September 2010 Archives

Photo: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addresses the crowd at the Victory Fund's Gay & Lesbian Leadership Awards, where she was the honored guest. (Photo by Chris Geidner.) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was optimistic about the end of the military's ban on gay and lesbian service, saying on Wednesday night, "'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' will be gone by the end ... [Read]

Judge Orders Witt To Be Reinstated

Posted by Chris Geidner
September 24, 2010 5:15 PM |
Photo: Former Air Force Major Margaret Witt, Washington National Guard Col. Margarethe Cammermeyer (Ret.) and Air Force Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach in March 2010 at the annual dinner held by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. (Photo by Chris Geidner.) Air Force Reserve Major Margaret Witt -- discharged under the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy -- has won reinstatement in ... [Read]

Progressive members of the U.S. House of Representatives today took a stand in the ongoing court case challenging the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. In a letter led off by the signatures of the three out gay members of Congress, 69 members of the House today asked President Obama to "take this opportunity to restore integrity to our military ... [Read]

Facebook Failure Fallout

Posted by Chris Geidner
September 24, 2010 12:53 PM |
Following Thursday's Facebook outage, Fabulis -- the gay site launched earlier this year -- sent an email message to its users today. To say it was pointed would be an understatement. It also made clear some of the underlying purpose -- at least in founder and CEO Jason Goldberg's mind -- for the site, which at this time primarily involves ... [Read]

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips should not issue an injunction halting all enforcement of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy because the United States is "not a typical defendant," DADT has been upheld by other courts, and DADT is a law relating to the military, according to a court filing made by the Justice Department this evening. Because of ... [Read]

While I Was Out ...

Posted by Chris Geidner
September 23, 2010 1:20 PM |
I took the opportunity on Wednesday to head up to New York City to see Angels in America, Part 2: Perestroika, staged by the Signature Theatre Company. The tickets, purchased at the beginning of August, were among the only days with seats remaining for the initial run of the show, so I jumped at the chance to see the first ... [Read]

From the Wonk Room to Towleroad and from The Washington Post to Mediaite and The Rachel Maddow Show, the exchange between The Advocate's Kerry Eleveld, me and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has made the rounds. Although that exchange clearly merits note and reflection, what's not been getting the attention it deserves is another comment made McCain in the news conference ... [Read]

White House SAP Issued on Defense Bill

Posted by Chris Geidner
September 21, 2010 11:18 AM |
The White House has issued a Statement of Administration Policy regarding the consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act. In relevant part, it notes: Policy Concerning Homosexuality in the Armed Forces: The Administration supports section 591 as it would allow for completion of the Comprehensive Review, enable the Department of Defense to assess the results of the review, and ensure ... [Read]

Gaga Goes Maine-stream

Posted by Chris Geidner
September 20, 2010 4:14 PM |
[UPDATED: Download a rough mp3 of Lady Gaga's speech here: America is the Prime Rib (Speech).mp3] Lady Gaga takes her "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal message to Maine, pushing for the votes of Sen. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe -- two Republicans who have been considered among the most likely Republicans to support the repeal. Watch here: ... [Read]

"Values Voters" and Attacks on DADT Repeal

Posted by Chris Geidner
September 19, 2010 5:18 PM |
D.C.'s Omni Shoreham Hotel was, this weekend, the site of the "Value Voters Summit" -- a place where Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) and former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.) ran neck-and-neck to lead the 2012 presidential straw poll, where Delaware's "Tea Party" Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell (R) was greeted as a superstar and where panelists discussed how harmful repealing "Don't Ask, ... [Read]

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) today filed for cloture on the motion to proceed to debate the National Defense Authorization Act, which contains the amendment aimed at repealing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, setting up a floor vote on the motion for Tuesday. Reid's deputy communications director, Regan Lachapelle, told Metro Weekly in an email at 1:35 p.m., ... [Read]

Dana Beyer, who spoke with Metro Weekly this past week about her candidacy to become a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, was less than 800 votes away from becoming one of the three nominees for the Democratic nomination to the 18th District. Coming in fourth in a six-way race, Beyer -- who was endorsed by the Victory Fund ... [Read]

In an email to supporters, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced his intention to take up the National Defense Authorization Act -- which contains language aimed at repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" -- next week. Megan Jones with his campaign committee wrote, in part: This afternoon, he informed Republicans that he intends to bring the Defense Authorization Bill--including "repeal of ... [Read]

