U.S Government Really Likes Us Gays or is F*cking With Our Heads

DADT:

Good news! Remember how the Pentagon was polling straight soldiers and their straight partners about what to do about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell but not soliciting the opinion of the people it would affect most, which is gay soldiers and their partner? They are now making a mildly conciliatory concession in that area by meeting with “a group” of partners of queer servicemembers. They’ll meet in the Military Partners Forum in Washington, DC on September 16, and the process will be unprecedented in military history. This move is thanks to the work of Servicemembers United, the token queer group that the Pentagon is allowing to be involved in the repeal process.

The details are unclear and this may end up being not more than a token gesture – it’s unclear how many partners are being met with and how much weight their thoughts are being given, and it’s especially unclear how the group was put together, given that the existence of these partners should disqualify the soldiers in question from military service. But anyhow! As Servicemembers United says, “The plight of military partners is something that Servicemembers United has led the way on with our Campaign for Military Partners, and we have been pushing for partner input into the review process for quite some time. We are glad that the Pentagon recognizes the value of input from these silent heroes.” (@gltnewsnow)

EVERYONE LOVES GAY PEOPLE NOW:

According to the New York Times, Ken Mehlman coming out is not a bombshell, it’s just like eh, because everyone is totally fine with gay people now, and Ken is just one of “several other members of the Bush inner circle who have publicly stated their support for same-sex marriage.”:

Had a former chairman of the Republican National Committee announced in 2004 that he was gay, it would have been a bombshell. In that hard-fought election year, Republicans and Democrats were rushing to condemn a court for establishing the right to same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.

Six years later, in a midterm election cycle that is otherwise fierce, campaigns are largely silent on the issue of same-sex marriage — even as two federal courts have issued similar decisions in recent months upholding the rights of gay people to wed.

The center of gravity of the conservative movement in this election season is with fiscal conservatives. The Tea Party is infusing the Republican Party with new energy, and Tea Party leaders and supporters say they do not want to talk about social issues: even if they do not personally support same-sex marriage or abortion, they think the Republican Party spent too much time talking about them and not enough time trying to rein in spending.

Uh. Excuse me.

Then why don’t we have equal rights?

BLOOD MONEY:

Anyhow, meanwhile apparently other Republicans are also emptying their pockets for gay rights. Queerty reports that The Folks Raising Cash for the American Foundation for Equal Rights also raise cash for “the right wing.”:

Next month’s AFER fundraiser, which will help pay the bills for Ted Olson and David Boies’ Prop 8 ass-kicking, will raise millions. (Invitations are in the process of going out, but a pre-sale has already generated $750k.) And the privately wealthy folks (that’s Singer on left, Thiel on right) putting on the event are lending their names and checkbooks to supporting a great cause. Except they often did the same thing for terrible causes.

Furthermore:

No wonder Mehlman doesn’t feel any regret for helping orchestrate campaigns that relied on anti-gay vitriol: He doesn’t have to. Nobody around him, including the most high profile same-sex marriage advocates at AFER (that includes everyone from Chad Griffin to Dustin Lance Black), are telling him to repent. Instead, so long as Mehlman, Singer, and Thiel can raise cash for them when it’s most opportune, AFER’s board is willing to let their past sins disappear from their consciousness.

These men, however willing they may be to now support the fight for marriage equality, are the same people who generated funds for politicians to go out and rail against our community. It’s blood money, and the eventual elimination of Prop 8 will be funded by it.

Queerty thinks “something is terribly wrong here.” They tend to think that a lot and are usually right. Ani DiFranco thinks that “generally my generation wouldn’t be caught dead working for the man and generally I agree with them, trouble is you gotta have yourself an alternate plan.”

So basically here’s the thing: Republicans are comfortable with hypocrisy. SURPRISE!

EBERT:

Longtime fans will know Roger Ebert as a genuinely awesome person whose blog is a great way to spend six hours in front of your computer, but others will be pleased to learn that in addition to this, he is a proud supporter of marriage equality. Insert “two thumbs up” jokes here; the point is the Ebert says he’s disappointed in Obama’s lukewarm stance, and we want to high five him. (@advocate)

Rachel is Autostraddle's Managing Editor and the editor who presides over news & politics coverage. Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1091 articles for us.

23 Comments

  1. Is the writer of the New York Times article trying to tell us everything is all good now? That’s what it feels like, even if she acknowledged Tony Perkins and his ilk.

    I don’t actually find it encouraging that “campaigns are largely silent on the issue of same-sex marriage.” That’s…not what we want. We would like marriage equality, thanks.

