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Showing posts from May, 2010

FOF--BREAKING: House of Representative approves ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal

BREAKING: House of Representative approves ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal « Feast of Fun:
"The House of Representatives has passed an amendment to the Defense Department Authorization 234 to 194 that repeals the US Law that enacted the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Policy in 1993. Ron Paul joined three other Republicans–Ros-Lehtinen, Djou, and Cao–in voting for the amendment. The 194 that voted against, however, included 26 Democrats, and believe me, I’ll help you memorize all of their names and districts soon enough–and if they have any primary opponents yet, I’ll tell you where to send your money.

Earlier today the Senate Armed Services Committee approved the Senate’s version of the amendment which will now go before the whole body. Here is the breakdown of that vote:

Yes..."
Find out who to fire next time they're up. Visit my post.

BREAKING! House passes DADT repeal!

BREAKING: U.S. House, Senate Armed Services Committee Both Vote to Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”WASHINGTON, D.C. – Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a national, legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT), released a statement today after the full U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate Armed Services Committee both voted in favor of an amendment to repeal the law. SLDN was established in 1993 when DADT originally passed and has been working on its repeal ever since. SLDN also offers legal services to those impacted or discharged; last month the organization received its 10,000th call for assistance from a service member. The vote on the amendment was 234 to 194.Statement by Army veteran and SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis:“The U.S. House and Representatives and the Senate Armed Services Committee both passed a historic roadmap to allowing open military service, but it doesn’t end the discharges.…

My Lundon Calling post cross-posted at Bilerico has some interesting additions

My Bilerico post, cross-posted from Lundon Calling, has some really interesting additions at the end. Click the link to check it out.

Col. Grethe Cammermeyer tells it like it is | The Bilerico Project:
"The retired Colonel — the highest-ranking discharged gay or lesbian under DADT — gives us an insider's perspective on the Lundon Calling podcast.

7-gc-1.jpgShe was the subject of of the 1995 Emmy-award winning TV movie, Serving In Silence, starring Glenn Close, and after winning her case in the US Appellate Court, she went back into the military and served as an open lesbian until 1997.

Our 90 minute conversation in focused mainly on the issue of lesbian and gay discrimination in the military, but we discussed a wide range of topics from her run for United States Congress and her parents' participation in the Nazi resistance in WWII-era Norway to political parties and religion. You should know by now that no topic is off-limits for this show!"
Cross posted from Lundon Cal…

HOLY SHIT, THE ADVOCATE JUST PICKED UP MY STORY!

Col. Grethe Cammermeyer Talks DADT | News | Advocate.com:
"Col. Grethe Cammermeyer, the highest-ranking military member ever to be discharged under the ban on gay and lesbian servicemembers, spoke about the latest developments surrounding the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy with the talk show, Lundon Calling.

Cammermeyer, a member of the Washington National Guard, was dishonorably discharged in 1992 after disclosing that she was a lesbian, before the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy existed. She filed a lawsuit and a federal district judge ruled her discharge unconstitutional, which returned her to serve openly as a lesbian until she retired in 1997.

Listen to co-hosts Ace Lundon, Lance Helms and Phil Reese interview Cammermeyer here."
I'M FREAKING DANCING HERE!

FOF--Lt. Choi fasts; hopes DADT repeal goes faster

Lt. Choi plans a hunger strike to push DADT faster.

Lt. Choi fasts; hopes DADT repeal goes faster « Feast of Fun:
"Today, the Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a vote approving the Military Readiness Enhancement Act and clearing its way to be added to the “must pass” Department of Defense Authorization bill. Even when the law is passed, however, the discharges will continue until the Pentagon changes policies.

And that’s why Dan Choi isn’t eating..."
Want to know more? Read my latest at Feast of Fun!

Col. Grethe Cammermeyer tells it like it is

Last night we recorded one of the best Lundon Calling episodes ever!

Col. Grethe Cammermeyer tells it like it is:
"Last night on Lundon Calling, Ace, Lance and I interviewed Col. Grethe Cammermeyer–the highest ranking member of the military to ever be discharged under the military’s ban on gay and lesbian servicemembers. She was the subject of of the 1995 Emmy-award winning TV movie, Serving In Silence, starring Glenn Close, and after winning her case in the US Appellate Court, she went back into the military and served as an open lesbian until 1997.

