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Posts Tagged ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’

Whew, I was worried they might repeal DATA without sending out a survey first; Because a survey is a proper way to measure/gauge discrimination.  Heaven forbid we ever repeal a blatenly discriminatory policy without first getting imput from everyone.  Should we take some guesses as to how long it will take for the Pentagon to get the replys back and then compile the responses before they come to the conclusion that it is still a bad policy that should be overturned.  Lawrence Korb hit the nail on the head.

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I just read these two article that I think you may be interested in if you enjoy a good discussion of politcs and gay policy. 

This article discusses hospital rights for gay and lesbian couples…it is heart wrenching 😦

 

The second is about DATA (Don’t Ask Don’t Tell) and how the policy not only affects all gay and lesbian soliders but also women more so then men.  Very interesting.

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So I am back from my meeting with our Congress person’s aide and the meeting thankfully went pretty well.  I suspect we wouldn’t have to many issues considering the Congress person has already co-sponsered several bills to help with gay rights.  The aide mentioned that we were a very well prepared group compared to others…which in my opinion is always something good to hear!

One of the most nerve wracking parts was waiting to do my presentionon ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act).  The reason for the nerves is that the Bill already has 181-184 co-sponsers which is tremendous!  Basically the more co-sponsors the better the chance the bill will be voted for and pass then move into the Senate or any committee that it may have to pass.  So it was important to get our congress person’s John Hancock on the co-sponsorship list….it is basically their guarantee on voting yes on the Bill.  Currently, in PA, there are 9 Reps. who haven’t signed the Bill (the most in the country!)  It was up to a good presention to sale the Bill to our Congressperson and it was super important because the Bill has a ton of support already and the more support the better.  Plus employment non-discrimination is important to all of us who have job and can be fired with no legal defense against discrimination.

So we will see what happens in the next few weeks and see if we got the co-sponsorship we need.  Keep your fingers crossed!  I suspect you are now wonder what 1,135 stands for.  Recently, I found out that our married heterosexual counter parts have 1,135 more rights than gay couples do when their marriage is accepted by the government.  Something we gay men and women do not have federally.  I find it really interesting.

If you want to read a decent article regarding  money discrepencies between heteresexual and homosexual couples here is a link to a recent NY Times article.  It is a good read.

Overall, I’m glad the day is coming to a close and now can get a decent night of sleep! 🙂

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I’ve been gone for the past couple of days and while I was away it seems as if the gay world and politics have collided and not in a good way.  While I might be a little late to the game but it seems as if DOJ is upholding DOMA and not giving good reasons why they may hold such an archaic law in place.

This folks is what I was talking about in my posts around election time.  Over and over the gay community is courted for their votes by politicians with promises of equality and fairness when all the politicians are suffering from are delusions of political grandeur.  Where does that leave the gay community?  It leaves us again smarting from a wasted vote.  Perhaps; but what is more troubling is the fact that the minute these politicians say something pro-gay our community goes racing to put said person on a pedestal.  Is it idol worship?  To some extent yes and frankly it burns us a lot.  We are so quick to canonize those that “seem” to be pro-LGBT we don’t take a moment to step back and say what happens if…?  For example, “What happens/or what does it mean if our President stands during a national debate and says  he believes that marriage is between a man and a woman?”  Or, “What happens if a hypocritical piece of legislation is passed and our President or Congress doesn’t say anything?”  Or, “What happens if those politicians we voted for deem it the States job to define marriage 50 times though-out the nation?”   Better yet, “What happens or what do we do, as a gay community, considering a week after DOJ/Obama Administration issues a statement upholding DOMA (which the Obama Admin said would be repealed), when the same Administration wants to invite us to a DNC LGBT Leadership Council Dinner/fundraiser?” 

Yes you heard right, a week after Obama’s Administration is to gutless to stand up for the gay community and hides behind a weak DOJ brief regarding the ruling on Prop 8 they want us to donate our hard earned cash for a LGBT dinner.  FUCK THAT!