  2. silence on gay rights issues is as if everyone spent years like vandalizing and destroying my house and then they realized that it was wrong and made them look like assholes and so they stopped and merely walked by it every day. can someone please fix my sad, gay house PLEASE?!

  3. “…it’s especially unclear how the group was put together, given that the existence of these partners should disqualify the soldiers in question from military service.”

    ^Exactly what I was thinking.

    And picture of kitty raising it’s hand? Almost killed me.

    • The partners don’t necessarily have to identify who they are and who they are with. It is more like they are there to share their experiences with the Pentagon working group. I think it is a good way to get feedback on gay service members without having to violate DADT.

      And while it is possible this is “token gesture” the US military doesn’t generally decide things on a whim (hence the sets of surveys). There are working groups that decide what type of socks you can wear with a uniform. I think this a good step forward and hopefully their recommendation to the President shows that our troops have been serving with gays all along, it won’t make any difference if they are out (except maybe for some tolerance training), and that at the end of the day we are all Americans.

  4. The gross part is many Republicans opposed to gay rights aren’t even homophobes…they do it for the votes. I don’t know what Charlie Crist is up to, but he must be trying to prove how not-gay he is?

    We have to twist this government’s nipples to get what we want. Otherwise it is amoral and apathetic.

  5. Here’s what I don’t understand about DADT. If you’re the kind of homophobic person who doesn’t understand that most gay people have boundries and personal preferences and won’t molest you in the showers just because you’re there, wouldn’t you rather know who the gay service people are so you could avoid them, rather than suspecting everyone because you can’t ask and they can’t tell.

  6. This is a little off topic but when I read the comment about showers it reminded me of a rant I have when it comes to DADT (well one of many rants).

    Ahem, it goes like this.

    Dear crazy, far right homophobes/bigots,

    It has come to my attention that you fear removal of DADT will result in you being checked out in the shower, and according to some serious batshit crazy rhetoric, possibly be molested in some way.

    While you are busy throwing dollars at doing ridiculous surveys, and kicking out mission critical personnel, I would like to point something about that deserves real attention.

    The assault of American Servicewomen.

    In Iraq and Afghanistan it’s believed 25% of American servicewomen are sexually assaulted, and that 80-90% of cases go unreported. In some places these women won’t go to the restroom after dark, only 8% of complaints are researched by the military (compared to 40% civilian cases) and most attackers are honorably discharged. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1968110,00.html

    (For the record, the attackers are straight servicemen…individuals these women should be able to trust with their lives.)

    Sexual assault is already a problem, how about the government spend some of that survey money on solving a real threat? No? Too busy pandering to the religious right to protect our soldiers?

    Thanks for the clarification,
    LD

    I have a whole separate rant for abuse gay soldiers already face, and the horrific strain it puts on them and their families.

    And a another rant on how the military now accepts criminals…

    I have a lot of feelings about this topic (As do most of us).

    • Yes. Remember when they were discussing letting women serve on US submarines (where the pay and prestige are higher) and fuckwits exploded with “But the poor WIMMEN, they should not have to serve in such an ENCLOSED ENVIRONMENT, with the MEN, who will surely RAPE THEM. WHY DO YOU HATE WOMEN WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?!?!”

      And it was like, well that’s weird, because the rates of sexual assault on US female soldiers are already staggeringly high, and particularly so in the navy I am given to understand, and yet — I mean, it’s weird, but I feel like you only suddenly care about this when it comes to preventing women having access to higher pay and better jobs? And you only care about it enough to keep women off submarines, not to e.g. institute to some proper fucking investigation of why the sexual assault rate is so high and these criminals aren’t being imprisoned?

      It’s like that.

    • Oh, obviously you didn’t get the memo that its OK to rape women, you just arent allowed to be gay.
      Because obviously being gay is so much worse than destroying a womans feelings of saftey, trust, self-worth, mental well-being, physical well-being, happiness and all those nice things that women have fought for. I mean those things don’t matter, but being gay is so totally scary and wrong.

    • – The Religious Right has always opposed women serving in combat. Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness (the main group fighting the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell) has been fervent in her belief that women in combat is a bad thing.

      – The Religious Right has also supported segregating the genders as much as possible, partly out of a desire to maintain traditional gender roles (i.e. patriarchy), and partly out of a desire to prevent sexual activity (consensual or non-consensual) from occurring between men and women who are not married to each other.

  7. I am a federal employee. Recently we were given Domestic Partner benefits, something I didn’t even see in the news (must have just missed it?). We are heading in the right direction.

  8. the kittens, they are everywhere.

    Also, the New York Times and Kate Zernike must be living under some kind of rainbow coloured rock. Or, they have the most gigantic pair of rose tinted spectacles the world has ever seen. What the hell!?

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