Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Washington Times amuses us with speculations about gays in special forces

Last week, the Washington Times offered a commentary rant after the vote to lift "don't ask don't tell" (see previous post). Here goes The Washington Times again (TWT), with it’s “happening now” story “Special forces wary of ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ repeal”, in a special by Rowan Scarborough.

I recall that Carl Levin, in the testimony, talked about a particular soldier who was “big, mean and gay” (I don’t know whether he has shown up at Town or Cobalt, but it seems as though on any given night there is a statistically greater than average sample of men over 6’6” tall – and I had once thought that this happened only in Minneapolis, at the Saloon).

The story has Rear Adm Worthington speculating that not so many will sign up for Navy Seals (remember though the1997 movie ”G.I. Jane” had Demi Moore train as a female Seal [don't confuse the movie with George Segal's "Navy Seals" in 1990], although they say this is Disney movies, not permissible in real life). There is silly speculation about how many gays are in medical or clerical.

In fact, the most intimate environment in the military may be submarines, where sailors speak of “bunk mates” and tend to gain weight on cruises.

The Discovery Channel, however, has a series on the extreme training environments for elite rescue units in all the services (my TV blog, Aug 25, 2010).

Friday, December 24, 2010

Gates throws a little cold water on the DADT-repeal Christmas party

Defense Secretary Robert Gates threw a little cold water on “our” Christmas party by reminding everyone that officially the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy is still in effect, and the process of lifting it can’t start for 60 days, and until he can certify that the military has new policies in place. His comment got mentioned by Dr. Sanjay Gupta on AC360 last night.

But the ice water jug belongs to Robert Knight of “Coral Ridge Ministries” for his Washington Times commentary-rant on Wednesday “A new meaning for ‘brothers in arms’; Repealing ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ can’t undo human nature”, where he speaks of America’s “moral insanity”. (He speaks of "the primacy of sex between husbands and wives" as taught by "all major religions.") The article says he has a new book “The Truth About Marriage: Defending God’s Plan for the Family” and I can well imagine what it argues. (We’ve seen it with Maggie Gallagher and Jennifer Roback Morse, but I bet this take things even further. After all, there’s a “Noah’s Ark” park getting built in Kentucky.)

My bet is, since DADT discharges have to go through the Secretary of Defense and reportedly stopped in October, they’ll remain stopped, forever.

Also, early Friday morning Vice President Joseph Biden told ABC News that he thought that in time America would accept same-sex marriage everywhere.

Picture: I call that "getting it".  Sorry, almost an R Rating (it's fake, and not a wardrobe malfunction).

Thursday, December 23, 2010

PFC Manning still the subject of controversy; what were his real motives?

Alternet is reporting a UN investigation of the conditions of PFC Bradley Manning, held in a brig at Quantico for his alleged part in the WikiLeaks “scandal”, particularly the release of 40 minutes of film concerning deaths of Iraqi civilians from American “friendly fire”. The story today is here. It's interesting that he is not allowed to see news broadcasts.

The media has been discussing Manning’s “sexuality” elliptically, with conservatives complaining of “political correctness”, to the point that it is difficult to pinpoint real facts. However Manning’s Facebook (website url) profile is still up, and is interesting.   Even during DADT, the attitude of commands toward social media postings was variable; in the Pentagon, I'm told, it was "hands off" (meaning the Pentagon did not concern itself with "telling" on Facebook in practice).

Fortunately, the case did not come up during the reintroduction and passage of the standalone bill repealing DADT. But it does illustrate the kind of circular “reasoning” about homosexuality and security clearances that I had to deal with during my own coming of age in the 60s.

The Army has actually defended its conduct in the Iraq incident, and my general impression is that, while treason is a huge crime, most of the leaked material discussed in reliable journalistic sources (The New York Times, etc) is stuff that should not have been classified and that does not hurt American security interests when the public knows about it. It’s hard to say that it is wrong for, say, a government employee to look at the material on his own computer when much of it is available second hand in major newspapers.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Obama signs DADT repeal into law

President Obama has signed the standalone repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” into law.

Quoting JCS chief Mike Mullen, Obama said, “Our people sacrifice a lot for their country, including their lives. None of them should have to sacrifice their integrity as well."

