Monthly Archives: July 2010

Does NOM Support Genocide?

Hey guys, remember that one sign from Monday’s Indianapolis NOM rally? The one that advocated genocide as a “solution” to gay marriage?

The attention to detail on those nooses is almost impressive.
The attention to detail on those nooses is almost impressive.

(Photo by Alice Hoenigman for Bilerico.)

And remember the interview Arisha Hatch of Courage Campaign‘s NOMTour Tracker got with Larry Adams, the man who made that sign?

You know what I wonder?

I wonder why those three people, including at least one NOM staffer (popped collar guy), who interrupted the interview to tell Larry not to talk to Arisha didn’t just look her in the eye and tell her that Larry’s pro-genocide stance is wrong.

Doesn’t that seem weird to you?

I’m left with the logical conclusion that they didn’t have a problem with what he was saying; they just didn’t want him to say it on camera. They know that having that kind of hate on film reveals NOM’s true goal more honestly than most people would find acceptable.

(In the days since the Indianapolis rally, NOM accounts of the day have carefully steered clear of Larry Adams and his sign, even as outside groups have called for NOM to repudiate the message of genocide.)

By the way, my case is only strengthened when you consider NOM’s reaction to calls for genocide on their facebook page last month. When confronted with people openly advocating the mass murder of gays, they just said “bite your tongue” instead of telling the offending supporters to take a hike.

Make no mistake, Larry’s sign tells what NOM is all about: Making gay people disappear from society, even if it means killing us. The proof is starting to mount up. The only question is how long it’ll take for people to understand that.

Lt. Dan Choi Officially Fired by National Guard

We’ve been waiting for the ax to fall for over a year, and Brigadier General Patrick A. Murphy has finally done it. He’s finished the job of firing Lt. Dan Choi for being gay.

Lt. Choi appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show last night to talk about his firing.

I’m not going to lie; I cried at the end of the interview as these two heroes of the LGBT community paid respect to each other. I know some in the community are frustrated with Rachel’s less aggressive stance, but as Dan said, she has been on this story for a long time, always willing to bring the unvarnished truth about DADT to millions of homes. Rachel Maddow has talked more about the absurdity of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in the last 18 months than all the rest of cable news combined.

Here’s the important line from the letter that Lt. Choi got on Thursday. This is the unmitigated bigotry that the US government pretends is a respectful end to a soldier’s career after serving his country for over a decade.

Based on the approved board findings that 1LT Choi did publicly admit…that he is a homosexual…I direct 1LT Choi be discharge (sic) from the New York Army National Guard with an Honorable characterization of service.

PATRICK A. MURPHY
Brigadier General, NYARNG
The Adjutant General

But as Lt. Choi said, this is not the end. His voice will continue to be heard as he holds Congress’ and President Obama’s feet to the fire, telling them in no uncertain terms that their job is to do the right thing.

Whatever you do, don't hide.
Whatever you do, don't hide.

Choi and Pietrangelo Cases Unexpectedly Dropped; DADT Remains In Effect

Lt. Dan Choi and Cpt. James Pietrangelo were scheduled to be tried yesterday for handcuffing themselves to the White House fence twice this Spring. Everybody was ready for it. Prosecutor Christina Chang, defense attorneys Ann Wilcox and Mark Goldstone, Choi (in his dress blues, no less) and Pietrangelo, and several witnesses (including the arresting officers) were ready. Even the Secret Service was in the room.

But at the last minute, the federal government dropped the case. GetEqual, the group that staged the protest, released a statement later in the day (excerpted):

Apparently, Prosecutor Christine Chang was unaware of the government’s decision as she stated, “I was ready,” and wasn’t able to explain the last-minute decision not to prosecute.

“Today, truth was the victor against a demeaning, discriminatory law known as ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’” said Lt. Dan Choi. “We won’t stop pressing for repeal and pressuring those standing in the way until the day comes when not one more gay or lesbian servicemember is fired. And, as of today, the President refuses to tell us when that day will actually come.”

