Today, President Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen certified the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The policy will end in 60 days, on September 20, 2011!
The following is a statement from President Obama:
Today, we have taken the final major step toward ending the discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law that undermines our military readiness and violates American principles of fairness and equality. In accordance with the legislation that I signed into law last December, I have certified and notified Congress that the requirements for repeal have been met. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ will end, once and for all, in 60 days—on September 20, 2011.
As Commander in Chief, I have always been confident that our dedicated men and women in uniform would transition to a new policy in an orderly manner that preserves unit cohesion, recruitment, retention and military effectiveness. Today’s action follows extensive training of our military personnel and certification by Secretary Panetta and Admiral Mullen that our military is ready for repeal. As of September 20th, service members will no longer be forced to hide who they are in order to serve our country. Our military will no longer be deprived of the talents and skills of patriotic Americans just because they happen to be gay or lesbian.
I want to commend our civilian and military leadership for moving forward in the careful and deliberate manner that this change requires, especially with our nation at war. I want to thank all our men and women in uniform, including those who are gay or lesbian, for their professionalism and patriotism during this transition. Every American can be proud that our extraordinary troops and their families, like earlier generations that have adapted to other changes, will only grow stronger and remain the best fighting force in the world and a reflection of the values of justice and equality that the define us as Americans.
The following is a picture of the official certification:
Jon Stewart interviews Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mullen, about the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” on The Daily Show:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Exclusive – Mike Mullen Extended Interview Pt. 2|
GENERAL AMOS, COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS, VIDEO MESSAGE TO MARINES ABOUT “DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL” REPEALJan 31st, 2011 06:14 PM By
According to The Washington Post:
Gay rights leaders are praising the nation’s top Marine for setting a positive, proactive tone as the military prepares to end enforcement of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” despite his previous warnings that openly gay troops could lead to deadly distractions.
Gen. James F. Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps, has said that allowing gays to serve openly in the military could result in more casualties because openly gay troops on the battlefield could pose “a distraction.”
But in a new video, Amos and Sgt. Maj. Carlton W. Kent, the Marine’s top enlisted man, remind the rank and file that a change in policy is coming and they expect them to follow the new orders.
The following is the video message:
The following is an excerpt from a story by The Army Times / Associated Press:
“Pentagon leaders will roll out a plan Friday that is expected to give the military services about three months to train their forces on the new law allowing gays to serve openly, officials said Wednesday.
“The plan, they said, will outline the personnel, recruiting and other regulations that must be changed. It will describe three levels of training for the troops, their commanders and the key administrators, recruiters and other leaders who will have to help implement the changes.
“Under that training schedule, full implementation of the law could begin later this summer. Once the training is complete, the president and his top military advisers must certify that lifting the ban won’t hurt troops’ ability to fight. Sixty days after certification, the law would take effect.
“Word of the plan comes a day after President Obama told the nation in his State of the Union address that the change was in sight.”
The following is an excerpt from a story by The Washington Post / Associated Press:
“A government analysis says that discharging gay service members cost the Pentagon nearly $200 million from 2004 to 2009. The money went mainly to recruit and train replacements.
“The Government Accountability Office report says it cost an average of $52,800 per discharge. The totals are estimates because of differences in how the military services compile and report budget data.
“Congressional investigators say that of the 3,664 service members dismissed for being gay, more than 1,400 held critical jobs or spoke an important foreign language.”
I’m 25 and I’ve been with my partner for 6 years. We just had our first baby. My partner has a daughter from a previous marriage, but her father has not been in the picture for her whole life. He has visited her twice in the past 7 years, but he only spent a few hours with her each time. We worry every day that he will just show up and harm someone, he has a history of violence. He threatens every time that they speak that he wants their daughter to travel across the country to visit him and his family that she only met when she was a baby. He never follows through with his plans but the threat is still there.
Their daughter does not want to go because she is scared, she does not feel safe with anyone of his family members and we cannot afford to send her mother with her and her mother is scared to be around her ex-husband because of his violent history with her. Their daughter says that she doesn’t feel like she is a part of his family, she has been taken in by my family and wants my last name and not her fathers. He now threatens to tell the Judge that his ex-wife is gay and he doesn’t want his daughter to be raised by two gay women. And on top of all of that both of us are in the Army National Guard. He threatens to get both of us kicked out of the Military. I would like to get him out of the picture and not worry about my life being turned upside down. When will my family be treated like any other family?