William Branigin, Debbi Wilogren and Perry Bacon Jr. have a detailed story and another video at The Washington Post “Obama signs DADT repeal before big, emotional crowd”, link here.

Obama reminded everyone that the repeal has to be certified with new administrative conduct codes, and that legally the DADT policy is still in place right now (although discharges would have to go through the Secretary of Defense.)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Is repeal of DADT the "turning point"? Or was the wedge crossed in 1993?

The repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell” should mark a milestone in public attitudes toward LGBT people. The public recognition of the capacity to take part in defending the country should guide some people to understand that the rights (and autonomy) of LGBT people are to be respected in personal matters, and not to be looked at a matter of family subservience or expropriation.

I can remember that back in 1993, for the government and military to say it wouldn’t “ask” was perevied as an “advance.” (Actually, as Andrew Sullivan once wrote, it was more like “ask, if necessary”.) In a way, on paper, DADT might have been perceived as a step in “respecting autonomy.” But the Internet and associated cultural changes have completely wiped away the credibility of “double lives” as we had accepted the idea a few decades ago. George Stephanopoulos had said back around 1994, "social changes and advances always come gradually."  But maybe not.

Both the DADT problem and gay marriage seem to invoke arguments that suppose that if there are equal rights, then non-gay people will not be able to do what they are supposed to do. A weird way to argue.

David S. Fahrenhold has a long article in the Washington Post (front page) Dec. 20, “For gay rights, is the end of the “don’t ask” military ban the end or the beginning?” link here. ABC’s The View on Monday morning expressed similar sentiments.

Note that SLDN (Servicemembers Legal Defense Network) warns LGBT servicemembers to behave very carefully now, during the "certification" period, with the "risk" Legal Guide link here. At the moment, DADT is still in effect!

Elisabeth Bumiller has an article in the New York Times today, "A How-to Guide for a New Miltiary", link here. Will there be a "DADT Repeal for Dummies" book?

On Monday, The Washington Times ran a story by Seth McLaughlin about GOP Virginia delegate Robert G. Marshall and a planned bill to implement the military ban in the Virginia National Guard (link here. -- or pardon me, is that "don't ask don't tell"?)  He says states control their own militia and would never have ratified the Constitution without it.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

"Don't Ask Don't Tell" Repealed in 65-31 final vote (cloture occurred earlier today)

The Senate has voted on the DADT Repeal Act by a vote of 65-31. That's almost five touchdowns of spread!  Eight Republicans voted for the repeal.  I understand that the cloture vote had taken place a little while before, around noon.

Here is the AP story on MSNBC, link.

Earlier today, John McCain (R-AZ) had given a somewhat distasteful speech, saying that while he was confident the military would follow orders of civilian leadership, that he had seen Marines at Naval Hospital “without legs” and implying that a supposed weakening of unit cohesion would lead to more casualties, a rather shocking analogy. Yet most of the pro speeches this morning talked in terms of eliminating discrimination. McCain did say he understood “the social issue arguments”. He was talking about the sharing of "sacrifice" which, however, turns out to be a reasont to repeal DADT.

The Secretary of Defense must certify that he can lift the law as it stands and replace it with administrative conduct codes (based on “common sense”) that maintain good order and discipline. Nothing in the bill guarantees benefits to same-sex partners of miltiary members. 

I played the role of delinquent activist today. I signed off listening to more conservative GOP senators make more McCain-like statements and went to see “Tron: Legacy”. When I came back, the final vote had just started (apparently the procedural cloture had occurred while I was playing hookey). For some reason, C-Span wasn’t working but MSNBC carried the vote, that took less than an hour.

Here is a CNN  video on the "History of 'Don't Ask Don't Tell'"

Friday, December 17, 2010

Iowa GOP legislators want to impeach state supreme court justices over gay marriage ruling!

Jason Hancock has a shocking story in the Iowa Independent, “GOP legislators drafting legislation to remove Supreme Court justices: Speaker-elect Paulsen says he won’t stand in the way”, link here.  This refers to the four remaining state supreme court justices in Iowa.

It’s shocking, though, that state legislators would believe the judiciary should be impeached for “political” reasons.

The story also links to the April 3, 2009 story about the unanimous decision by the Iowa Supreme Court to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage.

