January 2011 Archives

Get Equal announced plans today to protest the National Prayer Breakfast, an annual D.C. event attended by many D.C. luminaries, including the president, that is slated for Thursday, Feb. 3. The event has prompted protest in recent years due to the fact that it is sponsored by The Fellowship, also known as The Family, which has had connections to anti-LGBT ... [Read]

In a Friday evening ruling issued by the clerk's office for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the government's attempt to put the Log Cabin Republicans' challenge to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" on hold was denied. LCR had opposed the motion in a filing earlier this month. In the brief order in Log Cabin Republicans v. United ... [Read]

[UPDATE: Read the full story on today's briefing here.] Calling the implementation of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal a "milestone event" for the Defense Department, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced today that repeal implementation "must be accomplished across the entire Department at the same time" and occur "in a deliberate and careful manner." In a memorandum to Undersecretary of Defense ... [Read]

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in considering whether the proponents of California's Proposition 8 even have the legal ability to appeal the trial court decision in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, decided on Jan. 4 to send a request to the California Supreme Court. The federal appellate panel asked the state high court how it interpreted an area ... [Read]

President Barack Obama, following up on an earlier statement today from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, issued a statement this afternoon condemning the killing of David Kato, an LGBT rights activist in Uganda. Saying that "David showed tremendous courage in speaking out against hate," Obama stated that "LGBT rights are not special rights; they are human rights." He concluded, "My ... [Read]

In response to an inquiry, a Pentagon spokesperson confirmed to Metro Weekly that the Pentagon has a news conference planned for Friday, Jan. 28, to discuss implementation of the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." The Associated Press obtained additional information about the Friday news conference, reporting that "Pentagon leaders will roll out a plan Friday that is expected to ... [Read]

Today, President Barack Obama announced the nomination of J. Paul Oetken to serve as a U.S. District Court judge on the Southern District of New York. Oetken would be the second out LGBT member of the Southern District of New York court, joining U.S. District Court Judge Deborah Batts. Batts, a black lesbian, was nominated by President Clinton in 1994 ... [Read]

Today, President Barack Obama announced that he had named Roberta Achtenberg to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. Although Achtenberg has a long resume and list of accomplishments, she is best known in LGBT history for the attacks she faced in the '90s from then-Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.). Achtenberg, a civil rights attorney and former San Francisco commissioner, served assistant secretary ... [Read]

In 2010, President Barack Obama took the opportunity to use the State of the Union to declare that he would "work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are." A year later, poised to looking out over a very different chamber ... [Read]

Following Monday's lowered expectations from the Human Rights Campaign for President Barack Obama's State of the Union adress tonight, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force executive director Rea Carey shared with Metro Weekly some thoughts about the ways in which Obama could include LGBT Americans even without promoting a specific LGBT initiative. She wrote, "I'd really like to see him ... [Read]

She's no Andrew Breitbart -- a good thing to some -- but Liz Mair is the former online communications director at the Republican National Committee and the newest advisory board member of GOProud. In the news release from GOProud, Mair said: "As someone who has supported GOProud's mission from the beginning, I'm very excited to be joining its Advisory Council. ... [Read]

This morning, The Hill reported that the chairman of the influential conservative Republican Study Committee, which boasts 175 members, plans to introduce legislation "that would ban gay marriage in the nation's capital" -- prompting a rebuke from a gay Republican group. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who pushed a similar measure in the 111th Congress, told The Hill that he's a ... [Read]

On Friday, Jan. 21, Human Rights Campaign vice president Fred Sainz told The New York Times, "This past year Americans were confronted with the epidemic of bullying against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people that goes on in our schools. The State of the Union address would be an appropriate time for the president to assert leadership on this ... [Read]

Daniel Hernandez Jr., the intern who aided Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) until medical personnel arrived after she was shot earlier this month, will be attending President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday, Jan. 25, as a guest of Michelle Obama, according to ABC News. Hernandez -- an out gay, Hispanic college student -- has received praise from ... [Read]

According to a report released today by the Government Accountability Office, 40 percent of the servicemembers discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" from 2004 through 2009 "held skills in a critical occupation, an important foreign language, or both, as determined by us and the services." The 40 percent represents nearly 1,500 servicemembers of the 3,664 servicemembers discharged in the six-year ... [Read]

Today, Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan unveiled new regulations being proposed by HUD that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in several of the federal agency's programs -- from government-backed mortgages to public housing. The summary of the proposed rule states, "There is evidence ... that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and ... [Read]

