Empty Promises Put Service People in Jeopardy

Once again, President Barack Obama has promised to end "don't ask, don't tell" and once again, there's no course of action and no deadline.

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.

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.

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.

GLAAD Calls for LGBT Characters in 20 percent of Movies by 2021

Box office hits like "Wonder Woman" and "Black Panther" have smashed old Hollywood notions that movies that champion women and people of color do not have global appeal, GLAAD said, and now LGBT people must be in the conversation as well.

James Ivory wears a shirt depicting actor Timothee Chalamet as he holds his Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for "Call Me My Your Name" during the 90th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Calif. / REUTERS

(Reuters) — Romance "Call Me By Your Name" may have won a screenplay Oscar, and Disney's family-friendly "Beauty and the Beast" had a gay character, but movies from Hollywood's major studios last year had the lowest percentage of lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual characters since 2012, according to a report released on Tuesday.

Read More Show Less

Jury Awards $28M to Haitian-American Nurse Who Stood Up for Coworker

Brigham and Women's Hospital retaliated against a nurse for defending a coworker amid alleged verbal abuse.

Gessy Toussaint — who shares the name of the best-known leader of the Haitian Revolution, Toussaint L'Ouverture — also believes in fighting against the odds and winning.

A Suffolk Superior Court jury ruled on Wednesday that Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Mass., retaliated against Toussaint, a Haitian-American nurse who stood up for a colleague, and has awarded her $28 million. Deliberation took more than three days.

Read More Show Less

Lesbian Latina Sets Out to Make History and Oust Anti-LGBT Texas Gov.

Lupe Valdez, former sheriff of Dallas County, is the first openly gay and Latina to win a major party nomination for governor in Texas.


A new sheriff may soon be in town in Texas, and she's already making history.

Read More Show Less

Twenty-one white people (including seven male board members and CEO Steve Simon) of a total of 22 people in the World Tennis Association's (WTA) management made the call to boot Serena Williams from seeding for the French Open for having a baby.

Read More Show Less

Vickers "Vic" Cunningham, a former Dallas judge who's running in the Republican primary runoff election for Dallas county commissioner on Tuesday, decided to provide his children a monetary incentive to condone homophobia and racism. Cunningham set up a living trust with a clause rewarding his children if they marry a white, straight Christian.

Read More Show Less

Maxine Waters Attacked in Congress as she Sought to Protect People from Predators in the Auto Loan Industry

Racist smears and whitesplaining from "men." What's behind the vitriol? If racism is ignored by victims, does it go away?

On Friday, Reps. Mike Kelly and Maxine Waters debated over the House voting to roll back a Consumer Financial Protections Bureau rule meant to limit discrimination in distributing auto loans. Studies have shown Blacks and Latinos have systemically been charged a higher markup on auto loans than white borrowers, and class action lawsuits were brought against auto lenders as a result. Waters advocated for another look at how this vote would impact auto loan practices with people of color. But those on the right insist talk of discrimination is steering away from the country being unified.

Read More Show Less

Janelle Monáe Opens Up About 'Being a Queer Black Woman in America'

"I consider myself to be a free-ass motherf***er," the singer said.


In an interview with Rolling Stone, Janelle Monáe came out as pansexual — and she's owning her identity.

Read More Show Less