October 2010 Archives

Thumbs up for #Hotties4Sanity! [Photos by Chris Geidner.] What? Metro Weekly readers like #Hotties4Sanity? Shocking. At least the latter. #Chickens4Sanity? More #Hotties4Sanity at the #Rally4Sanity below the jump. ... [Read]

Photos from the Rally for Sanity by Chris Geidner. Your intrepid, homosexual reporter braved the 16th Street bus today to head down to Jon Stewart's Rally for Sanity. In addition to being a great place to see funny signs, it was a fantastic location to see attractive men. As such, this post will be subheadlined "#Hotties4Sanity" -- which would have ... [Read]

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs elaborated today during the press briefing on President Barack Obama's comments on Wednesday to AmericaBlog's Joe Sudbay about marriage equality. During Wednesday's political blogger Q-and-A with Obama, the president told Sudbay: I think that -- I am a strong supporter of civil unions.  As you say, I have been to this point unwilling to sign ... [Read]

The Democratic National Committee has released a letter authored by Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) aimed at getting LGBT voters to the polls on Nov. 2. In part, the trio writes: Our community is frustrated with the pace of change. And as three LGBT Members of Congress, we share your frustration. Despite this, an ... [Read]

The DADT Meeting, As It Leaks

Posted by Chris Geidner
October 26, 2010 6:58 PM |
There has -- thus far -- only been one peep from the White House "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" meeting that was to begin at 4:30 p.m. today. There will, doubtless, be much more about the "off the record" meeting in coming hours and days. The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder gets first dibs, though, tweeting: President Obama dropped by today's White House ... [Read]

In a letter sent today from Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.), the four members of Congress ask the administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) -- within the Department of Health and Human Services -- to discuss "questions and concerns about SAMHSA’s current policies to fight LGBT ... [Read]

At the last White House meeting with outside groups regarding the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, the end result was the compromise language made public that evening that became the amendment offered by Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) to the National Defense Authorization Act in the House.  Today's meeting, reported earlier today by Kerry Eleveld, is not likely to result in ... [Read]

In a letter to educators to be released today, Oct. 26, Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali will provide guidance to the educators on, among other topics, their obligations under Title IX to protect LGBT students from sexual harassment and gender-based harassment resulting from sex stereotypes. In a conference call with reporters on Monday, a spokesman for ... [Read]

Today, attorneys for Log Cabin Republicans filed the organization's opposition to the government's request for a stay of U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips's injunction of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy during the course of the government's appeal of the trial-court ruling. The injunction had stopped all enforcement of DADT across the world, but the stay effectively puts the ... [Read]

This afternoon, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit announced that the oral arguments in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case will be held at 10 a.m. PT on Dec. 6 at the James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse in San Francisco.  Earlier this week, the plaintiffs in the case filed their opposition to the appeal by the proponents of Proposition ... [Read]

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has issued a temporary stay of U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips's Oct. 12 order in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States halting all enforcement of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. After DADT had been halted from enforcement for nearly 200 hours, the Ninth Circuit order ... [Read]

Attorneys for the Log Cabin Republicans filed their opposition this afternoon to the Department of Justice's request that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issue a stay today while the court considers the DOJ request for a stay pending the appeal of Log Cabin Republicans v. United States. The attorneys from White & Case pull no punches, ... [Read]

The Department of Justice has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for an emergency stay of U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips order halting enforcement of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. The injunction, which was issued on Oct. 12, was the result of her September decision in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States that DADT ... [Read]

After 5 p.m. Pacific Time today, U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips denied the Department of Justice's request for a stay pending the government's appeal of Log Cabin Republicans v. United States. It was not clear from her ruling if she had independently considered the government's request for a 5-day stay so that the government could seek a stay from ... [Read]

In an order entered by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday, the court set the schedule for the appeal of the Log Cabin Republicans v. United States, a step the government set in motion when it filed a Notice of Appeal on Oct. 14 of U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips's decision striking down the military's "Don't ... [Read]