Earlier today, Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius addressed the 2010 United States Conference on AIDS in Orlando, Florida. In her speech she spoke about the progress made and challenges ahead in fighting HIV/AIDS. In notable part, according to the prepared remarks, she said: [I]n recent years, this progress has slowed.  While infection rates are still going ... [Read]

On the (arguably) final day to file a notice of appeal in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger Proposition 8 case, word comes via Ian Millhiser at the Think Progress Wonk Room that the pro-Prop 8 forces are making another long-shot attempt at getting one of the state defendents to appeal. Unlike the unsuccessful attempt in the California courts, however, this attempt ... [Read]

Gaga Takes On DADT

Posted by Chris Geidner
September 12, 2010 9:49 PM |
[UPDATE AT 2AM: After winning eight awards at MTV's Video Music Awards, the above capture is now the landing page for Lady Gaga's website. It links directly to Servicemembers Legal Defense Network's site.] Although President Obama didn't talk about it at Friday's news conference, Lady Gaga tonight is addressing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" at MTV's Video Music Awards -- having ... [Read]

Ward 5: What The Post Editorial Wrought

Posted by Chris Geidner
September 11, 2010 10:42 PM |
Unsurprisingly, the National Organization for Marriage picked up on The Washington Post's endorsement of Ward 5 City Council candidate Delano Hunter -- and the spirit behind it -- in a new, divisive, vitriol-filled mailer opposing City Council member Harry Thomas, Jr., and supporting Hunter's run to unseat Thomas. The Post's editorial board treated the opposition to the District's marriage equality ... [Read]

Although it was exciting to consider the possibility that I might ask President Obama a question at today's news conference in the East Room of the White House, it apparently was more important to allow Fox News to ask the president about the "Ground Zero mosque" and the would-be-Koran burner than it was to allow an LGBT media outlet ... [Read]

U.S. District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips ruled this evening that the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy is unconstitutional, violating the free speech and due process rights of the members of Log Cabin Republicans, which brought the lawsuit. Referencing an earlier U.S. Supreme Court case that addressed how courts defer to congressional actions regarding the military, Phillips reiterated in ... [Read]

On September 1, the California Third District Court of Appeals refused an attempt by lawyers with the Pacific Justice Institute on behalf of Pastor Joshua Beckley to require California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and Attorney General Jerry Brown (D) to appeal the ruling of the federal disctrict court in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the challenge to Proposition 8. Today, Schwarzenegger and ... [Read]

Earlier this morning, New York Gov. David Paterson (D) signed the Dignity for All Students Act into law, an inclusive anti-harassment bill hailed by safe schools advocates. The bill prohibits bullying and harassment in public schools based on "actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex," and defines "gender" ... [Read]

David Corn's Stephanie Mencimer's "Scrubbing Santorum" from the new issue of Mother Jones started making the rounds today and led to news of an offer that is unlikely to be accepted -- but interesting to consider. The story is, of course, about the now all-too-well established -- and successful -- effort by writer Dan Savage to make the now-former senator ... [Read]

If you don't follow Jim Burroway and the work of the folks at Box Turtle Bulletin on Uganda's anti-gay activity -- most notably the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill -- you're missing out on one of the important stories about international inequality faced by LGBT people. If you don't follow Jeff Sharlet's work on the Family (or the Fellowship, or the folks ... [Read]

Sarah Palin responded -- without mentioning the article by name -- to the overwhelmingly negative Vanity Fair article by Michael Joseph Gross detailing the former vice presidential candidate's background and current life. On Sept. 2, she said: “I don't read some of it because I know that those who are impotent and limp and gutless, and then they go on, ... [Read]

From The Washington Post editorial board: In Ward 5, first-term council member Harry Thomas Jr. is facing challenges from Kenyan McDuffie, Delano Hunter and Tracey D. Turner. With the notable exception of the courage he showed in voting for marriage equality, Mr. Thomas has been a major disappointment. He pretty much defined his role as trying to stop anything -- ... [Read]

An interesting side-note to come from the Texas appellate ruling on August 31 denying a Texas gay couple the ability to get a divorce -- see "Lone Star Slight" for more -- was the way the court handled Baker v. Nelson, the 1972 U.S. Supreme Court decision that is often raised in marriage cases and was a topic of discussion ... [Read]