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May 23, 2012
[I have] a lot of friends who are individually gay but are in partnerships with loved ones, and they are as stable a family as my family is and they raise children. And so I don’t see any reason not to say that they should be able to get married under the laws of their state or the laws of the country.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell • Voicing support for same-sex marriage on CNN’s “The Situation Room.” Powell, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy went into effect, also said that policy was needed at the time due to political pressures. ”It was the Congress that imposed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ it was certainly my position, my recommendation to get us out of an even worse outcome that could have occurred,” he said.
15:57 // 1 year ago
October 1, 2011
Human Rights Campaign: No surprises from Obama, but a victory lap
There was no open support of gay marriage in tonight’s speech, but Obama did speak out in favor of more equality for gays. The president, fresh off his success with the full repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” continued pushing for his view on the Defense of Marriage Act — ”It should join ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ in the history books,” he said — and emphasized the hard work that he’s done for the gay rights movement over the past three years. (He also, when bringing up his jobs bill, dropped a couple of government-related lines that will anger those on the right, such as “I believe in a big America”.) While Obama has yet to come out in support for gay marriage (perhaps his most puzzling view), he has done more for gay rights than any president, ever. Still, his view on gay marriage is one that was likely on the minds of many listening to Obama. Here’s how his views have changed on the still-controversial issue over the years:
2004 While he was still in the Illinois State Senate and running for U.S. Senate, a former aide claims that Obama he supported gay marriage at the time.
2008 When he ran for president, however, Obama made it clear that while he supported civil unions, he did not support gay marriage.
2010 Obama’s views on gay marriage began evolving; as of 2011, the Obama administration no longer enforces the Defense of Marriage Act. source
(pic via Twitter user Johnny Lee)
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There was no open support of gay marriage in tonight’s speech, but Obama did speak out in favor of more equality for gays. The president, fresh off his success with the full repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” continued pushing for his view on the Defense of Marriage Act — ”It should join ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ in the history books,” he said — and emphasized the hard work that he’s done for the gay rights movement over the past three years. (He also, when bringing up his jobs bill, dropped a couple of government-related lines that will anger those on the right, such as “I believe in a big America”.) While Obama has yet to come out in support for gay marriage (perhaps his most puzzling view), he has done more for gay rights than any president, ever. Still, his view on gay marriage is one that was likely on the minds of many listening to Obama. Here’s how his views have changed on the still-controversial issue over the years:

  • 2004 While he was still in the Illinois State Senate and running for U.S. Senate, a former aide claims that Obama he supported gay marriage at the time.
  • 2008 When he ran for president, however, Obama made it clear that while he supported civil unions, he did not support gay marriage.
  • 2010 Obama’s views on gay marriage began evolving; as of 2011, the Obama administration no longer enforces the Defense of Marriage Act. source

(pic via Twitter user Johnny Lee)

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20:08 // 2 years ago
19:13 // 2 years ago
September 20, 2011

The first day of a new military reality: It’s easy, especially when major civil rights policy comes down to a big, dramatic vote, to check the “accomplished” box and move along. In the case of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, this would have been considerably premature, as it wasn’t until midnight this morning that the ban was finally lifted. Congratulations to all the people who’ve had the weight of a big injustice pulled off their shoulders by this. The above video was recorded hours after the ban was lifted, and is a pretty emotional scene to watch unfold; a soldier, finally able to state his sexuality without discrimination from the military, calls his father to come out to his family. Be warned, it might make you a bit misty-eyed. source

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18:28 // 2 years ago
This is why I chose to come out on Day 1 after the policy changed. I chose to come out publicly for the thousands of gay military members who have been told they are a risk if they serve in the military openly and honestly. People may say what I’m doing is attention-seeking or not befitting a military officer, but that very mentality shows the prejudice we still harbor when it comes to sexual orientation.
Air Force First Lieutenant Josh Seefried • Discussing his choice to come out on the very first day of the official repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Seefried had planned for this moment. See, Seefried launched OutServe, an organization for gay service members, while working under the pseudonym “JD Smith.” So it only makes sense that he’d be one of the very first people to come out under the new policy — and in a bold way, as a guest columnist for The Daily Beast. More power to him. source (viafollow)
10:29 // 2 years ago
July 6, 2011

Quick clarification on the last post on gays in the military

squee-gee asks: Um… doesn’t this mean the opposite?  From the article: “A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said Wednesday the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy must be immediately lifted now that the Obama administration says it’s unconstitutional to treat gay Americans differently under the law.”  

» SFB says: The key phrase in our last post is “gradual rollout.” The law passed last year basically set the wheels in motion for stopping “don’t ask, don’t tell,” but left it to the discretion of the military. This ruling basically says the change has to take place immediately.

(Source: shortformblog, via squeetothegee-deactivated201111)

16:06 // 2 years ago
15:52 // 2 years ago
March 3, 2011

Harvard finally recognizes the ROTC again – four decades later

  • then The ROTC was blocked from Harvard’s campus at the height of the Vietnam War. Later, the group was blocked largely because of the military’s record on gay rights.
  • nowLargely because of the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” Harvard will now formally recognize the Naval ROTC. It only took 41 years for the change to happen. source

» Harvard’s take: “Our renewed relationship affirms the vital role that the members of our Armed Forces play in serving the nation and securing our freedoms, while also affirming inclusion and opportunity as powerful American ideals,” said university president Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust. She sounds very positive about the change, doesn’t she?

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22:29 // 3 years ago
January 25, 2011

Obama: “It is time to leave behind the divisive battles of the past.”

  • deal  ”Starting this year, no American will be forbidden from serving the country they love because of who they love.”
  • condition ”And with that change, I call on all of our college campuses to open their doors to our military recruiters and the ROTC.”
22:12 // 3 years ago
January 21, 2011

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal will save taxpayers money

Some think it will make us unsafe. We think (in addition to not making us unsafe) it’ll save taxpayers money. While the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is a done deal, the Government Accountability Office nevertheless conducted a study on the fiscal impact of the program. After reviewing all cases of expulsion under the program over the last six years, they found that maintaining the program was quite costly (and we don’t mean from an emotional standpoint).

  • $193 million to implement the program over six years
  • $52k cost of expelling each service member (this includes finding and training replacements)
  • 39% of those expelled either spoke a foreign language, or held a “critical occupation” in the military source

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0:08 // 3 years ago