Barack Obama | Don't Ask, Don't Tell | Inauguration | News

Gay Man Discharged Under DADT Chosen As Inauguration 'Citizen Co-Chair'

HalWhen President Barack Obama takes the stage for his inauguration on Monday, David Hall will be right there with him, a testament to the progress Obama has helped along.

You may remember Hall from our 2010 piece about the open letter he sent to Obama about the pain he felt when the Air Force discharged him for being gay.  Since then, the former Sergeant has gone on to become Director of Development at the armed service's advocacy group OutServe-SLDN, where he continues to fighting for gays and lesbians in uniform.

Now, in an amazing turn of events, Hall has been selected to be one of eight "citizen co-chairs" chosen by the inaugural committee to join the commander-in-chief's swearing in.

“This is certainly the honor of a lifetime, and I am grateful to President Obama for his leadership in repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ so that no qualified American who wants to serve this country in uniform will ever again be denied that right simply because they are gay or lesbian,” said Hall in a press release.

OutServe-SLDN executive director Allyson Robinson also celebrated the news, but made clear that the fight for equality in the armed services goes on: "There is a great deal more to do on the road to full LGBT equality in our military, but it’s important for us to take a moment this weekend to honor the leadership of this President and recognize just how far we have come. There could be no better personification of that than former Air Force Sergeant David Hall."

Feed This post's comment feed

Comments

  1. Great. Anyone have Hall's contact info? I want to meet him.

    Posted by: Jake | Jan 17, 2013 10:57:05 AM


  2. Hall is "grateful to Obama for his leadership in repealing DADT"? You gotta be kidding! David's been eating too many of Obama's shrimp and drinking too much of Obama's Kool-Aid; Hall's lost touch with reality. Obama didn't lead at all on DADT. In fact, Obama enforced DADT for nearly half his administration before activists forced Congress to repeal DADT. The people who LED in getting that repeal were people like Dan Choi and Paul Yandura and Robin McGehee and countless others in the trenches of the Gay-rights movement. This "co-chair" thing is a stunt--fluff designed to stroke the egos of Washington bureaucrats like Hall so that they remain “yes-people” for Obama’s lack of action for equality. Hall, what about the 14,000+ Americans (including yourself) discharged under DADT, including on Obama’s watch, whose lives remain shattered? Despite possessing the power to do so, Obama has done absolutely ZILCH to compensate them or try to compensate them or to help them put their lives back together. Obama has also refused to issue an executive order requiring non-discrimination for Gays in the military. This sole act of non-leadership by Obama allows discrimination against Gays to continue in the Military. We saw the terrible indignity that inflicts just last month, when the lesbian spouse of an officer at Ft. Bragg was denied admission to the spouses club on base. The Army choose to allow the discrimination. So did Obama, who had the power to do something. Hall, when you are on that podium you will be supporting the man who figuratively spat in the face of that lesbian spouse and officer and all LGBT people. While you may think that the excitement and ego-boost from being part of the inauguration from the VIP area is worth betraying equality, it isn't.


    Posted by: James E. Pietrangelo, II | Jan 17, 2013 12:04:30 PM


  3. David is an excellent choice who has worked for many years to see all of this come about.

    Posted by: M Rudolphi | Jan 17, 2013 1:55:12 PM


  4. How handsome. ^_^ Gays are just awesome... at least the president knows that.^_^

    Posted by: alexander | Jan 17, 2013 2:15:08 PM


  5. the president can "support" it all he wants but until he shows me the money!!! i still pay a shitload of taxes for my partners health insurance as we are not "recognized" by the feds

    Posted by: will | Jan 17, 2013 2:19:19 PM


  6. Imagine how much more equality LGBT Americans would have if people like Hall said to Obama and those like him: we reject your empty gestures, and demand actual equality measures. What if Hall wrote an open letter to Obama declining the VIP seat and criticizing Obama for doing nothing to help the 14000+ discharged under DADT or to issue an executive order implementing non-discrimination in the military? Of course, Hall wouldn't get his cherry-on-top, but it would create political pressure for change.... It comes down to this: would MLK, Jr. have chosen the VIP seat or criticism? We already know the answer. MLK, Jr. faced the same type choice and courageously declined to accept hollow gestures. But then Hall is no MLK, Jr. obviously. But he can try.