The Perry v. Schwarzenegger plaintiffs filed their opposition papers in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Monday evening. The plaintiffs, led by attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies, are opposing the standing of the Proposition 8 proponents and Imperial County to appeal. Regardless of the standing decision, however, the plaintiffs urge the Ninth Circuit to uphold ... [Read]

In a sign of the wide-reaching impact of U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips's injunction halting enforcment of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith today wrote that "[r]ecruiters have been given guidance, and they will process applications for applicants who admit they are openly gay or lesbian." The statement provided by Smith in an email ... [Read]

From The Advocate's Andrew Harmon, who was at today's hearing: U.S. district judge Virginia A. Phillips issued a tentative ruling Monday rejecting the government’s request for a stay in the injunction against "don't ask, don't tell" but will issue a formal ruling by late Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning. This is the worst of all worlds for the Department of ... [Read]

Nearly 128 Hours Later ...

Posted by Chris Geidner
October 17, 2010 10:55 PM |
At 2:30 p.m. PT Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips will hold a hearing to determine whether the government is correct that the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy needs to stay in effect while the government appeals her ruling in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States that DADT is unconstitutional. The technical issue being considered is whether a stay ... [Read]

This afternoon in California, attorneys representing Log Cabin Republicans filed a brief in opposition to the U.S. government's request for a stay of U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips's injunction issued in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States. Arguing that the government met none of the four standards required to be met for a stay to be granted, LCR opens ... [Read]

Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Clifford Stanley issued a memorandum today, obtained by Metro Weekly, to the secretaries of the service branches detailing "Homosexual Conduct Discharge Processing." It is brief, detailing Tuesday's ruling in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States and the stay request -- in which he filed a declaration -- filed on Thursday. Stanley also, notably, ... [Read]

Today, Servicemembers United put out a news release to several hundred people, alerting LGBT and other progressive bloggers and other media to the fact that "DOJ 'Declines to Appeal' Right Wing Legal Victory This Week." Alex Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United, announced in the release, "In the very same week, the administration says that it absolutely must appeal a ... [Read]

Former Acting Solicitor General and Duke Law professor Walter Dellinger, who served in the latter part of the Clinton administration, was on The Rachel Maddow Show on Thursday evening, giving his view (see below), on which he had been quoted earlier in the day in The Washington Post, of the Department of Justice's options in addressing the "Don't Ask, Don't ... [Read]

The U.S. Department of Justice filed its request seeking a stay of U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips's ruling in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States, as reported by Metro Weekly here. [UPDATE: DOJ also filed a Notice of Appeal today, formally announcing its appeal of the case -- noted in the stay filing documents -- to the U.S. Court ... [Read]

[UPDATE: For analysis of today's filings, read "Examining the DOJ Request for a Stay."] This afternoon, two days after U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips issued an injunction halting all enforcement of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a request that Phillips stay her order in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States pending ... [Read]

What Is DOD Thinking?

Posted by Chris Geidner
October 14, 2010 2:21 PM |
Early Wednesday morning, I wrote, "What Is DOJ Thinking?" Today, the bigger question appears to be, "What is DOD thinking?" As reported in The New York Times, the Department of Defense does not appear to be following U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips's order that all enforcement of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy be halted immediately. From the Times: ... [Read]

Twenty-Four Hours Without DADT

Posted by Chris Geidner
October 13, 2010 7:20 PM |
For more than 24 hours, the United States has been constrained from enforcing the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Although CNN is reporting that an appeal of Log Cabin Republicans v. United States is forthcoming and Defense Secretary Robert Gates was warning of the dangers of an immediate end to the policy, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was ... [Read]

News Analysis: What Is DOJ Thinking?