Breitbart Joins GOProud Advisory Board

Posted by Chris Geidner
January 19, 2011 1:30 PM |
This news just in from GOProud is sure to rankle what GOProud's Chris Barron calls "the gay left." From the conservative gay group: GOProud, the only national organization of gay conservatives and their allies, announced that conservative media mogul Andrew Breitbart will join the organization’s Advisory Council.  "Andrew Breitbart is one of the most influential voices in the conservative movement ... [Read]

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) -- one of the key champions of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal in the Senate -- announces his Senate retirement: Live via MSNBC now. From The Washington Post's Greg Sargent, who received an advance copy of the speech, some of Lieberman's announcement: My interest in public service was inspired by President John F. Kennedy, who -- ... [Read]

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court turned down a request by Bishop Harry Jackson and others to hear their case seeking an initiative on marriage equality in the District. With no comment, the court decision (pdf) puts an end to Jackson's effort to stop the 2009 marriage equality law in D.C. Today's court action in Jackson v. D.C. Board of Elections, ... [Read]

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) -- the House's version of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) during the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal debate -- isn't taking his cues from McCain, who has said he will do "everything" he can to make the implementation of DADT repeal work. Hunter is heading in the opposite direction, with The Hill reporting that he plans to ... [Read]

Today, the Department of Justice filed its defense of the Defense of Marriage Act in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in a single filing for both Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and Massachusetts v. United States. This past July, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Tauro ruled that Section Three of DOMA -- which sets a ... [Read]

President Barack Obama tonight addressed Arizona -- and the nation -- at a memorial event held in the wake of the mass-shooting that killed six on Jan. 8 in Arizona. In key parts, he said: But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized – at a time when we are far too eager to lay the ... [Read]

Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed papers with the Office of Congressional Ethics seeking an investigation into what it claims are constitutional, legal and rule violations resulting from the first-day-of-the-112th-Congress actions of Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas). The two issues for which it is seeking an investigation are Fitzpatrick's action of what CREW ... [Read]

Equality Matters Snags SLDN Spokesman

Posted by Chris Geidner
January 10, 2011 8:25 PM |
Word came this evening that Equality Matters, the new Media Matters for America venture that boasts prominent LGBT commentator and former Clinton gay liaison Richard Socarides as its president and former Advocate reporter Kerry Eleveld as its online editor, has secured Trevor Thomas, the communications director for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, as its programs director. Socarides said in a statement ... [Read]

In a filing today before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Log Cabin Republicans argue that the government's request to stop the appeal of LCR v. United States while "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal is being completed is unreasonable. The move was expected, as LCR already had announced that it opposed the government's attempt to put ... [Read]

At a little before 5 p.m. today, Jan. 8, President Barack Obama addressed the nation regarding today's shooting of more than a dozen people, including a federal judge, U.S. District Judge John Roll, who was shot and killed and an Arizona congresswoman, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who is in critical condition according to the trauma director at the hospital at ... [Read]

One story from this first week of the 112th Congress bears special mention at Poliglot. Pennsylvania Republican Mike Fitzpatrick defeated Democrat Patrick Murphy in their contest to represent Pennsylvania's eighth congressional district this past November. Murphy, of course, led the House effort in the 111th Congress to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," so his loss was a disappointment for many ... [Read]

From The Hill today: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Thursday that he would work to help implement the repeal of the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy, despite his opposition to that legislation.McCain signaled that he had made peace with the lame-duck bill to do away with the military's ban on openly gay and lesbian service members, of which he ... [Read]

Today, President Barack Obama sent the name of Edward C. DuMont, a District resident, to the Senate for nomination to be a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The name was one of a spate of judicial nominees resubmitted to the new 112th Congress after the nominees were not voted on in the 111th ... [Read]

Ted Olson, on a conference call today with reporters, defended the litigation decisions made by his team in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the challenge to Proposition 8, in response to a question about those decisions raised today by Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Even if the Ninth Circuit eventually decides that there is ... [Read]

At 11 a.m. Pacific Time today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a series of orders and opinions in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger challenge to Proposition 8. None of them end the case, and none of them are likely -- at least immediately -- to raise any issue before the U.S. Supreme Court. They did, however, ... [Read]

One week after President Barack Obama signed the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act into law, the Department of Justice filed a motion in the Log Cabin Republicans' challenge to DADT to put the case on hold indefinitely to allow the president and Defense Department leadership to take steps detailed in the Repeal Act to end the ban on openly ... [Read]

On the Senate's last day in session, on Dec. 22, out lesbian Chai Feldblum was confirmed by the Senate for her position as a commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Another out person's nomination had stalled in the Judiciary Committee, however, and was returned to President Barack Obama, who must now decide whether or not to re-nominate Edward C. ... [Read]