    Posted by: James E. Pietrangelo, II | Jan 17, 2013 3:39:32 PM


  7. I personally admire Mr. Hall very much. But there's no justification for the admiration for his service to his country and HIS efforts to help get the ban repealed being exploited to polish Mr. Obama's crown. How much the President led, and how much he dragged his feet—while NEEDLESSLY continuing to discharge some 800 gay service members—is still debatable. What ISN'T is the fact that Nancy Pelosi said he pressured her and our other allies in Congress to agree to gut the repeal bill of any mandate for equal treatment IN the military, that charter ban opponent and Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee Carl Levin said just ONE WEEK before the final vote that Mr. Obama was STILL not doing enough to help them, and that gays COULD be banned again in the future because the Obama DOJ inexplicably fought to overturn the ruling in the LCR case even AFTER repeal. They succeeded, and, thus, the legal door is wide open for any future Congress or Commander-in-Chief to bring it back.

    In addition, the President had to be forced by the ACLU to give eligible DADT victims the balance of their earned separation pay, and abandoned currently serving gay and lesbian military personnel the moment he signed the repeal bill in December 2010, leaving them to the mercy of a virtual circus of recalcitrant homophobes in the Pentagon and on bases and ships around the world who have repeatedly manifested the attitude, "Yes, we have to let The Fags on the bus now, but, by God, they'll sit or stand wherever we tell them to!" leaving HIS promises to create policies of equality IN the military on the floor.

    I don't blame Hall, but OS-SLDN has accomplished NOTHING in the last two years for their gay and lesbian clients, simply growing into an even biggger yapping lapdog for the Administration.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Jan 17, 2013 3:49:48 PM


  8. This Navy veteran says: thank you Mr President. You are indeed the best friend that LGBT people have ever had in the White House.

    Posted by: andrew | Jan 17, 2013 5:46:36 PM


  9. I'm sorry....what were are track records of the previous president's on gay issues?

    Posted by: DAN | Jan 17, 2013 8:02:05 PM


  10. "So here is what is utterly remarkable: President Obama has been using the days and weeks leading up to his inauguration to show the depth of his disdain for the leaders of the other major party and, by inference, that party's voters, which is to say more or less half the country. He has been spending his time alienating instead of summoning. It has left the political air more sour and estranged."PN

    Posted by: Gary | Jan 17, 2013 8:50:35 PM


  11. @Gary; "distain for the leaders of the other major party". Hardly. During the first four years he bent over backwards to try to reach agreements with them, to no avail. They were committed to seeing to it that he would be a one term president. In Mitch McConnels own words that was their first priority. He has invited the Republican Congressional leaders to State dinners which they decline. He recently invited the Democrat and Republican leaders to the White House for a screening of the movie "Lincoln" with Spielberg and Daniel Day Lewis in attendance and not one of them showed up. They are a very difficult group of people to deal with.

    Posted by: andrew | Jan 17, 2013 9:22:19 PM


  12. You trolls are annoying. Insanely annoying. Go troll each other back and forth until you can troll no more. Let the rest of us be happy for the accomplishments President Obama has made.

    Posted by: Reality | Jan 17, 2013 9:28:13 PM


  13. @reality I share your sentiments. I wonder sometimes why these armchair politicians don't go into polish and accomplish what they think is so easy to do. Most forget or rather do not realise that an executive order can be rescinded by the next administration.

    Posted by: hassia | Jan 18, 2013 9:16:29 AM


  14. I look forward to seeing David Hall at President Obama's Inauguration. While I certainly don't agree with everything Obama has or has not done as our President, I certainly do appreciate all of his hard work. He has navigated quite well through the morass of our vicious opponents who continue to use us as pawns whenever and however possible. The end of DADT involved each and everyone of us who stood up and involved ourselves, in whatever way we could or did as individuals - physically and financially (SLDN, etc).

    Posted by: RexT | Jan 18, 2013 4:48:43 PM


  15. Troll stands for reality -- Or toy with fuzzy neon hair from the '60's.
    Trolls don't sneak Peggy Noonan quotes on to gay left websites just to howl at the reactions. Enjoy Michelle's new bangs.

    Posted by: Gary | Jan 18, 2013 9:29:28 PM


Post a comment







Trending


« «Dan Savage Discusses 'What It Means To Be Homosexual' 40 Years Later: VIDEO« «