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On the official day that DADT has been repealed, watch as this young soldier publicly comes out to his father. This video is brave, inspiring and powerful.

— 2 years ago with 278 notes
#don't ask don't tell  #DADT  #us army  #marines  #repeal  #lgbt  #coming out  #soldier  #gay 
DADT Repeal Stand-Alone Bill Introduced in the House

December 14th, 2010 at 11:06 am
Today House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Rep. Patrick  Murphy introduced a free-standing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) repeal  bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT)  and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the companion bill, S.4023, last  week after the failed Senate vote to proceed to debate on the National  Defense Authorization Act.  The Senate bill currently has 40 bipartisan  cosponsors.
Today’s announcement by Leader Hoyer and Rep. Murphy shows that momentum is on the side of DADT repeal.

DADT Repeal Stand-Alone Bill Introduced in the House

December 14th, 2010 at 11:06 am

Today House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Rep. Patrick Murphy introduced a free-standing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) repeal bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the companion bill, S.4023, last week after the failed Senate vote to proceed to debate on the National Defense Authorization Act.  The Senate bill currently has 40 bipartisan cosponsors.

Today’s announcement by Leader Hoyer and Rep. Murphy shows that momentum is on the side of DADT repeal.

— 3 years ago with 11 notes
#dadt  #don't ask don't tell  #steny hoyer  #patrick murphy  #gay  #rights  #military  #equality  #repeal  #LGBTQ 
Gay Navy rape survivor’s message to bullied gay kids – LGBTQ Nation
 
Gay Navy rape survivor’s message to bullied gay kids
Kelvin Lynch • Friday, October 1, 2010 • Comments (0)  92Share
Jose Antonio Rodriguez is a U.S. Navy veteran who was discharged under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ after his sexual orientation was discovered following being drugged, kidnapped, and brutally raped.  Rodriguez has since become an outspoken advocate for repeal of the antiquated law.
Rodriguez is so disturbed by reports of recent suicides of gay teens because of school bullying that he sends this heartfelt plea to all LGBT youth in America:

Joe Rodriguez was discharged under DADT.

I know it may be tough to be a young gay person.  I know it’s hard to have to hide your true essence and live a happy childhood and be who you really are. I understand it’s hard to have to hide in front of family and friends as you grow up to be the man or woman God brought into this world.  I ask you to keep faith and not give in to all the bullying and harassment.

I was once in the closet, just like you, and felt the pain and mental anguish of hiding who I really was until my 28th birthday last year.
I was raped by a group of men in June 2009 while I was still in the Navy.  My fellow sailors then perceived me to be gay, and harassed me because of the rape at the hands of other men.  They were right – I was a gay man, yet I did not deserve to be treated in a hateful manner.  But I stood strong and I am winning the battle now. I ask you to do the same.
I understand how you feel, but I beg you to please not give up.  Please stand strong and DEMAND EQUALITY. You are all God’s children and he loves us all!!  You are beautiful to everyone.  We are not different.  We are just a little more special, because God made us special, with love, and with love to give.  You are beautiful in my eyes and everyone’s eyes.  LIVE WITH PRIDE AND LIVE IN YOUR TRUE ESSENCE!  I love you all, and please don’t give up.  You are the ones coming up in the world and we need a strong generation for years to come.  We are not weak. So please, be patient and stand up with pride and fight for your equality!

Sincerely,US NAVY Gay VeteranJose A. Rodriguez

Gay Navy rape survivor’s message to bullied gay kids – LGBTQ Nation

Gay Navy rape survivor’s message to bullied gay kids

Kelvin Lynch • Friday, October 1, 2010 • Comments (0)  92Share

Jose Antonio Rodriguez is a U.S. Navy veteran who was discharged under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ after his sexual orientation was discovered following being drugged, kidnapped, and brutally raped.  Rodriguez has since become an outspoken advocate for repeal of the antiquated law.

Rodriguez is so disturbed by reports of recent suicides of gay teens because of school bullying that he sends this heartfelt plea to all LGBT youth in America:

Joe Rodriguez was discharged under DADT.

I know it may be tough to be a young gay person.  I know it’s hard to have to hide your true essence and live a happy childhood and be who you really are. I understand it’s hard to have to hide in front of family and friends as you grow up to be the man or woman God brought into this world.  I ask you to keep faith and not give in to all the bullying and harassment.

I was once in the closet, just like you, and felt the pain and mental anguish of hiding who I really was until my 28th birthday last year.

I was raped by a group of men in June 2009 while I was still in the Navy.  My fellow sailors then perceived me to be gay, and harassed me because of the rape at the hands of other men.  They were right – I was a gay man, yet I did not deserve to be treated in a hateful manner.  But I stood strong and I am winning the battle now. I ask you to do the same.