Posted by Chris Geidner
October 13, 2010 3:56 AM |
I'm going to try and avoid going too deep into the woods tonight -- because it's late and because I'm tired -- but I have to note the essential facts that exist right now, a result of the permanent injunction granted Tuesday by U.S. District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips in the Log Cabin Republicans v. United States case: The ... [Read]

[NOTE: This post was updated throughout Tuesday evening.] In a move expected by most legal observers, the U.S. Department of Justice this afternoon filed notices of appeal in two cases striking down the federal definition of marriage, contained in the Defense of Marriage Act, as unconstitutional. U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Tauro had ruled on July 8 in the cases, ... [Read]

BREAKING: DADT IS SUSPENDED

Posted by Chris Geidner
October 12, 2010 2:15 PM |
[NOTE: This post was updated throughout Tuesday afternoon.] U.S. District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips has suspended enforcement of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy as a result of her earlier opinion in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States that the policy is unconstitutional. Ordering the government "immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation, or other ... [Read]

From the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins: "Some homosexuals may recognize intuitively that their same-sex attractions are abnormal--yet they have been told by the homosexual movement, and their allies in the media and the educational establishment, that they are "born gay" and can never change. This--and not society's disapproval--may create a sense of despair that can lead to suicide." On ... [Read]

Twelve Years Ago, Lessons for Today

Posted by Chris Geidner
October 11, 2010 4:58 PM |
On the evening of October 11, 1998, NPR's Daniel Zwerdling began telling a story on All Things Considered that would become a part of the fabric of the gay experience at the time. "Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old student of the University of Wyoming, remains in a coma today," he said. "Doctors say his condition's getting worse after being brutally beaten ... [Read]

Stating the "State of Play"

Posted by Chris Geidner
October 7, 2010 4:35 PM |
More than 10 hours of interview time covering interviews with the leaders of 15 LGBT organizations that have a national scope or impact. One magazine cover story intended to synthesize that and explain it. Choices must be made. I ended up with "State of Play," published today. I want to take a minute to detail some of the choices that ... [Read]

Equality North Carolina recently announced plans to recognize statehouse Speaker Joe Hackney (D) by giving him an award at its Equality Gala later this year. As the Winston-Salem Journal reports, one lawmaker -- state Rep. Larry Brown (R) -- apparently was none too pleased about the event. "I hope all the queers are thrilled to see him. I am sure ... [Read]

Looking at the "State of Play"

Posted by Chris Geidner
October 6, 2010 6:45 PM |
This week's Metro Weekly's cover story -- out Thursday [and up now here!] -- is a detailed look at many of the LGBT organizations that have a national scope or impact. Here's a preview: Within the LGBT community during the past two years, several events – from the response to Proposition 8 in California to decisions about the legislative ... [Read]

Photo: Attorney Sean Summers speaks to reporters outside the U.S. Supreme Court following oral arguments in Snyder v. Phelps on Wednesday. Al Snyder, the father of a soldier killed in Iraq, sued Fred Phelps for the distress caused when Phelps protested at his son's funeral. (Photo by Chris Geidner.) The U.S. Supreme Court now must consider how to rule in ... [Read]

A big announcement today from the U.S. Department of State on the administration's efforts to fight global disease, including HIV/AIDS: As part of America’s leadership in saving lives and alleviating suffering around the world, the United States announced today that it intends to make an unprecedented three-year pledge of support to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. ... [Read]

On Wednesday, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court will be considering, as SCOTUSblog summarizes the matter, "Does the First Amendment protect protesters at a funeral from liability for intentionally inflicting emotional distress on the family of the deceased?" Although the case and oral arguments, which Metro Weekly will be covering, relate specifically to the funeral protest laws that several ... [Read]

Late Friday afternoon, a remarkably strong statement was put out by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan: "This week, we sadly lost two young men who took their own lives for one unacceptable reason: they were being bullied and harassed because they were openly gay or believed to be gay. These unnecessary tragedies come on the heels of at least ... [Read]