“It is clear that the government was embarrassed and we were prepared to make them defend this antiquated and homophobic law. The government is afraid of having to defend this issue,” said Cpt. James Pietrangelo II. “The subpoena was an embarrassment for them, ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is an embarrassment for them and, after three months of discovery and preparation, the government dropped the case because they know it’s an embarrassment.”

“Civil disobedience won today,” said Robin McGehee, co-founder and co-director of GetEQUAL. “We’re thrilled today that Dan and Jim’s actions have been validated and that non-violent civil disobedience has been proven again to be effective in combating prejudice. We are proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Dan, Jim and other LGBT active-duty servicemembers who are taking action to end this discriminatory policy.”

Choi and Pietrangelo with their attorneys
Choi and Pietrangelo with their attorneys

So what happened? President Obama has had plenty of embarrassments with LGBT issues lately, and perhaps someone decided this was one too many.

My guess is that the Administration is finally beginning to understand that the strategy of putting off civil rights issues until 2013 has backfired and that Democrats entering midterm elections have a huge credibility problem with the LGBT community.

Remember, DADT is still the law and prosecutions are actively being pursued. Lesbian and gay firings are still happening at a rate of around two firings a day.

Something tells me Choi and Pietrangelo (and the good folks at GetEqual) will keep on making a ruckus until we’re all allowed to serve without fear.

Enough is Enough: Matt Joins DNC Boycott

Don't Ask Don't GiveAlmost nine months ago, John Aravosis and Joe Sudbay of AMERICAblog initiated their “Don’t Ask Don’t Give” campaign, asking LGBT people to stop funding Democratic party campaigns until they actually make a concerted effort to keep their promises. I finally found a chance to join the cause last week when I received a fundraising email signed by Brad Woodhouse, Communications Director of the DNC. Below is my response to his donation request.

Mr. Woodhouse,

In response to your request for a small donation, I must unfortunately reiterate what so many others have said in the last few months. The Democratic party will not see one penny from my pocket until and unless substantial gains are made in the field of LGBT rights.

In 2008, the LGBT community helped give you the White House, the House of Representatives, and a super-majority in the Senate. What we’ve discovered is that there is little difference between a Democratic-led government and the Republican-led government of five years ago. Instead of taking a clear and decisive pro-civil rights stance, you thanked us by running the other way and choosing ***anything*** but LGBT civil rights.

  • You punted repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, with a compromise that doesn’t actually repeal anything, has yet to be voted on in the Senate or signed by the President, and reportedly is being considered for veto by President Obama.
  • You’ve put off the Employment Non-Discrimination Act until it’s logistically unlikely this year, with Speaker Pelosi characterizing the bill as “controversial” rather than rallying Democrats around this clear issue of civil rights.
  • Repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act isn’t even being considered, no matter how many times President Obama says he’s “urged” Congress to do so.
  • Ending the discriminatory anti-gay blood donation ban has been discussed and rejected with no real push from the DNC to follow the science and penalize risky sex rather than responsible gay men in monogamous relationships for thirty years.
  • Bids to institute state-wide marriage equality have failed in part because of the lack of leadership and funding from the DNC, most notably in Maine last year.
  • Even a bill to offer safety to all school children has failed to find congressional footing because members of Congress get squeamish at the bill’s specific mention of LGBT kids who are many times more likely to be bullied, depressed, isolated, and suicidal than their straight peers.

So no. You will not get my money, you will not get my time, you will not get my voice, and you will not get my vote until you show me that you consider my rights as important as yours.

Candidates who have shown leadership for these completely reasonable LGBT demands retain my support and vote, but until I see substantial leadership and not excuses from the national party, my response remains the same:

NOT. ONE. CENT.

Cordially,

Matthew D. Algren

For far too long, Democrats have viewed LGBT people as nothing more than a committed source of funding and a reliable voting bloc. It’s time to teach them that we’re more than that.

Take the pledge.

Here’s why.