We as a gay community need to boycott this dinner/fundraiser thing.  We need to hold our political figures whom woo us for our votes to a higher standard and make them deliver on their promises.  Or at least stop them from speaking out against us on rulings.  I mean if member s of Congress and Obama’s Administration can stand in front of camera’s and say things like gay marriage can be decided on a State to State basis perhaps I should save my money for my State governance system.  Or better yet perhaps I should save $30,400 (the max donation that a gay can give at this NDC dinner/fundraiser event) for the health care that my partner isn’t provided for because health care benefits aren’t provided to gay couples. 

This disgusts and infuriates me.  It is presumptuous and sickening.  I say we boycott until Congress and the Obama Administration stands up and asks the world to understand and accept us instead of asking us for more money.  We boycott until Obama and his people say DOMA and DADT are miscarriages of justice and do not provide the LGBT Community equal rights and benefits.  We boycott until we see Congress, Obama, and Obama’s Administration grow a set.  Because remember the DNC is asking for at least a $1000 for the LGBT Leadership Council dinner but the little brief the DOJ released said the following

“It is therefore permitted to maintain the unique privileges [the government] has afforded to [different-sex marriages] without immediately extending the same privileges, and scarce government resources, to new forms of marriage that States have only recently begun to recognize…DOMA maintains federal policies that have long sought to promote the traditional and uniformly-recognized form of marriage, recognizes the right of each State to expand the traditional definition if it so chooses, but declines to obligate federal taxpayers in other States to subsidize a form of marriage that their own states do not recognize.”

So the government “declines to obligate federal taxpayers in other States to subsidize a form of marriage that their own states do not recognize,” well I decline to obligate my hard earned money to people who have nothing to show for it.

Did I mention the brief compares gay marriage to incest?  Yeah, insult to injury much…..

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Heeellloooo Lovers I hope this finds you well and enjoying the post inaugural bliss.  I wanted to touch base with you lovely people and see how you are doing.  Things are well in Erie except for the snow.  Yesterday we were getting two inches of snow every hour…in the end it was announced on the new that this winter will be the 10th heaviest snowfall in Erie history….I can attest to this since I spent 20 some good minutes pushing fellow apartment residents out of our snow congested parking lot (I reek of car exhaust at the moment)….update I just heard we are at the 7th place spot for most snow during a winter season in Erie…perfect.

 

Updates, updates, updates…first, my meeting with one of our State Reps. went very well.  We all presented out respective pieces on DOMA, DADT, ENDA, and anti-hate laws.  I ended up sitting between our congress woman and one of her staff members….it made me nervous.  It was such a great meeting and great day because I ended up going out to lunch with a couple older gay men (and Steve) who gave us a nice history regarding gay right in Erie and PA.   Then we ended up going back to the office of the Congress woman to see the opening of her office (I’m not sure this sentence makes sense).  I ended up running into a friend (who is a political activist) and eventually had to tell her I was gay and that’s why I was at the office opening and had the meeting earlier that day.  Then she introduced me to one of her friends.  I’m not sure if he’s gay or not but he was uber cute.  Black hair, dark eyes…he had a very Italian complexion, little bit of facial hair skinny….needless to say I was smitten.  I hope I run into him again.  Then the week got better from there.

 

I went out and visited some bars and just got to hang around Erie, it has been so hectic that it was nice to just cool my jets for the weekend.  We had game night; I managed to see some people that were visiting from out of town all in all just a lovely weekend.  But I think the best part was Monday night.

 

