Sunday, June 09, 2013

CIA has booth at LGBT Pride Festival in Washington; Gay Men's Chorus gives rousing stage show

LGBT Pride festival on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC today (June 9, 2013) was typical, but with some new booths, such as two Baptist churches, and most notably , the CIA.
I spoke to a young woman representing the agency and asked about the possible indirect effect of the now repealed “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy for gays in the military when it was in effect.  What would happen if in a same-sex couple one person had been in the military, and one was a civilian CIA employee?  Apparently this had happened.  She said that until 1996, people found to e LGBT could be dismissed from employment.  Recall, President Clinton had issued an executive order in 1995 declaring that sexual orientation should not be used as a reason to deny security clearances to civilian employees anywhere.
In fact, back on Scott Peck’s radio program in early 1993, Frank Kameny had said that the security clearance issue for gay civilian employees (outside the uniformed military) had started to improve rapidly (out of practical necessity) during the Persian Gulf War of 1990-1991. During the George H W. Bush administration (remember, the elder Bush had been a CIA director),  the security clearance issue improved considerably.  Now, when I moved back to the DC area from Dallas in 1988, I wondered about this, and interviewed for a job with a contractor serving the State Department (Mitchell Systems, on NY Avenue then) and would have gotten the job.  I decided not to run the security clearance gauntlet, given my history.  I went with an offshoot of Blue Cross that now belongs to Lewin.

Scott Peck's 1993 radio program had presented a transgendered military Naval Intelligence officer who transferred to the same job as a civilian in Naval Intelligence after she "told".  But this was civilian employment in DOD, not the CIA.  The rules could have been different then.  
I have some more remarks on the International Issues blog about the CIA “virtual visit” today.

The AARP had a booth (I don’t recall that before).  This time, I didn't see a Nationals' or MLB booth, but maybe I just missed it.  
The Washington DC Gay Men’s Chorus was performing on stage (“Boys will Be Boys!”) when I was there.

Food lines were very long, as was the lone to get into the beer garden.  I went on to the Landmark Theater. 
About 4 PM, under threat of rain (which didn’t materialize).  In the beer line, there was someone I know whom I call “The Kid” who looks and talks like “Days of our Lives” character Will.  And there is a Sonny.  ‘You know who you are.”

No comments: