2012 Election | Discrimination | DOMA | Military | News

Watch New Video Highlighting Discrimination Against Gay Soldiers: VIDEO


In honor of Veteran's Day, Freedom to Marry and OutServe-SLDN today released a video called "Second Skin," a visual representation of how gay and lesbian soldiers, though allowed to be out, continue to be discriminated against under the Defense of Marriage Act.

[On Veteran's Day], we remember all who have served our nation so honorably; but we reserve a special remembrance for all those who have provided the same service, taken the same risks, and made the same sacrifices to keep us safe, yet are treated as second-class citizens by the country they are sworn to protect," said veteran and OutServe-SLDN executive director Allyson Robinson in a press release. "The video we are releasing today depicts that stark reality painfully well."

Evan Wolfson from Freedom To Marry said the video "viscerally captures the cruelty of treating gay soldiers and their families as second-class citizens under DOMA -- the psychological pain of inequality, on top of physical scars born of service to our country." Because DOMA prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage, gay and lesbian soldiers continue to lag behind their straight colleagues in terms of benefits, including health care for their spouses.

With like-minded activists behind them, Freedom to Marry and OutServe-SLDN hope to finally end this institutionalized discrimination, and Wolfson remains optimistic that shifting popular opinion will only bolster future legislative and judicial wins on this front.

"Following an election in which voters embraced the freedom to marry like never before, members of Congress and justices of the Supreme Court can have confidence that when they do the right thing, it will not only stand the test of time, but be true to where the American people already are," he said.

Watch "Second Skin" AFTER THE JUMP.

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  1. But...but....ummm, progressives hate soldiers, anything to do with the military, and think soldiers are stupid and dumb for joining. I don't understand...ummm, how are we supposed to feel about this? What are my talking points? What's the narrative?

    Posted by: ratbastard | Nov 11, 2012 12:29:09 PM

  2. Very well done.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Nov 11, 2012 12:44:35 PM

  3. I agree with you RATBASTARD. The military and marriage are the most confining institutions in America. i do not understand why gays would want to be a part of either one.

    Posted by: Stephen | Nov 11, 2012 12:53:59 PM

  4. Christ I'm glad I don't have a mind that's as open as a steel trap, like RATBASTARD and Stephen.

    This is an unusually powerful video that has the capacity to even confound partisan trolls.

    Posted by: yonkersconquers | Nov 11, 2012 1:04:16 PM

  5. Since we don't have a draft and no one is forced to marry, supporting equal rights for those who want to participate in those institutions doesn't need to imply unquestioned approval of them. This shouldn't be difficult to understand.

    Posted by: Ernie | Nov 11, 2012 1:19:45 PM

  6. Man...the dude on the right SERIOUSLY needs a haircut. That's unsat. Hehe.

    Posted by: J.J. in the Navy | Nov 11, 2012 1:47:28 PM

  7. Why on earth ould any gay want to be a soldier?? There are too many heads to style, and beiges to match. I think it's a form of acceptable suicide.

    Posted by: Gary | Nov 11, 2012 1:53:36 PM


    What a patronizing comment you make !

    Got any more generalizations you would like to share ?
    All work is dignified; and the soldiers deserve just as much respect as anyone else....even gays.
    The narrative is : show respect.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Nov 11, 2012 2:05:18 PM

  9. don't expect logic and honesty, Jack, from the trolls who can't put a face to their claims and comments.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Nov 11, 2012 2:13:01 PM

  10. Very powerful. What makes this video more powerful is the question "which one's gay?" And that's exactly the point.

    Posted by: Robert | Nov 11, 2012 2:24:50 PM

  11. Awesome.

    Ignore the obnoxious comments by @RATBASTARD.

    Posted by: Steve | Nov 11, 2012 2:26:37 PM

  12. why does every gay ad involve undressed men? i get that it is important to this video but, really, if want to be taken seriously we need to stop objectifying every subject and situation by using a piece of man-meat to sell it.

    Posted by: ben | Nov 11, 2012 2:28:05 PM

  13. Why was it necessary for these soldiers to be shirtless? It seems more like a promotional clip for a porn movie.

    Posted by: jason | Nov 11, 2012 4:23:26 PM

  14. This video is the sixth in a series by Freedom to Marry and OutServe-SLDN. Four of the videos profile real life married couples that include a service member. You can see the other videos and find out more about the campaign here: http://www.freedomtomarry.org/pages/serve

    Posted by: Michael | Nov 11, 2012 6:24:30 PM

  15. What a pointless video. Being a Vet myself I think it's just silly. Anyone in their right mind knows we are all human and we all bleed. Use the money spent on the video and give it to the service members that need it.

    Posted by: Billy | Nov 11, 2012 6:33:53 PM

  16. This was quite beautiful, that's always what matters to me. I liked and respected both of the men who took their clothes off to show their fulness and, I thought, their sweetness. Then to see their abrasions - from fighting I suppose, or being forced to fight - it helped me sit with them and grow closer, it helped me "hear" them.

    I thought it was very effective, and really, what's the matter with their nakedness? It was lovely.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Nov 11, 2012 6:39:03 PM

  17. Sad thing is, Billy, that as polls show there are millions of Americans who are not "in their right mind" - at all. Who still oppose allowing LGBT people to serve, and/or serve openly, in the military.

    MItt Romney thinks gay soldiers dont' deserve benefits. or the freedom to marry.

    i highly encourage you as a veteran to make your own video, in a way you think would better share this message, so you can help change more minds.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Nov 11, 2012 6:40:05 PM

  18. @ Ben & Jason - no one brought the porn meme into this until the two of you did. So what does that say for where your heads are at?

    My only complaint - a minor one at that - with this ad is that it doesn't go far enough. Visit any VA hospital and you'll see what I mean. What these men show is nothing compared to the devastation wrought upon our soldiers - the lost limbs, the TBI, the blindness, not to mention the enormous levels of PTSD due to repeated deployments. And the Pentagon STILL can't bring itself to admit the fact that the terrible suicide rate is directly related to this.
    Now add in the fact that same-sex spouses of our wounded warriors get zero support from the military - no counseling, excluded from "family services", often left off the notification list when a soldier is wounded or killed whereas a straight soldier's spouse is the first to be notified... no. The ad doesn't go nearly far enough.

    Posted by: Mommie Dammit | Nov 11, 2012 9:26:07 PM

  19. Though I agree and applaud the idea behind this video, why would showing a bit of light bruising on two gay soldiers carry much gravitas at all? MUCH darker fates have befallen thousands of gay American military heroes in the past.

    Posted by: Chris | Nov 11, 2012 9:28:39 PM

  20. I left the video wondering about its content beyond showing two good-looking guys.

    It's interesting to hear a revival of early gay rights attitudes about marriage and military. I had hoped we as a community had left "aping strights" discussions behind in favor of embracing our diversity.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Nov 12, 2012 8:01:24 AM

  21. I think closing down our wars would help soldiers more, but there are large problems across the board.

    Posted by: anon | Nov 12, 2012 1:31:17 PM

  22. If you prick us, do we not bleed?
    if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison
    us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not

    Posted by: Onnyjay | Nov 12, 2012 1:57:14 PM

  23. As a Veteran who was directly effected by the military anti-gay policy, scars are not only skin-deep, but also psychological. DOMA must go and full equality must be achieved. Man, there are some weird people who post on this site!

    Posted by: John Simpson | Nov 12, 2012 2:43:10 PM

  24. There's a lot of ambiguity in the video. I inferred that the wounds were the result of a gay-bashing incident and that perpetrator and victim were equally damaged.

    Posted by: Rich | Nov 12, 2012 3:07:08 PM

  25. To the Bastard and Stephen: I am a life long progressive democrat and a military veteran, as are several of my friends. We served in the military and are proud of our service. Too bad you can't understand the concepts of patriotism. loyalty and service to our nation.

    Posted by: andrew | Nov 13, 2012 12:37:48 AM

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