Ever since I’ve stopped seeing my older gentlemen friend John (I had to stop myself) I’ve been feeling a little off my game recently….in a bit of a funk if you will.  So a couple of us went to the gay bar on Monday and it was fun.  There was your typical drag show going on but what was untypical was the fact the bar was packed with a ton of people…some of them very good looking.  So me and a friend go back to a bar (Monday’s are coincidentally college ID…what like you’ve never been to one) and we were getting drinks.  Just down the bar from me is this cute tall dark haired boy.  He looked to be about 22-23 (he had to be over 21 because he was buying booze) and I don’t know what came over me…I ended up telling the bar tender to put his drink on my tab.  As I signed off on my tab I heard the guy say something about paying and being surprised….he walks over and goes to thank my friend Missy…who then says don’t thank me thank him in fact give him your phone number and name.  That’s when I got bashful, he shakes my hand and we exchange quick pleasantries and it was over.  He was gone and I was on my way to the dance floor.  So we dance and there it’s about 2 am and as I am turning around on the dance floor low and behold they guy is standing right behind me…he leans forward and whispers in my ear that his name is Henry and that no one has ever bought him a drink before.   He then gives me a peck on cheek and tells me he is leaving with his friends and that he would be there next weekend.  I stammer out something and the next thing I know he is moving towards the exit.  I was pretty pleased with the whole thing and now I know what I am doing Monday night.  I will defiantly let you guys know how things pan out.  Also, when he was whispering into my ear I detected a hint of a British accent….sexy.  But it didn’t stop there.

 

On Tuesday night, after trivia I ended up making friends from an opposing team who has the cutest curly haired guy on the team.  At the end of trivia they have a free round where you can answer individually and win prizes.  The first question I manage to get right and win a hat…as it turns out curly haired guy had his hand up to and I stole the question from him…I ended up giving him the hat instead (one because I look awful in hats and two so I could talk to him)….his name is Paul and he looked good in the hat.

 

Now the far part of the past week!  I took a page out of my friend Romi’s play book and her site Year of the Chick and signed up for a dating service.  Like I’ve said I want to keep putting myself out there well I really did it this time.  So I open my account (it was free) and I come up with a witty and honest profile of myself.  Well I had a few surprises in my account all ready…I usually set my profile to a 50 mile radius…I don’t want to date some one way far away…I get a message one day later from a man from Virginia stating he was in Erie for a few day and he thought we should meet…the subject line of said email….hey sexy.  Now don’t get me wrong I don’t mind having my ego stroked a little (or other things) but this was ridiculously forward and frankly I’m not looking for one night stands.  To top it off not only was his profile a mess (and a grammatical nightmare) and didn’t say anything about him other than his graduate study work (which I don’t believe he’s doing)he listed himself as being straight.  Ugh…please I don’t care if you are in the closet but if you think you are going to open a dating account, list  yourself as being straight, go to another town for gay sex, and then expect me to drop to my knees when you have that gay inclination you’ve got the wrong idea.  My friend Lucy, who is also on the dating site, was telling me how she judges people’s profiles and won’t message them based on their grammar abilities she will be pleased to hear I now know what she is talking about after this Virginia Casanova’s profile.  I did message someone but they didn’t message me back, which makes me sad but it is understandable.  I did have one more fun experience.  I had a young man going to college in Ohio message me.  We were using the systems IM system and it was a decent chat.  He lived  over a hundred miles away which was the first problem and the second after checking out his profile I could tell I wasn’t interested in him.  But, that wouldn’t stop me from making a new friend; I’m all about new friends.  So he compliments me and tells me I’m cute (ego boost) and I tell him he’s cute.  At this point in time I try to disarm the situation because I can see that he is going to want to meet and I tell him he will make someone at his college really happy….I was trying to throw him off…then he messages me “u know u want me”  proceeded quickly by, “lol,”  “j/k.”  Way to forward….also along the IMing (I was doing this during my lunch hour) he messages me that he wants meat.  He was also willing to give me his cell phone number so we could text each other.  Needless to say this is going to be a big problem…a small price to pay to have my ego stroked.

 

All in all it has been a pretty decent week. I have some more political activism meetings coming up so I’m pretty pumped and Monday night is going to be a blast I’m really excited to see if Price Charming (yes of course I’d give him that name because he is potentially British) shows up at the gay bar.  Well that’s about it.  I hope things are going well with all of you as well!