Note: On Saturday, Dec 19, C-span is likely to cover the Senate cloture vote on lifting “don’t ask don’t tell”, and perhaps the simple vote later. Check it even if I haven’t yet made a posting.

Wikipedia attribution link for picture of Iowa state capitol in Des Moines, link here.  I visited Des Moines many times while living in Minneapolis, 1997-2003. I remember walking by the capitol and seeing this view in Nov. 2001.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Reid schedules cloture vote on standalone DADT repeal for Saturday Dec 18

Daily KOS has breaking news Thursday night (Dec 16) that Harry Reid will bring up a cloture vote on standalone “don’t ask don’t tell” repeal vote on Saturday, along with Dream Act. DADT will be first. It takes 60 votes to pass cloture, then a simple majority to pass the bill.

On AC360, commentators still feared that the GOP could still play partisan politics, and force Obama to play multiple choice on what he gets, giving up DADT repeal.

The link for KOS is here.

Kerry Eleveld has a story in the Advocate here.

And here is the text of Reid’s actions from the Wonk Room, link.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

House passes standalone "don't ask don't tell" repeal, Senate may have enough votes now

The House of Representatives has passed the standalone repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell”. Here is the SLDN press release, link, a joint statement from Center for American Progress Action Fund, Human Rights Campaign, Log Cabin Republicans, Stonewall Democrats, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Servicemembers United, and Third Way.  The House vote was 250-175.

In the House, Rep Patrick Murphy had introduced the bill as HR 6520, “Don’t Ask Don’ Tell Act of 2010”, very prosaic, govtrack link (website url) here.

The text of the bill is about two pages; the link is at govtrack. The bill is based on the language embedded originally in the Defense Reauthorization Act back in May 2010.

The Huffington Post ("Hot Air") was reporting Wednesday evening that the Senate has enough votes for the repeal, link here,  according to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer D-MD. It would require 60 votes to pass.  On AC360, Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) said there were 62 votes. Anderson noted that the Senate has had 87 filibusters this year, but Democrats have participated in them.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Obama supports standalone DADT-repeal; getting it passed "on time" in 2010 is still a challenge; Gays in Africa in great peril (new report)

The Washington Blade is reporting now that President Obama supports pushing through a standalone “don’t ask don’t tell” repeal bill. Supporters in the House and Senate say they have the procedural authority to push it through, but the Senate particularly is overwhelmed with other controversial bills.

If the bill does not pass this lame duck session, passage (after reintroductiona gain) in 2011 by the 112th Congress sounds uncertain because of partisanship. It is shameful to see a bill based on moral concerns (and ultimately affection national security) fail to filibusters and partisan bickering.

Obama, however, might be able to issue a “stop-loss” order making enforcement almost impossible. Right now, all discharges have to be reviewed by OSD, eliminating most pursuits since the start of October.

Overturning in court is problematic. The Ninth Circuit may uphold the lower court in the Log Cabin Republicans case, but the Supreme Court is less likely to. But even so, Pentagon and administration policy might stop most DADT discharges indefinitely, although reinstatement of this discharged already (Witt) would be less likely.

What happens if Obama loses in 2012? An independent president like Bloomberg or social “progressive” Republican like Trump would probably keep Obama’s policy of no DADT discharges. (Oh, Bloomberg said he wasn’t running; too bad, because I would have supported him.)

It appears that Lieberman’s S4034 has been introduced. Lieberman has been a great friend on DADT repeal, but not on Internet censorship (he seems to have been trying to cut off support of Wikileaks – the government panic over this matter seems way out of line to me, as I’ve covered on my main blog).

Lou Chibbaro’s Blade story from Dec. 10 is here.

I wanted to give the link to a big story in the Sunday Dec. 12 Washington Post by Sudarsan Raghavan, “Gays in Africa face growing persecution, human rights activists say,” here. The story follows on with the previous reporting of a horrific anti-gay bill in Uganda, which has been reported for about a year, but the sentiment is there in several other countries. Curiously, the most progressive is now South Africa. The cultural view of much of Sub Saharan Africa is that procreation is a moral obligation, and not to do so is to “kill” one’s family.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Rally to reintroduce bill to repeal DADT held near Capitol; Senator Lieberman to post S 4023

Senator Joseph Lieberman will introduce a bill, S 4023, a standalone repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”. It would also have to pass the House separately during the lame duck session.