Our 90 minute conversation in Episode 73 focused mainly on the issue of lesbian and gay discrimination in the military, but we discussed a wide range of topics from her run for United States Congress to her parents’ participation in the Nazi resistance in WWII-era Norway, to political parties to religion. You should know by now that no topic is off-limits for this show!"
Visit my post and take a listen to the show--this is one of th…

STORIES FROM THE FRONTLINES--THURSDAY MAY 27, 2010

LETTER FOR THURSDAY, MAY 27, 2010:“Stories from the Frontlines: Letters to President Barack Obama” is a new media campaign launched to underscore the urgent need for congressional action and presidential leadership at this critical point in the fight to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). Every weekday morning as we approach the markup of the Defense Authorization bill in the Senate, SLDN and a coalition of voices supporting repeal, will share an open letter to the President from a person impacted by this discriminatory law. The Defense Authorization bill represents the best legislative vehicle to bring repeal to the president’s desk. It also was the same vehicle used to pass DADT in 1993. By working together, we can help build momentum to get the votes! We ask that you forward and post these personal stories.##May 27, 2010President Barack H. ObamaThe White House1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NorthwestWashington, DC 20500Dear Mr. President,I served my country for over thirty years. …

STORIES FROM THE FRONTLINES--WEDNESDAY, MAY 26, 2010

LETTER FOR WEDNESDAY, MAY 26, 2010:“Stories from the Frontlines: Letters to President Barack Obama” is a new media campaign launched to underscore the urgent need for congressional action and presidential leadership at this critical point in the fight to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). Every weekday morning as we approach the markup of the Defense Authorization bill in the Senate, SLDN and a coalition of voices supporting repeal, will share an open letter to the President from a person impacted by this discriminatory law. The Defense Authorization bill represents the best legislative vehicle to bring repeal to the president’s desk. It also was the same vehicle used to pass DADT in 1993. By working together, we can help build momentum to get the votes! We ask that you forward and post these personal stories.##May 26, 2010President Barack H. ObamaThe White House1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NorthwestWashington, DC 20500Dear Mr. President,As an 18-year-old, first generation immigr…

MY latest @FeastOfFun on yesterday's #DADT developments

At Feast of Fun I've broken down yesterday's DADT developments.

Get ready to salute ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ goodbye « Feast of Fun:
"It may yet be too soon to call victory, but as of today, it seems all systems are ‘go’ in terms of repealing the ban of gay and lesbian servicemembers in the armed forces–a policy otherwise known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell...”"
Visit the page where I break it down for you!

FOF--BREAKING: 13 activists arrested in Sen. Durbin’s office

BREAKING: 13 activists arrested in Sen. Durbin’s office:
"Thirteen LGBT rights activists from Chicago were arrested Thursday morning during a sit-in in Senator Durbin’s office to encourage the Senator to become a leader on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in the Senate.

The activists represented organizations from all over Illinois and were gathered in honor of Harvey Milk Week of Action. Their press release comes via Facebook..."
Read the whole post at Feast of Fun!

My latest at Out & About on Giannoulias' newest website

Alexi Giannoulias makes a bold move--launches "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal website.:
"http://EqualityCantWait.com is the newest project by pro-LGBT Illinois State Treasurer and US Senate Candidate, Alexi Giannoulias. The petition site connects opponents of the military ban on gay and lesbian servicemembers to their Senators to encourage a quick and expedient repeal of the ban.

Equality Can't Wait will collect the information of LGBT servicemembers' allies and alert them in the future to other actions that they can take through the campaign's website. Though Equality Can't Wait is sparse in content right now, the campaign has big plans for Giannoulias' LGBT outreach, with similar actions for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and other LGBT-positive bills in the future..."
Get more details at my latest "Out & About Illinois Magazine" blog.

Stories from the Frontlines: Thursday May 20, 2010

LETTER FOR THURSDAY, MAY 20, 2010: “Stories from the Frontlines: Letters to President Barack Obama” is a new media campaign launched to underscore the urgent need for congressional action and presidential leadership at this critical point in the fight to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). Every weekday morning as we approach the markup of the Defense Authorization bill in the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, SLDN and a coalition of voices supporting repeal, will share an open letter to the President from a person impacted by this discriminatory law. We are urging the President to include repeal in the Administration’s defense budget recommendations, but also to voice his support as we work to muster the 15 critical votes needed on the Senate Armed Services Committee to include repeal. The Defense Authorization bill represents the best legislative vehicle to bring repeal to the president’s desk. It also was the same vehicle used to pass DADT in 1993. By working toge…

I got a mention on Politico.com!

I got mentioned in one of Politico.com's biggest blogs! Ben Smith's Politico blog makes me officially a mainstream household name... or something.