I have had to hide who I am for a long time. From my family, friends, and now everyone I work with. There are even people in the gay community who look at me funny when they do know. I’m a 21 year old bisexual guy who at one point in my life would hate myself from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed. When I came out to my parents they didn’t think much of it. I was in high school and they just thought it was a thing that would pass. After that one try to tell them who I was it became something we never talked about. My dad and step-mom looked at it the same way.
It wasn’t until I was 21 that I tried again. This time I was on the other side of the world with an amazing boyfriend back home. I couldn’t go home on leave and lie to them, so I came out. First to my older sister. She took it great. Then to my father and step-mom. That didn’t go so good. They have come up with so many ways to right it off. Everything from it isn’t possible because I still like girls to being brainwashed when I was younger.
I can’t understand how they would rather think of me as brainwashed and sick instead of really dealing with it. Now it has once again become that one thing they wont talk about. If I hint at the topic or even try to outright bring it up they all of a sudden have to go to the store or go to work.
I grew up in a small town situated in central Texas. When I say a small town, I mean tiny. My graduating class only had 41 students in it. Though I was not the only gay kid in my class, I was the first in my school to “come out” before having graduated. I guess you could say I was an original.
In the mid 1990’s, in a small town, and in Texas, being gay wasn’t just taboo, it was forbidden. It was a crime punishable in so many violent ways that anyone who even considered themselves gay, lesbian, transgendered or even just curious, would never dare to put themselves in the public eye. I decided to do just that anyway. I didn’t have a death wish or anything like that, I was just tired of having to keep track of all my lies. Lies whose sole purpose was to please the people around me, people I didn’t even like. People who’s opinions I couldn’t have cared less about.
I give a DAMN!!! I give a DAMN because I spent 13yrs in the military and was a lesbian the whole way thru. I come from a small town. I know now, that I wasn’t the ONLY lesbian living there, but when I was growing up you were so isolated that I never connected with other gays and lesbians. We had no community or place to go and therefore never really knew each other well. I thought I was the only one at my school.
My best friend in the whole wide world while growing up, wrote me a letter after I’d left for basic and informed me that she was a lesbian!!! I was shocked! Not that she was, just that I never knew and she kept it such a secret and hid it so well. I can’t believe that in almost 15yrs of being around each other daily and discussing EVERYTHING together, we never discussed being gay. Now that’s were I came from.
When I got to my first duty station, HOLY COW! There were gays and lesbians EVERYWHERE! I thought I’d died and went to LGBT Heaven! I loved it. And for the next 13yrs, I’ve never worked with a more finer, more dedicated, more respectful and more patriotic group of people ever in my life before and since.
Liberty: “the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views” ~The New Oxford American Dictionary
Justice: ”the quality of being fair and reasonable” ~The New Oxford American Dictionary
Everyday children in schools across the United States are ‘required’ to recite:
I Pledge of Allegiance, To the Flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one Nation, under god, Indivisible, With Liberty and Justice for ALL.
For many the addition of “Under god,” added in 1954 is an issue, and refuse to say it; but that’s another issue for another time. For now I would like to focus on the last part, “With Liberty and Justice for all.”
I wonder if I were to do a poll for the general public of the United States, what percent of people would say that they think everyone has equal Liberties and Justices. Do you think everyone has the freedom to live his or her life equally to everyone else? Do you think Gay people not being able to be in the army to fight for their constitutional rights, the rights that kids across America are expected to pledge everyday, is fair? Do you think that a law saying that if someone is gay they can’t fight for freedom should be legal? I hate to say it, but I think there are some countries where people have more freedoms than we do here in the United States, where when a couple gets married they have more rights than when they are just ‘partners’. And many states have changed their constitutions to define ‘Marriage’ as being “between one man and one woman,” Is that fair that a Heterosexual couple, who could not truly be in-love can have legal rights that Homosexual couple, who could have been together for 10, 20, 50 years, couldn’t have.
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Sexual orientation has nothing to do with how well a service member performs his or her job. But under the 1993 “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law, being openly gay can be cause for discharge from the military.