I attended the rally today on Delaware Ave. north of the Capitol. All networks were present, and the mantra was “Don’t Go Home” and “Mission Incomplete”.

There were about ten speakers, including USMC PFC Danny Hernandez, link.
Former SLDN head Michelle Benecke spoke.

Anderson Cooper’s video:

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Maryland may be poised to approve same-sex marriage in 2011

John Wagner has a Metro story in the Washington Post Dec. 9, “With Democratic gains in state Senate, Maryland poised to approve same sex marriage”, link here. Maryland bucked the trend of the 2010 midterms and went "blue" (although it still has a law-and-order law enforcement culture, it seems, as with its recent aggression with traffic cameras).  

The story says that a majority of state senators favor same-sex marriage, which would poise Maryland to become the sixth state (besides the District of Columbia) to recognize it. Senate president Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. says he opposes gay marriage but would work to break any filibuster and allow a vote.

However if the legislature passes it, the measure could face a referendum in 2012. In Maryland, a slight plurality favors recognizing same-sex marriage.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Lieberman tweets that Senate is ready for cloture on DADT; then Reid postpones until at least Thursday Dec. 9; VOTE FAILS THURS.

The Washington Blade is reporting late Wednesday, in a story by Chris Johnson, that lame-duck Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is holding off on the cloture and defense authorization bill (and repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell”) until Thursday Dec. 9, link here.

Early this afternoon, I got a tweet from Senator Joe Lieberman, retweeted from “Freedom to Serve”, saying “We have 60+ votes in support of repealing #DADT - it is vitally important to reach agreement on the right process to move forward.”

It looks like it’s getting critical, but we may have a deal.

It seems as if Senator Lieberman’s appearance on Anderson Cooper’s AC360 last night might have pushed this along, although curiously he said then that the Senate should work until Christmas Eve if necessary to repeal DADT and pass defense authorization.

Anderson Cooper made this blog posting about 4:30 PM EST today, indicating a postponement on the showdown vote, here.

This is sounding like a labor union and a city transit agency approaching a strike date, with the cooling-off periods already expired.

Late Dec. 8

Anderson Cooper says that the overturning of DADT may come down to winning the vote of Maine GOP Senator Susan Collins, who said in Sept. that DADT should be repealed carefully. However, she has expressed concern over "deliberative procedure", and that the tax cut legislation could get stalled.

Update: Dec. 9

The Cloture vote failed today. SLDN has a rally Friday Dec. 10 at the north end of the Capitol. The weather will be just cool (about 40 F) and not too much wind, so attend it: directions.

CNN has a breaking news story saying that the issue is dead for this Lame Duck session; I'm not sure that's true, here.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Senate procedures still threaten passing repeal of DADT in time

A complicated procedural logjam in the Senate is holding up the consideration of the 2011 Defense Authorization Bill, even thought three GOP Senators now say they will vote for the bill and “conditionally” repeal “don’t ask don’t tell”. However, supporters of repeal of DADT are painfully short by just one vote of what it would take to block a GOP or McCain filibuster.

It is shameful to see such tactics used to play with a bill so vital to both ethical standards in our military and ultimately national security.

There are some potential complications with military pay raises (not part of the president’s proposed freeze) in the holdup.

The Air Force Times has the story (by Rick Maze) here.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Ninth Circuit hears Proposition 8 oral arguments today,

C-Span is now covering Oral Arguments on the Challenge to Proposition 8 in California before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, link (website url) here.  Chris Cooper is the attorney for Supporters of Proposition 8 arguing against same-sex marriage.

According to a Los Angeles Times blog entry early Monday, both sides were vocal in demonstration outside the Court House in San Francisco.

Southern California Public Radio has an effective live blog covering the arguments here  Prop 8 supporter is quotes as saying, with some meanness, “You better get used to being discriminated against.” Sounds like a typical bully.

A justice asked Cooper if the people of California could constitutionally reinstitute anti-miscegenation laws (Loving v. Virginia, 1967) by a constitutional referendum.  Then Cooper started talking about the "special characteristics of opposite-sex marriage". It was important to him that the relationship can "naturally produce children."  Cooper went on to get into the area of single mother parents, and a justice said he had made a good argument for "prohibiting divorce."