Kirk doesn't ask, tell - Ben Smith - POLITICO.com:
"Phil Reese, of the gay blog The Bilerico Project recently wrote of lobbying against 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' with an unusual ally: The ex-wife of Republican Congressman Mark Kirk, currently the party's nominee for Senate in Illinois, and a Navy reservist who supports the policy."
Its quite an honor to be mentioned.

FOF--Equality can’t wait… Giannoulias' new LGBT website

Equality can’t wait… but the website can.:
"Yesterday I was up in Chicago for the press conference announcing the launch of Alexi Giannoulias’ new LGBT petition website EqualityCantWait.com at the Center on Halstead–a petition site that collects your information as it helps you contact your Senators about the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. By the way, both Illinois Senators (Durbin, Burris) are co-sponsors of the bill to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, so if you live here, there’s not a lot of reason (at least for now) to visit the site of the man looking to take the former Senate seat of Barack Obama. However, if you sign the petition, the campaign will be able to let you know first as the website’s functionality improves, and more campaigns are launched..."
Check out my latest Feast of Fun post to find out what's coming up with Alexi Giannoulias' new LGBT action website.

Stories from the front lines: letters to Barack Obama; LETTER FOR MONDAY, MAY 17, 2010

LETTER FOR MONDAY, MAY 17, 2010:“Stories from the Frontlines: Letters to President Barack Obama” is a new media campaign launched to underscore the urgent need for congressional action and presidential leadership at this critical point in the fight to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). Every weekday morning as we approach the markup of the Defense Authorization bill in the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, SLDN and a coalition of voices supporting repeal, will share an open letter to the President from a person impacted by this discriminatory law. We are urging the President to include repeal in the Administration’s defense budget recommendations, but also to voice his support as we work to muster the 15 critical votes needed on the Senate Armed Services Committee to include repeal. The Defense Authorization bill represents the best legislative vehicle to bring repeal to the president’s desk. It also was the same vehicle used to pass DADT in 1993. By working togethe…

My latest at The Bilerico Project is making a BIG splash--like huge.

So, this post has been up an hour, and I'm already getting calls from campaigns and reporters. What is this???

Kirk vs. Kirk: Lobbying a lawmaker on DADT with extra clout | The Bilerico Project:
"When it comes to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, we know that powerful political families are divided, but those divisions generally never make jaws drop. Then again, I've never lobbied a lawmaker with his ex-wife before.

On Tuesday, May 11, I went to Capitol Hill with 400 veterans and civilian supporters to lobby for the repeal of the discriminatory 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' discharge policy applied to the ban on gay and lesbian service members in the military. The repeal of the law has vast universal appeal among all groups polled including Republicans and even members of the 'Tea Party.'

And apparently Congressional spouses..."
Read what everyone is talking about.

FOF--Why Kagan’s rumored sexuality won’t matter in the hearing

Elena Kagan MAY be a lesbian, but its not going to matter--noone on the Senate Judiciary Committee will be bringing it up.

Why Kagan’s rumored sexuality won’t matter in the hearing:
"Is she or isn’t she?

We aren’t going to find that out any time soon. Insiders have said off the record that she’s partnered. Many others have said that she’s totally straight for guys. Either way, its not going to matter when her confirmation hearing comes up before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Why aren’t the pols going to grill Elena Kagan on the gay thing?

Because they don’t want to open that can of worms.

The Senate Judiciary Committee includes at least one very high-profile closeted gay man in Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and perhaps two more, if Washington rumors pan out as true..."
Want to know more about the closet, and the media's role? Visit my post at Feast of Fun!

FOF--1 more Senate vote to end #DADT

Only one more Senate vote to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell!”:
"Yesterday’s Veteran’s lobby day in Washington DC had some pretty good news come out: Senator Bill Nelson of Florida switched from a “NO” to a “YES.” That means that activists now only need one more vote to pass a Senate repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” with 51 votes. With a majority of the House of Representatives already in favor, getting just one more key Senate vote is going to be extremely crucial.

Here are your Senators to call:

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) [(202) 224-5623]
Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) [(202) 224-4543]
Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) [(202) 224-3954]
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) [(202) 224-6551]
Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) [(202) 224-4024]"
I included a few talking points in the post too. Please call today.

TBP--10 things I love most about DC

The ten things I love most about DC | The Bilerico Project:
"I know I've been a bad blogger lately, getting all wrapped up in grad school finals and work stuff--and sadly I've had little time to research what I'd really like to do: The Top Ten Direct Action Campaigns in History. In the mean time, I'm here in DC--the Center of the Universe--and I'd just like to do a quick post for you, my friends, on my ten most favorite things about coming to DC..."
To see my list, my links and my pictures, you HAVE TO VISIT the Bilerico Project!

