
    He went galumphing back.

    "And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
    Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
    O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
    He chortled in his joy.

    `Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

  • 41. Ronnie  |  September 13, 2010 at 7:03 am

    Just Dance….dadah…dodoo….<3…Ronnie

  • 42. MJFargo  |  September 13, 2010 at 7:04 am

    Is the deadline 5:00 pm PDT? (Sorry if that's already been answerd, but I'm juggling my life here.)

  • 43. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  September 13, 2010 at 7:28 am

    6:00 PM PST

  • 44. Anonymous  |  September 13, 2010 at 8:22 am

    I was once in the Army with the 47th Infantry seven years ago and was discharged because I was simply perceived to be a homosexual. I received a Chapter 15 Dishonorable after three months of rumors and innuedo which eventually lead the chain of command to separate me. I never touched anyone or approached anyone in a way that would make him feel uncomfortable. Only a month ago did I read about Barry Winchell and realize that I resemble him, so knowing how they would be better aware of recent events, can see how I was going to turn out. In fact I am dating women, and have been with pricey escorts, also female, so this is all a little silly. I wonder if this would make me have to go back? I hope not; it's really not worth it.

    It may sound cynical, but as in all career fields, if your employer wants to get rid of you, he or she will find a way. No matter what the policy is, it can be circumvented. I was asked ten times about my sexuality in what that were indirect, such as do you have a girlfriend? So now, they can just scrutinize anyone's record to see have they have trivial medical conditions such as food allergies or something, and use that as a pretext for discharge, when a private not suspected of being homosexual, with those same conditions, will not have his record scrutinized.

  • 45. Steve  |  September 13, 2010 at 9:41 am

    On what grounds did you get a dishonorable discharge? Even before DADT, discharge ratings were incrementally increased over the years. These days, DADT discharges are usually honorable unless something else is going on.

  • 46. Anonygrl  |  September 13, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Here is an interesting article that points out that if Maldonado does appeal, it is only posturing since Schwarzenegger can withdraw the appeal when he gets back.

    I think this is a rather good take on it, and probably right.

  • 47. Christopher in San F  |  September 13, 2010 at 5:23 am

    Thank you! I feel a little better….although I'll feel much better when the day is over and the Lt. Gov doesn't appeal! : )
    Love as always,
    Christopher in San Francisco

  • 48. Anonygrl  |  September 13, 2010 at 5:37 am

    I think with the amount of collective breath holding we do all the time around here, we ought to get some sort of credit for not using up oxygen at the same rate as others. Perhaps some sort of carbon footprint reduction medal.

    While there is some fuss being made about this Lt. Gov. thing, most everything that I have read about it seems to indicate that it is pretty much a hail Mary pass but the quarterback forgot to bring the ball onto the field at the top of the play. It really looks like most lawyer types agree that it is either not going to happen, or not mean much even if it does, from what I am reading all over the place, so hold off on excess worrying for now.

  • 49. Straight Grandmother  |  September 13, 2010 at 5:49 am

    @Anongrl, thanks for bringing us the information. I have been watching on and off for some news. It is just such a crazy situation I was really curious on that would happen on Monday.
    If you see any other stories on this it would be great if you would post a link.

  • 50. Anonygrl  |  September 13, 2010 at 6:00 am

    You got it SG. I am at work, so sneaking in peeks between actual getting done of work I am supposed to be doing. But if I spot something, I will post it!


    I think it is time for a mid-afternoon on the east coast, just after lunch on the west coast, late in the day in France, cookie. Your choices today are half moon cookies (those big half chocolate, half vanilla ones) and Oreos, which I didn't make, but go well with MILK.

  • 51. Franck  |  September 13, 2010 at 6:15 am

    … 11pm here, I'm about to head to bed soon. Half moon cookies and a big glass of MILK, please.

    (speaking of milk, something stupid happened today that just proved even more that Madagascar has turned into a half-anarchist half-dictatorial country. Yes, it involved arresting milk vendors and confiscating their entire stocks just for the heck of it. More details about that and a few more incidents in my blog tomorrow — or later tonight for you Americans)

    – Franck P. Rabeson
    Days spent apart from my fiancé because of DOMA: 1179 days, as of today.

  • 52. Straight Grandmother  |  September 13, 2010 at 6:34 am

    Thanks Anongrl, I'll have a cookie with MILK 🙂
    Like you, I had such a busy day today with workmen here and more again tomorrow 3 different crews, so I wasn't able to seach on my own for any news. Normally I would have checked more frequently throughout the day. I didn't worry though, I figured as soon at the lawyers got to work on Monday morning the analysis would go out and someone here would let us know. I guess that makes you the FIRST Prize winner 🙂

    @Franck, if you don't mind I would lvoe to read your blog. If you would like to share it more privately instead of exposing it on this high view forum please drop me an e-mail at my forum name with no spaces and then GMail.

    The day is not over yet so who knows if the Mad Hatter Teacup Ride is done running or not, LOL.

  • 53. Franck  |  September 13, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Ah, well, I couldn't wait for tomorrow so I typed out the story after all.

    Straight Grandmother, the blog is linked up there through my name (as it has always been), but if you want to directly access the post I just wrote, here you go. Hope you have a good read ^_^

    And now… to bed. See you all in a few hours!

    – Franck P. Rabeson
    Days spent apart from my fiancé because of DOMA: 1179 days, as of today.

  • 54. fern  |  September 14, 2010 at 2:36 am

    I never heard Lady Gaga sing at least I don't think so, but on Yahoo I saw her dress and went on to see, and I loved that dress and it's colors, so medieval 1500 hundreds, so (déjà vu?) that's when I found she was against DADT too, good lady.

  • 55. Julie  |  September 15, 2010 at 12:43 am

    Love Ellen. Love Lady Gaga! I think it's absolutely amazing what Lady Gaga is doing to get the DADT policy repealed. We need more judgment free people like her in the world!!!

  • 56. Gaga, Reid, DADT converge&hellip  |  September 15, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    […] in the bloodstream of not just the cable news channels but the entertainment shows as well, after Lady Gaga made it her mission to highlight DADT at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday night and turn over the front page of her web site to the Servicemembers Legal Defense […]

  • 57. John  |  September 16, 2010 at 1:18 am

    Even in Germany in World War II, homosexuals were conscripted to serve in the military. Only in America is this really a debate.

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