Later there was a comparison to the logic of Romer v. Evans, Colorado Amendment 2 in 1996.

The Ninth Circuit has its hands full.  It is also hearing the Obama administratiom's formal appeal of a lower court rulings striking down "don't ask don't tell" in the Log Cabin Republicans case.

Update: Dec 12

Check the New York Times editorial "Civil Rights in California", link here, with some discussion of the "standing" issue, whether "Protect Marriage" had standing to bring the appeal. Their best shot seemed to be claiming "sexual relationships between men and women naturally produce children".

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Lame Duck session will run out of time for DADT (maybe); can the combat chief's objections be overcome?

Philip Rucker and Ed O’Keefe have a long story on p A7 of the Sunday Washington Post, “Repeal of ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ is far from certain: Competing priorities are consuming time left in Congress”, link here.

The story reports that the Obama administration has worked with gay activists, and some commentators still hint that the president could issue a Truman-style executive order, an idea considered and shot down before.

Gates insists that an appeals court (9th Circuit) ruling striking down DADT would be disruptive if Congress doesn’t act. The Ninth Circuit may well strike the policy down, but it is rather unlikely that the Supreme Court actually would. That hasn’t changes much since I argued such in my long “Chapter 4” of my 1997 book; it’s likely it would be a 5-4 vote, like a one-run baseball game or a football game decided by a field goal. It could go into extra innings or overtime, and Gate fears this would be disruptive, with no walk-off win in sight.

What’s so telling, an yet predictable, is that the combat chiefs – particularly the Marine Corps and some of the Army forces – are so much more skeptical; and social conservatives argue that lifting the ban would discourage religious families from sending their kids into the military. To me, so much of this comes down to a battle over the limits of individualism or personal autonomy itself, and the centering of that debate on DADT (as I have done) creates a bit of a paradox. GOP Senator John McCain kept pleading that this is an issue for the military only (almost as if speaking specifically to my own writings, and knowing that most of my life I have been “conservative”), and not to be conflated with broader social issues; but that is impossible. Those who cannot step up to share sacrifice and risk will indeed encounter second class citizenship and expropriation in “civilian life”. Those of us who grew up with a male-only draft know that.

Chris Matthews took this up Sunday morning with Andrew Sullivan, who pointed out that the objection among combat troops melts away among troops who know gay servicemembers personally. Sullivan said it is about the “right to come out”, not about the desire to, which in Britain did not happen.

Also, in the hearing, the acceptance of gays in quasi-military organizations like the CIA since the early 1990s (and Clinton’s 1995 XO on security clearances) was mentioned.

Selling anything, even in politics, seems to be about "overcoming objections."

Friday, December 03, 2010

Senate ASC continues DADT hearings, queries service chiefs

On Friday December 3, the Senate Armed Services Committee hearings on repealing “don’t ask don’t tell” continue at 9 AM, with the following speakers.

To continue to receive testimony on the report of the Department of Defense Working Group that conducted a comprehensive review of the issues associated with a repeal of section 654 of title 10, United States Code, “Policy Concerning Homosexuality in the Armed Forces.”

The speakers are as follows:

General James E. Cartwright, USMC, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

General George W. Casey, Jr., USA, Chief of Staff of the Army

Admiral Gary Roughead, USN, Chief of Naval Operations

General James F. Amos, USMC , Commandant of the Marine Corps

General Norton A. Schwartz, USAF, Chief of Staff of the Air Force

Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., USCG, Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard

The link for watching the broadcast is the same as yesterday.

The general concern was that in combat, social values are different, and that it is more problematic to make a change during the middle of war. The Marine Corps Commandant Amos expressed the strongest concerns (particularly with respect to small combat units), but even he admitted that the policy would probably be changed eventually, but suggested that adjustment should take place during a historical period of less combat. (At one point Amos made a gaffe, saying that this session was about “homosexuality in the Armed Forces”, the way we used to talk in the barracks at Fort Eustis in 1969 with all the “OGAB” Tiny Tim gestures!) The Air Force Chief said that the expectation of physical combat is less generally in the Air Force (except when being shot down), but that repeal would be more orderly if delayed until 2012.

At the end, the service chiefs were asked if they would be able to help Secretary Gates certify that the service chiefs would be able to implement the change in policy.  But Amos characterized the "risk" as "moderate".