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So I just want to do a quick up date.  Last weekend I made out with a 19 year…3 times.  It might have been a mistake I don’t know if there were feelings involved which would make it worse.  But, it was fun at the time….which could be a good or bad thing.  We’ve texted a few times back and forth.  I think this is going to be a problem down the line:/  During out texts he has asked me to come over to his parent’s house to watch a movie.  It is a lovely offer but in my mind I see something like this happening.  Sammy heads over to Dan’s house to watch a movie.  One thing leads to the next and his Hispanic father walks in on his son making out with a boy (Dan is in college but commutes)…..ends with Sammy trying to out run Dan’s Father!!!! :/  We’ll see what happens.

 

I have recently been working on some lobbying efforts regarding Pennsylvania politics.  I am really excited about lobbying and being part of the political process (especially in terms of gay rights) but I have to admit I’m a little scared to.  Our group of 6 people is meeting with a politician to do our lobbying and we are going to have a specific item to speak on.  I am worried that I will flub the whole thing so I have been doing a ton of research lately.  The areas we are working on include DOMA, ENDA, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and Anti-Hate Laws.  I’m torn I want to work on the DOMA aspect of the lobbying but I find myself very versed in ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act).  This Act is a lot like the 1964 Civil Rights Act specifically article 7 that wouldn’t allow employers discriminate against black employees.  We want something very similar and it was looking good but then our politicians freak out over the transgendered/transsexual language being included in the Act when then derailed the whole thing.  Now there are two acts out there one with and one with out language on transgendered/transsexuals.  It’s all very interesting.  So wish me luck I have a planning meeting on Tuesday and then my big meeting is on Friday!  I am pretty pumped.

 

Today I leave for Harrisburg with a couple friends to meet up with a married couple we know.  We are going to visit and then go to the Farm Show.  I don’t know what the farm show is but I suspect it is a glorified county fair (for those of you in the city a county fair is a giant fair in the summer that we rural folks live and die for J)  We are talking children raising pigs to win money and prizes, 4-H stands abound with goodies, and obviously there’s going to be tractor equipment, and a school bus demolition derby!  I know you are all salivating at the splendidness known as the county fair.  Did I mention all the local high school marching bands decorate the buses prior to their destruction?  Did I also mention I was in 4-H and the marching band….I don’t know why I just admitted that to you all.

 

Here are a couple 4-H links for your viewing pleasures:

http://www.fourhcouncil.edu/

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4-H

 

Yes, my days in 4-H were spent growing plants (agricultural sciences), wood working (thanks Dad for all your help and by help I mean doing all the hard stuff), and baking (gay).  I did really like 4-H though it was a ton of fun as a kid and I can only hope the Farm Show is the same way!!!!  The only difference is that I think (HOPE) it’s indoors!  If you haven’t heard Erie is currently at -9 degrees today.  I bit chilly for me and any Farm Show.  The other thing that I’ve been told is that there is a 900 pound (yes! 900 Pound) butter sculpture.  Nothing gets me going than a giant block of butter that has been molded into something fabulous.  I am guessing the butter will be sculpted into the likeness of a farm staple the rooster!!!! I’M IN HEAVEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I’ll be sure to take tons of pictures (especially of the butter) and post to let you see them.  I will let you bloggers banter about what the butter sculpture may be.  But for now here is a picture of last years butter sculpture and the link to the Harrisburg Farm Show!

 

 

 

 

 

(and despite the picture, being from a rural town myself I’ve never had a cow by my school bus or even taken a cow to my bus….I have almost hit a cow driving to  my Grandparents once….I don ‘t think that counts as being hickish?!?!?)

 

http://www.agriculture.state.pa.us/farmshow/cwp/view.asp?q=129972

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So I’ve been mulling over my feelings this past week regarding gay issues.  I’ve been reading up on gay marriages, civil unions, anti-hate laws, and most recently the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.  The policy was enacted by Bill Clinton in 1993.  I find it a tough pill to swallow.  I’ve always been proud of my country.  I admire the fact that men and women are willing to put their lives out on the line for a place that they believe to be good.  What makes this policy so unacceptable (other than Clinton saying he would work to allow gay to be out and open in the military) is that it is basically our top governmental officials saying they aren’t accepting of us.  And by us I mean gay men and women who also dedicate their lives to honoring our country in times of need and war.  The other despicable aspect of this policy is that it forced men and women to be closeted.  Being in the closet is, in my opinion, a personal choice.  It’s a personal choice that shouldn’t be forced into policy by the government. 

