It’s not all roses…

It hasn’t been all roses and happiness for LGB service members since the repeal of DADT.

As a lot of us suspected, it hasn’t been all roses and happiness for LGB service members since the repeal of DADT. There’s a terrifying article over at LGBTweekly that tells the story of “Steve Jones”, a Marine who was apparently outed to his entire unit and now lives in fear that his unit will abandon him in combat (so much for Semper fidelis and “no man left behind“).

One day following the repeal of DADT, Marine Jones was called in to what he was assured was a closed-door, private meeting only to learn it had been called to find out why he had put his boyfriend’s name down on the next of kin form instead of his parents. The next day his entire unit knew he was gay, his boyfriend’s name and that the boyfriend had been named as the recipient of any money due him by the military.
What followed was a time of barely disguised death threats – talk of throat-cutting in Afghanistan loud enough for him to hear as he walked past – and unsubtle intimidation with talk of him not to expect any help if anything happened in Afghanistan.

It sounds like LGB Marines have a long and dangerous road ahead of them, General Amos’ promise to “step forward smartly” on repeal notwithstanding. I only hope that the same organizations that championed the repeal will stand by these soldiers as they live with the results – and that they’ll let me know how to help.

Dear Mr. President.

My letter to the President RE: his “fierce advocacy”. I ask him to support an immediate repeal of ENDA and DADT.

Dear Mr. President:

On the campaign trail, you promised the LGBT community that you would be a “fierce advocate” for our human rights. We believed we’d found a hero that would champion our cause, and we cast our support behind you and the Democratic Party on an unprecedented scale.

Mr. President, you have not lived up to your promise. Your advocacy thus far could be described as perfunctory. A former Bush Administration lawyer, Ted Olson, has been a far more “fierce” advocate for LGBT rights than anyone in your administration. That is, quite simply, disgraceful.

Mr. President, stay the discharge of LGBT service members under DADT, and support a full and immediate repeal of the policy. Demand the immediate passage of ENDA. Anything less than this is a betrayal of your promise, and a further illustration that the “Politics of Yesterday” are your politics.

Sincerely,

Aaron T. Akins     8/16/2010

This letter is the second in a series of letters I’ll be posting to this site. I will send the letters via USPS on (red) cards from Hallmark.

Olbermann & Savage on DADT Crazies, McCain Dishonesty

Great coverage and commentary from Olbermann & Savage on the incredible display of hatred and bigotry that’s erupted since the DADT compromise started to gain traction in the Senate and House.

Here’s some great coverage and commentary from Keith Olbermann Dan Savage on the absolutely incredible display of hatred and bigotry that’s erupted since the DADT repeal compromise started to gain traction in the Senate and House. The wackos on the far right have pulled out every specter in the closet: Gay Nazis murdering Jews, battlefields drenched in HIV-positive blood, burly gay bears raping poor defenseless Marines in the showers, platoons of fashionista soldiers running from Kalashnikov-wielding Al Qaeda terrorists, and more.

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Both Olbermann and Savage rightly take aim at John McCain, who has now demonstrated beyond the shadow of a doubt that all he cares about is being reelected to his cushy, powerful Senate position. He’s gone all the way from “let’s repeal DADT when the Military says they’re ready” to “I will filibuster any attempt to even give the military the chance to repeal DADT.” That’s well past a flip-flop.. Close reelection race, John?

It’s sad to see how far McCain has fallen from his days as a courageous former POW-turned-maverick Senator. I actually used to like the guy. I encourage all of my readers (all 5 of you), to jump on over to John McCain’s website and tell him to stop letting money and power destroy his ethics.

You should also call or send an email to tell your elected officials how you feel about DADT. Every single official in the Senate is going to be deluged with hateful messages about the LGBT community in the weeks and months to come. It’s important that they also hear from reasonable, decent people like you. It’s also not as difficult as you think – just go to this website, use the drop-down to select your state, and call or email both of your Senators.

“Stories from the Frontlines: Letters to President Barack Obama”

I’ve changed my mind about posting stories from SLDN’s Frontlines Blog after reading this heartbreaking account of a gay Marine whose life has been torn to pieces by DADT.

I posted about the Service Members Legal Defense Fund’s Frontlines Blog a few days ago. I didn’t intend to post the actual stories from the blog because I was so far behind. I’ve changed my mind after reading this heartbreaking account of a gay Marine whose life has been torn to pieces by DADT.

May 21, 2010

President Barack H. Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

On November 4, 2008, I spent the evening at the Democratic Headquarters of a small town.  I watched anxiously as election results poured in from across the nation, nervous and hopeful that enough Americans had believed in the change you promised to bring.

Then it happened.  The broadcaster announced that the network was declaring you the winner; the tears welled up in my eyes.  Cheers erupted and I turned to hug the person standing closest to me, as we all did.

Balloons and confetti flew, and photographers began snapping pictures.  One aimed his camera at me and I turned away.  After another attempt, he asked if he could take my picture. I said no.  I couldn’t risk having my photo appear in a newspaper because I am a Marine, and the person in my arms was my boyfriend.
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