The chiefs did say that most separatiosn were "statement based".  There was a question as to how many discharges might have been requested to avoid completing military service, but the law actually probibits discharges solely to avoid completing service.

Toward the end, Mr. Levin reiterated the study, saying that even in combat forces, the report showed that the presence of gay soldiers didn't disrupt unit cohesion. The service chiefs seemed to agree that the infamous "123 words" from Randy Shilts's book no longer apply ("Homosexuality is incompatible with military service...").  Levin quote as respondent from a special operatios group. "He's big, he's mean, he kills a lot of bad guys. But he's gay."  Levin seemed focused on thay one anecdote. 

Back on Sept. 14, 2001, Levin had warned (on CNN) that we might have to go back to the draft!

On Wednesday December 1, the Washington Post had an op-ed by Patrice B. Pexton, p A17, “What makes a warrior? It’s something that both straight and gay soldiers value?” and titled online “What gays and straights both seem to affirm in the military: their masculinity” (what about female soldiers?), link here.

He talks about warrior culture, and also throws around the concept of “sacrifice”, and treats sexual orientation as an immutable property of a person. Yet, the “culture war” and social conflict impute sexual orientation in complex ways whether Sen. McCain wants to admit it or not. The battle over the capacity to serve in the military presents a bit of a paradox in an individualistic society, reminding us that sometimes it’s the shared vision of “the group” that has to take the day.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Senate Armed Services Committee holds hearings on CRWG Report to repeal "don't ask don't tell"

Senator Levin opened the Hearings by noting that the report says that lifting “don’t ask don’t tell” is no big deal for most troops. He said that a matter like this should not be offered for referendum, Justas it should not have been with African Americans in 1948. He noted that the repeal would go into effect 60 days after passage, giving Congress one more opportunity for review.

The hearings are carried online on C-SPAN-3; the complete video of the testimonry (over 3 hours) is here.

You can also watch it at the Senate Armed Services Committee website here. You will need Adobe Flash Player 10, which may have to be specifically installed; it worked fine on both XP and Vista.

The definitive document from the CRWG is on the Defense.gov site as a PDF document here.

The speakers today are to be Honorable Robert M. Gates Secretary of Defense Honorable Jeh C. Johnson General Counsel, Department of Defense Co-Chair, Comprehensive Review Working Group Admiral Michael G. Mullen, USN , Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff General Carter F. Ham, USA Commander, United States Army Europe Co-Chair, Comprehensive Review Working Group.

John McCain spoke next and said that he is troubled by the act that “only” 28% of troops responded, largely non-combat (e.g. “combat service support”) troops. He admitted that it would be possible to lift the ban eventually. He said we should be wary of attempts to “civilianize” the debate by mixing it with other social issues (as I have done!)

Robert Gates said that we would hear from the combat arms chiefs tomorrow and he respected the unusual demands of unit cohesion of those in combat. But he insisted it was manageable to lift the ban. He said it would be more disruptive to do so by the courts, and expressed a hidden view that the Log Cabin Republicans might eventually prevail at the appellate and Supreme Court level. (Gates is a Republican himself.)

McCain later asked Gates if anyone had been held responsible within the military for PFC Bradley Manning's leak, without specifically saying that the soldier is gay. The Wikileaks issue came up again right at the end of the hearing.

Ben Nelson asked about "squaring the circle" and the double moral standard of honesty and hiding at the same time.

Gates said that servicemembers discharged honorably with DADT spin codes would eventually be able to return to active duty, but that would take some time. Gates also said he would have to "certify" the end of the policy.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Blanchon from Whitman Walker ambushed on CSPAN by anti-gay callers

Donald Blanchon (profile), Executive Director of the Whitman Walker Clinic, appeared on CSPAN in Washington DC today for World AIDS Day, December 1.

While I watched, four out of five callers were very hostile and voiced arguments often heard in the 1980s from the “Religious Right”. It seemed to be a coordinated ambush. One caller praised Uganda, known for a horrific anti-gay bill, for controlling AIDS.

Blanchon had to sidestep the questions and get away from the “obvious” questions about “chain letters”.

One caller, however, was a 68 year old man who was positive in 1989 but who had remained antigen free for twenty years now with medications.