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Empty Promises Put Service People in Jeopardy

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Ask the White Guy Luke ViscontiOnce again, President Barack Obama has promised to end “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT)—and once again, there’s no course of action and no deadline.

By not stating a deadline, Obama has left the gay people on active duty in jeopardy. The country’s been whipped up into a fever pitch by “entertainers” like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. Loaded phrases such as “liberal fascist” and “socialist” along with talk of conspiracy theories have been used to build the perception that the people in their audience are “losing something.” Beck in particular is a dangerous man—go on his web site and look at the T-shirt he’s peddling. It features a paramilitary-looking logo with a shield and attack dog. The connection between iconic attack dogs, the Civil Rights Movement and the first Black president is right there in your face.

Non-veterans Limbaugh and Beck have had plenty to say about DADT. By raising the issue again, the president has made our homosexual men and women on active duty even more vulnerable to oppression.

Oppression of gay and lesbian service members is a real problem. I recently received an e-mail from a lesbian woman on active duty who wrote that she was being extorted by a heterosexual coworker to have sex—or else he would “out” her.

Besides sexual extortion, there’s the constant oppression of not being treated like everyone else: Retired Navy Captain Joan Darrah—who was at the Pentagon on 9/11 when it was attacked—told me about her deep concern that if she were hurt or killed, her partner of many years would not be notified.


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Darrah also told me of her fear every time she was called into her boss’s office: Was this the day she would be outed?

Although this has been going on since DADT was passed into law, the stakes have been raised. After a summer of being whipped up into a froth over healthcare, I believe we’re in a very dangerous place as a country. The president put gay and lesbian service members directly in the sights of haters. It’s time for him to lead. Make an executive order immediately stopping people from being processed out under DADT. Support Rep. Murphy’s bill and Sen. Reid’s letter. Directly ask the chairman of the Joint Chiefs for a plan to end DADT by a specific date—and ask for that plan NOW (mind you, the president must not ask IF the military can do this; he must demonstrate conviction and leadership by simply asking for a plan on how it will get done).

By taking away any debate on DADT, the people currently serving our country will be much less of a target.

Delay means terror for the very people who’ve signed up to defend us. This is a monumental breaking of trust between government and the people and it needs to stop immediately.

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4 Comments

  • Anonymous

    I don’t mean to be picky but the gay flag (represented behind the photo of President Obama) only has six color bars. Light blue is not one of those colors.
    Thank you…

  • Anonymous

    The President can’t repeal DADT on his own. It takes an act of Congress to do so. By not putting a deadline on repealing this policy, he signals Congress that it needs to work on this and we, as GLBT people to write and call our elected officials to pass legislation to repeal DADT.

  • Anonymous

    “Once again, President Barack Obama has promised to end “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT)—and once again, there’s no course of action and no deadline.”

    So, Luke, you and yours once again trusted a politician and are once again disappointed by his lack of promise keeping? Has Obama kept any campaign promise? He’s not singling the GLBTQAs out, he’s not giving anyone what he’d proffered. A weirdo site called Politifact claims to have documented 515 Obama campaign promises and sez:
    Of Obama’s 515 promises, most are still rated No Action. Here’s a random sampling of five of them:

    No. 279:
    More controlled burns to reduce wildfires

    No. 66:
    Hold hospitals and health plans accountable for disparities in care

    No. 223:
    Direct attorney general and homeland security secretary to meet with Latin American leaders to develop a hemispheric crime strategy

    No. 492:
    Phase out incandescent light bulbs

    No. 262:
    Create incentives for tree planting and promote carbon sequestration

    Patience, please, GLBTQAs. You all are in the mix, somewhere. A new day will dawn.

    Flowerplough

  • I’m sorry but maybe I’ve been living in a different country because to me Economic Stability and Job Creation is much more important than ANYTHING else at this moment. He’s been in office for not yet a year so why don’t you people cool your heals and when he gets to the Gay’s he will. They are not priority. So chill the heck out! Last time I check Houdini was not in the White House! I just love how people gripe but don’t themselves do anything. Why don’t YOU run for political office and make that desperate difference or Shut your mouth and wait for someone else to do. Gay rights are not important to me…getting a job that will sustain my family is!

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