You can help end #DADT with a phone call

My latest at Feast of Fun tells you how YOU can help end Don't Ask Don't Tell with just a simple phone call.

Veteran’s lobbying Congress today in DC, sleep-in canceled:
"I bet you thought I was going to blog about the President selecting totally straight woman Elena Kagan for Supreme Court, didn’t you!

Well, I will Thursday, but today, I’m in Washington DC to lend a hand to the Veteran’s Lobby Day on Congress being put on by Servicemembers United, Severicemembers Legal Defense Network and the Human Rights Campaign, so I wanted to bring you in on that.

Guess what?

You can help!

Before 4pm Central/5 Eastern, call the Congressional switchboard at 202.224.3121 and tell them where you live to have them connect you to your Senators’ office.

Then, HRC suggests..."
Find out how you can help end Don't Ask Don't Tell by going to my post and reading where we're at. We only need to turn ONE more NO vote into a YES vote! Senator Nelson from Florida yesterday SWITCHED TO YES …

My @FeastOfFun post about HRC's potential party crashers

So several GetEQUAL members are planning to spend the night at the HRC building Monday night before Veterans Lobby Day. How do you think HRC should react? I make a proposal at the end of my blog post if you go and read through...

How do YOU think HRC will react to GetEQUAL crashing on their couch?:
"I am flying out to Washington DC this Monday to help out with Veterans Lobby Day (no, not a vet, but I do believe in lobbying Congress) which is being put on by–among other sponsors–the ever popular HRC. Then I get an invite to this Facebook event:

Sleep-In at Human Rights Campaign Headquarters for Veterans Lobby Days

Start Time: Monday, May 10, 2010 at 6:30pm

End Time: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 7:00am

Location: Human Rights Campaign, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. N.W. Washington, DC 20036-3278

Description..."
If you want to read all about the plans, and want to weigh in with your thoughts--visit my latest blog post at Feast of Fun!

My latest @FeastOfFun is about Sunday's DADT Protests!

I have a new blog at Feast of Fun!

Alan Bounville and other activists get arrested at White House again:
"QueerRising founder Alan Bounville (who I last week mistakenly identified during the last incident as getting arrested at McCain’s office) and other activists forced the Park Service to call the Paddy Wagon out to the White House once again on Sunday. During an anti-Dont’-Ask-Don’t-Tell rally at the White House attended by, among others, former arrestee Dan Choi, former Democratic Presidential candidate Howard Dean, and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network President Aubrey Sarvis; Bounville and six other activists joined the pantheon of protesters who have chained themselves to White House in recent weeks over the law.

This came just days after Secretary of Defense Robert Gates asked Congress to delay repealing the military’s homophobic hiring practice while the Pentagon “studies” the 17 year old law.

Upon his release, Bounville, pictured top from a previous PWG (Protesting While…

Stories from the Frontlines: Letters to President Barack Obama

Again, I'm participating in a project of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network publishing the letters to the President from gay troops and veterans. This is an especially important effort after last week's statement from Secretary Gates that Congress should not repeal the law until the "review" is done. The policy has been in place for 17 years. Isn't that review enough?

I also have a special plea. Please vote for me in the contest for a Democracy for America scholarship to get to Netroots Nation. If I get the scholarship, it would be a huge deal for me. I would be very grateful.

First SLDN updates us on the Gates situation:

UPDATE: DADT repeal took a "devastating blow" by the Obama Administration on Friday night. To read an update sent on Saturday by SLDN visit: http://bit.ly/arfUxB

Since our launch last Monday, we now have 35 blogs and websites participating in our letters to the president new media campaign and we continue to grow. In just …

The most comprehensive #DADT update EVER!

I didn't write a word of this. This all comes from Servicemember's Legal Defense Network's Trevor Thomas. Its all public knowledge, even though it came in a talking points email, but its so beautifully compiled, I have to share it with all of you. My apologies for its length--its just so amazing, so complete. Please read it all, and get the straight-up skinny on everything DADT!




MEDIA UPDATE: The following is background information for media and others monitoring the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT):STORIES FROM THE FRONTLINES: LETTERS TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA / ONLINE CAMPAIGN GROWS: 33 BLOGS, WEBSITES AND GROWING…--Servicemembers Legal Defense Network launched on Monday “Stories from the Frontlines: Letters to President Barack Obama,” a new media campaign to underscore the urgent need for congressional action and presidential leadership at this critical point in the fight to repeal DADT. --Every weekday morning as markup of the Defense Authorization bill in t…