 

As I was looking over the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) policy I found some fun and exiting verbage that seem appropriate to visit.

 

“Sexual orientation will not be a bar to service unless manifested by homosexual conduct. The military will discharge members who engage in homosexual conduct, which is defined as a homosexual act, a statement that the member is homosexual or bisexual, or a marriage or attempted marriage to someone of the same gender.”

 

 

quoted in “The Pentagon’s New Policy Guidelines on Homosexuals in the Military”, The New York Times (July 20, 1993), p.A14.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_Ask_Don%27t_Tell)

 

I don’t know if straight people realize the tight line gay men and women have to walk in regards to this statement.  We gays are not allowed to even breathe a word of our sexuality otherwise they are discharged.  Now far be it from me to judge, but I have to theorize there are plenty of men in the military that have no problem at all talking about their wives, their girlfriend/lovers etc. and what they do to them on a daily basis or what they are going to do to them when they get home from active duty.  A little one sided wouldn’t you say.  If straight military men and women can’t listen to gay men and women talk about our sexual conquests then why should we have to listen to theirs?  Of course our government could never think of limiting straights discussing their sexual rendezvous that would be a freedom of speech issue…right?  Basically our freedom to be who we are is limited because we “freak” out military personnel.  Speaking of which lets read the reasons given to why DADT needed to be enacted.

 

 

 

“…would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.”

 

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_Ask_Don%27t_Tell)

 

Jesus christ, I never realized my homosexuality could bring down an entire military unit.  That’s a lot of power my sexuality yields!  You know what I have to say about that….your in the fucking military.  Grow a set and give the homophobia a rest.  I believe you probably have bigger fish to worry about, say the enemy shooting at you, instead of my homosexuality.  Really if you can make it though boot camp you would think these people would have some semblance to get over their fear of the gays.  Aaaahhh yes my being gay destroys the high morale of group of people who shoots other people…perfect logic.  In fact I would like to take a moment to discuss the military not being able to tolerate homosexuality.  If military people can’t tolerate something like my being gay how can they tolerate an entirely different culture and way of life.  I mean if the military needs a policy to keep me from talking about sleeping with men because it makes them uncomfortable how will they ever adjust to the lives and cultures in Iraq, Afghanistan, or other places in the world that will take soldiers out of their comfort zone.  I’m just asking!

Recently we’ve had another winner who has been talking about the gays demoralizing the troops.  In a recent Washington Times Article, by Stephen Dinan, Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, has been quoted as saying “It’s a matter of judgment, and I think that would be very poor judgment on the part of the commander in chief,…It would be very demoralizing to the troops.” 

Elaine Donnelly

Donnelly is speaking about the recent rumors that William White, the chief operating officer of the Intrepid Museum Foundation, might be selected for the position of the Secretary of the Navy.  Oh one last thing he’s gay and out!!!! 

William White

 

Heaven forbid we ever put a good, gay role model into a position of leadership to exemplify what it can be like with gays in the military.  That would demoralize the troops…?  It’s unfortunate people like Elaine Donnelly like to use their voices to perpetuate a negative view of gay men and women.  But, there is silver lining to Donnelly’s cloud of hate, the Secretary of the Navy is a civilian position meaning William White is eligible for the position even though he is out in the public eye.  You see, DADT cannot be applied to people civilians (I guess it’s that whole taking away the freedom of speech from them and making forcing them to remain in the closet that keeps it from being applied to all of us).  Because of his civilian status William White is safe to be gay and be elected to this position if Obama taps him for it…which I hope he does.  We will see.

 

Below is the Stephen Dinan article from the Washington Times and a second article regarding DADT.

 

 

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/dec/18/gay-man-backed-for-navy-secretary/

http://www.newsweek.com/id/177723?GT1=43002

 

 

 

 

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