A move to stop using Medicaid dollars for programs that "pray the gay away" was defeated along a mostly party line vote in the Senate. Senator Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis) argued that tax payers shouldn't have to pay the bill for "therapies that do real damage to individuals and are based on a particular, narrow religious perspective. Senator Dibble said research shows that changing a person's sexual orientation is not possible.
Right Wing Watch Religious Right Slams Obama for Backing Marriage Equality While gay conservative groups have come out attacking President Obama for endorsing marriage equality today, Religious Right groups have also started to berate Obama on the issue.
Tony Perkins of Family Research Council said Obama’s position has handed Mitt Romney “the key to social conservative support.” Read more.
Lexington, KY -- Kentucky Equality Federation today officially terminated a strategic alliance with the Libertarian Party of Kentucky today that began on April 10, 2008. (previous press release) This announcement is being released by Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer. Read More.
"I'm a Bible Belt Pol Coming Out for Marriage Equality -- Will Obama Join Me?"
Huffington Post I've lived a lie for most of my adult life. As a statewide elected official in Kentucky, coming out of the closet for gay marriage was tantamount to political suicide. But now as a recovering politician, I feel compelled to holler: I'm proud as hell, and I'm not going to fake it any more! Read more.
There's been a great deal of concern around here about the effort to prepare the US military for the full repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT), and I've had a few words of my own regarding how long the process might take.
There was a hearing before the House Armed Services Committee last Thursday that had all four Services represented; with one exception these were the same Service Chiefs that were testifying last December when the bill to set the repeal process in motion was still a piece of prospective legislation.
At that time there was concern that the "combat arms" of the Marines and the Army were going to be impacted in a negative way by the transition to "open service"; the Commandant of the Marine Corps and the Army's Chief of Staff were the most outspoken in confirming that such concerns exist within the Pentagon as well.
We now have more information to report-including the increasing desperation of some of our Republican friends-and if you ask me, I think things might be better than we thought.
So we got the good news that legislative repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy that kept LBGT folks from openly serving in the military has occurred, as the Senate voted Saturday to first cut off debate on the question (that's the vote that required 60 Senators to pass) and then to pass the actual repeal legislation (which also garnered more than 60 Senate votes, even though it only needed 51).
Most people would assume that once Bill (remember Bill, from Schoolhouse Rock?) made it out of Congress and over to the President to for a signature that the process of repeal will be ended-but in fact, there's quite a bit more yet to do, and it's entirely possible that a year or more could go by before the entire process is complete.
Today we'll discuss our way through why it's going to take so long; to illustrate the point we'll consider an actual military order that is quite similar to the sort of work that will be required from the Department of Defense (DOD) before the entire "DADT to open service" transition is complete.
I took a couple of weeks off, as Thanksgiving and snow came around (a subject we'll address in a day or so), but we are all again occupied as lots of things we've been talking about either will or won't come to pass, and it seems like all that's happening all at once.
Today we'll take on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT); this because the Pentagon's top leadership just came out and reported that revocation of the policy, following a period of preparation, would be their preferred way to go.
There will be lots of others who will take on the question of what's right and wrong here, and exactly how implementation might occur; my interest is, instead, to focus on one little fact that makes all teh rest of the conversation a lot more relevant.
That is the fact that about 70,000 LBGT troops serve in the military today, DADT notwithstanding, and, that if it wasn't for DADT, almost 45,000 more troops would be serving that aren't today.
And that one little fact leads to today's Great Big Question: exactly how much military would 115,000 troops be, exactly?
It's been a few days now since we began a conversation that addresses the issue of how frustrated some number of LBGT voters are with the Democratic Party this cycle; this because they find themselves either frustrated at the lack of progress on the civil rights issues that matter to them, or because they see both the Democratic and Republican Parties as unreliable partners in the struggle to assure equal rights for all.
In an effort to practice some actual journalism, I assembled a version of an online "focus group" at The Bilerico Project ("daily adventures in LBGTQ"), with the goal of gathering some opinions on this subject in the actual words of those frustrated voters.
Part One of this story focused on "stating the problem", and today we'll take on Part Two: in this environment, with Election Day staring us in the face, what is an LBGT voter to do?
As before, there are a variety of opinions, including a very informative comment I was able to obtain from a genuine Member of Congress, Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania's 8th District, and that means until the very end you won't hear much from me, except to help "set the stage" for the comments that follow.
Kentucky Equality We wear purple to announce to the world that we are proud of who we are, and perhaps a child or teenager will see someone wearing purple and realize they are not alone, and that we love them. Our community will be strong for those who cannot be.