I understand how you feel, but I beg you to please not give up.  Please stand strong and DEMAND EQUALITY. You are all God’s children and he loves us all!!  You are beautiful to everyone.  We are not different.  We are just a little more special, because God made us special, with love, and with love to give.  You are beautiful in my eyes and everyone’s eyes.  LIVE WITH PRIDE AND LIVE IN YOUR TRUE ESSENCE!  I love you all, and please don’t give up.  You are the ones coming up in the world and we need a strong generation for years to come.  We are not weak. So please, be patient and stand up with pride and fight for your equality!

Sincerely,
US NAVY Gay Veteran
Jose A. Rodriguez

— 3 years ago with 53 notes
#gay  #hope  #DADT  #Don't Ask Don't Tell  #gang rape 
Today, a Federal Judge in California declared that the 1993 policy “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is unconstitutional because it violates the 5th and 1st Amendments. If the U.S. Department of Justice chooses to appeal the decision, the case will be forwarded to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and an appeal from there would shoot the case directly to the United States Supreme Court where it is strongly believed that the California judge’s decision will be upheld. 
The repeal of DADT will not only grant service members their constitutional rights but also pave way for  social integration and acceptance of the LGTBQ community throughout the nation. This kind of embracing of the gay community is sure to lead to other strides in equality. 
Click through the photo to read the Associated Press’ report
  • Today, a Federal Judge in California declared that the 1993 policy “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is unconstitutional because it violates the 5th and 1st Amendments. If the U.S. Department of Justice chooses to appeal the decision, the case will be forwarded to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and an appeal from there would shoot the case directly to the United States Supreme Court where it is strongly believed that the California judge’s decision will be upheld.
  • The repeal of DADT will not only grant service members their constitutional rights but also pave way for  social integration and acceptance of the LGTBQ community throughout the nation. This kind of embracing of the gay community is sure to lead to other strides in equality.
  • Click through the photo to read the Associated Press’ report
— 4 years ago with 16 notes
#dadt  #don't ask don't tell  #repeal  #gay  #rights  #military  #same-sex  #california 
The Impact and Consequence of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

by Dana Rudolph May 04, 2010 08:40 AM (PT) Topics: Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, LGBT Families Share 18 2183 Views I’ve been trying to figure out what bothers me most about Friday’s letter from Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to the House Armed Service Committee. In the letter, Gates asked Congress not to pass a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) until after the Pentagon can complete a study of its impact. A quick DADT repeal, he said, “would send a very damaging message to our men and women in uniform that in essence their views, concerns, and perspectives do not matter on an issue with such a direct impact and consequence for [servicemembers] and their families.” Mike Jones here at Change.org pointed out that maintaining discrimination sends “a very damaging message,” too. He also discusses how Gates’ letter feels like a betrayal from the Obama administration. I agree. The part of the letter that’s been getting under my skin, though? Gates’ assertion that repeal would have “a direct impact and consequence for [servicemembers] and their families.” The way he phrased the sentence — “our men and women in uniform” — make it clear he is talking in general terms, and not about the gay and lesbian members of the military. What possible “impact” and “consequence” could he imagine? Gay soldiers making passes at straight ones in the showers? There are regulations against that, no matter what a soldier’s orientation or gender. Either we trust most of our servicemembers to obey the regulations, or we admit that the military has a discipline problem that goes way beyond LGBT issues. Maybe it means the children of gay and lesbian servicemembers will talk about their families at the on-base schools, and the (civilian) teachers will have to explain that “Yes, Heather does have two mommies.” Public schools have been dealing with those issues (with greater or lesser success) for years now. On-base schools, I imagine, will do no worse. Even the Chair of the Joint Chiefs, Adm. Mike Mullen, told Congress, “I have served with homosexuals since 1968.” My suspicion is that a large number of gay and lesbian servicemembers are already out (overtly or not) to their units, and a DADT repeal would not drastically change how their fellow servicemembers view them. As for deeply closeted servicemembers, chances are they will come out carefully, still not wanting to create disruptions. The servicemembers and their families who will be directly impacted by a repeal of DADT are, of course, the gay and lesbian ones, as I’ve written before. I know a lesbian family with one mom in the military. They must send their children to an off-base school, not the higher-quality on-base one with a peer group of military children, for fear that their kids might inadvertently out them. Their children cannot go to on-base holiday parties, and cannot meet their mother’s plane when her unit comes back from Iraq. Gates’ letter reminds me of those who claim that same-sex couples who marry somehow harm the marriages of opposite-sex couples. No opposite-sex couple I know has ever gotten a divorce because of a gay wedding. If Gates is worried about impact and consequence, he had better be thinking of the gay and lesbian servicemembers and their families. Otherwise, his concerns seem akin to asking about the impact and consequence for white people when buses and water fountains were desegregated. Should we have done another study on that and kept black people at the back of the bus for longer?

— 4 years ago with 2 notes
#LGBT  #Don't Ask Don't Tell  #military