Lt. Dan Choi's Trial to Resume; 'DADT' Activist Could Get 6 Months Jail for Peaceful White House Protest: VIDEO
Lt. Dan Choi's trial, which began in August 2011 for protesting "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" with 12 other activists on November 14, 2010, resumes on Thursday in federal court in Washington D.C.
Choi and the others chained themselves to the White House fence while chanting "I am somebody," "We do this for you" and "President Obama, Silent Homophobia."
Choi faces 6 months in prison or a $5,000 fine for an obscure infraction of Parks and Wildlife federal regulations. The 12 other activists accepted a plea deal, agreeing to a guilty plea in federal court for which they would serve no jail time if not re-arrested within four months. Choi would not accept the deal.
Said Tatchell in a press release:
Generally, White House protestors are arrested and required to pay $100 fine to a municipal court, the equivalent of a parking ticket in the District of Columbia. Instead, in this case, the US Attorney’s Office is invoking a seldom-used federal level criminal charge called "Failure to Obey".
Choi’s case is the first time since anti-Iraq war protester Cindy Sheehan was prosecuted, that a protestor has been tried federally for demonstrating at the White House.
The trial Judge, John M. Facciola, has already made a prima facie finding for "vindictive prosecution" in Lt. Choi’s case, prompting the prosecution to make legal history by pausing the trial for two years and embroiling Lt. Choi in a Writ of Mandamus fight.
Until this trial, such a radical and rarely used writ has never been granted in the middle of criminal proceedings. The writ orders the trial judge not to hear evidence concerning the selective prosecution and political targeting of the defendant.
Activists and supporters are planning peaceful actions in support of Choi on Thursday morning beginning with a meditation and interfaith prayer at 8 am and a speaking rally. Organizers report that several civil rights leaders will be on hand to voice support for Choi's efforts. The trial resumes at 9 am. Those wishing to support Choi should gather at:
United States District Court
E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse
333 Constitution Avenue, NW
You can also find out how to get involved to support Choi at the website DADTprotest.com.
Choi talks about where he is in his case with Adam Kokesh, AFTER THE JUMP...
A timeline of Choi's activism, via #Fail2Obey
NYC Pride announced today that DOMA plaintiff Edie Windsor, along with Harry Belafonte and Earl Fowlkes, will serve as Grand Marshals for the 44th annual NYC LGBT Pride March.
Edith Windsor will be taking her fight against DOMA all the way to the Supreme Court after paying more than $360,000 in federal estate taxes upon the death of her partner of 44 years. Harry Belafonte has been a longtime advocate for civil rights and universal equality on a global scale. Earl Fowlkes serves as the President/CEO of the Center for Black Equity, whose mission is to fight for health, social and economic equity in the Black LGBT community.
“We believe this year will be historic. LGBT rights are expanding across the country and these individuals embody the soul of a movement far from over. They are tirelessly fighting for all of us. They are the great waves in a sea of hope: Edith's never-ending battle for marriage equality, Harry's unending fight for human rights, Earl’s focused leadership and selfless spirit. So with great pride, we congratulate them and honor them for their unwavering dedication to the idea of a more just and verdant future for all peoples,” said Chris Frederick, Managing Director of NYC Pride.
For more on this year's NYC Pride, visit their official site. This year's March takes place on June 30.
1993: 5,000 New York City pay phones are being transformed into time capsules.
BRYAN FISCHER: If people thought about gay sex as much as he does, they'd get grossed out.
EMILI SANDE: "Here It Comes". From the Trance soundtrack.
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE: Gets drunk with Jonathan Ross.
For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.
Irish gay rights activist Christopher Robson dies.
Priests accusing deposed Scottish Cardinal Keith O'Brien deny being part of "gay cabal".
Anderson Cooper meets Grumpy Cat.
Berlin Bruisers are Germany's first openly gay rugby team: "The Bruisers have already attracted plenty of support from Berlin’s gay community with 500 members and 35 active players training three times a week. The Bruisers can also claim a world record, having completed 237 passes in three minutes, and the first run of their nude calendar sold out – all in their first year as a registered club."
U.S. and South Korea sign plan to counter attacks from North Korea.
NSW Police force gets an earful about treatment of revelers at Sydney Mardi Gras: “Rest assured, this is not falling on deaf ears. We can’t be sitting here next year having the same discussion.”
Who won The Hookies?
David Beckham flashes a torso tattoo at some Chinese students.
More of President George W. Bush's paintings.
Gay couple wins $100,000 Maine wedding contest: "Real Maine Weddings says Jenna Eagleton and Caroline Curry were chosen Sunday from three finalist couples at the Maine Wedding Association Bridal Show in Freeport."
Paul M. Smith, lawyer in Lawrence v. Texas, gives a talk at West Virginia University College of Law.
Beat generation poet and friend of Andy Warhol Taylor Mead battles millionaire landlord: “They’re trying to get me through the noise, but I’m getting used to it. I pretend it’s the ocean. It’s a tsunami.”
Charles M. Blow on the GOP's Bachmann problem: "The Republican Party is experiencing an existential crisis, born of its own misguided incongruity with modern American culture and its insistence on choosing intransigence in a dynamic age of fundamental change. Instead of turning away from obsolescence, it is charging headlong into it, becoming more strident and pushing away more voters whom it could otherwise win."
George Clooney and Matt Damon suit up for wartime drama.
How many Americans believe drones should be used to launch airstrikes against suspected terrorists in other countries?
Male model fix: Kevin Freed.
Madonna releases a trailer for a secret project with Steven Klein.
Youth parties sign marriage equality pledge in New Zealand: "This morning, youth representatives from National, Labour, the Greens, NZ First, ACT and Mana united outside Parliament in a show of support for the legislation."
Gawker's Rich Juzwiak goes to the Black Party.
For those of you in Utah, there is a counter-protest of the Osmond family's hatefest tomorrow: "The plan: Show up at 6:30 so we can organize along the boundary of the hate event, plan on standing in a chain of silence (practice your stares peeps), and if you decide to bring a sign try and keep it with the theme of love and inclusion. We will not rise to hate, we stand in solidarity with Love."
DuPont endorses marriage equality in Delaware: "DuPont is passionate about equality, and I am proud of our company and our employees’ unwavering commitment to our core value of respect for people. Support for marriage equality is an affirmation of these fundamental beliefs and an opportunity for our actions to speak louder than our words."
Another helpful way to enhance your lexicon from Buzzfeed.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Daft Punk's new album Random Access Memories is coming on May 21 and appears to look back with a nod to classic disco and legend Nile Rodgers was heavily involved. Rolling Stone reports:
"About a year ago, I get a knock on the door – first a virtual one and then a real knock – from [Daft Punk's] Guy-Manuel and Thomas," Rodgers said during a Q&A session on Friday. "The collaboration felt so unbelievably natural that it made me realize that I need to be in the studio with people. I love partnering with people. And then from that moment, a windfall of recording started happening. I just started going in with whomever I could."
Rodgers, whose guitar work can be heard on a 15-second trailer of new Daft Punk music that premiered during a Saturday Night Live broadcast earlier this month, said he couldn’t fill in details about the shape of the partnership with the French duo, or when music from their sessions would be released. "All I can say is that when you listen to the clip which dropped on Saturday Night Live, it pretty much shows you the great collaboration," he said. "It’s clear as a bell."
Also believed to have recorded with Daft Punk for the album: Giorgio Moroder, Panda Bear and Chilly Gonzales.
Listen to the two clips that have been released thus far, AFTER THE JUMP...