Don't Ask, Don't Tell Hub




Newly Released Documents Reveal Bill Clinton and Colin Powell's 1993 Talk on Gays in the Military

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A series of previously-secret files detailing the inner workings of the Clinton Administration were released Friday - including an account of a pivotal January 1993 meeting between Al Gore, Bill Clinton, then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell and others about the role of gays in the military. 

Clinton, who had campaigned on a pledge to end the ban on military service by gays and lesbians, faced stiff opposition by numerous military leaders at the meeting, Politico reports:

Powell said he was making “no moral judgment” on gays but believed “they can best serve in other areas.”

Clinton told the chiefs: “The whole thing on both sides cause[s] me great discom[fort]. Men and women who [are] patriotic [and] served w/ dist[inction are] otherwise highly conformist pers[onally] in [the] best sense…[I] believe some are born gay and others not. [The] job of soc[iety] is not to disc[riminate] on [the] basis of moral judgement. [It’s my] belief gay friends should be able to serve.”

MundyClinton heard strong disagreement from Powell and the other chiefs. Marine Commandant Gen. Carl Mundy [right] may have been the most strident opponent of allowing gays to serve openly. Quoting someone involved in a Queer Nation parade, Mundy said people associated with “gay pride” are licentious and unconstrained by law or morality. Mundy, who died earlier this year, also suggested that announcing “I’m gay” was the “same as I’m KKK, Nazi, rapist,” the notes show.

The notes also describe a separate meeting in which top officials discussed Mundy's malicious comments.

“When I heard [the] Marine Gen[eral] I just said—I have to give my own view,” Clinton said. “Al really helped.”

Gore added that he thought Mundy was “borderline in his presentation,” especially when he compared gays to Nazis.

Clinton did not agree with Gore that Mundy’s remarks were out of line, the notes say, adding that he thought the Marine commandant “meant it well.”

When asked about Mundy's now public comments, Powell told Politico, “Carl Mundy who died recently was the most outspoken, but I don’t think that he crossed a line, nor has that ever been mentioned to me.”

Head over to Politico HERE for a more thorough breakdown of the behind-the-scenes lead-up to Don't Ask, Don't Tell. 


Dan Choi Running for City College of San Francisco Board Spot

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Lt. Dan Choi, who was for many years the public face of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal movement, has announced a candidacy for the City College of San Francisco Board.

Choi2Via campaign website:

Now, Dan has decided to channel his energies towards revitalizing the City College of San Francisco. As a dedicated student throughout his schooling, he has a passion for learning and education. Dan wants to see that all CCSF students have access to an enriching education as to provide them with the tools they need to achieve their goals both inside and outside of the classroom. Aware of the structural and economic issues facing the CCSF educational system, Dan is driven to be a part of the solution.

Choi has largely stayed away from the spotlight following his trial last year stemming from a DADT protest at the White House in 2010. 

[via joe.my.god]


LGBT Servicemembers To Receive Memorial In Congressional Cemetery

DADTNearly three years ago, the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal was made official, paving the way for lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members to perform their duties openly and honestly. The repeal by no means erased a traumatic history, however, and now gay veterans, and those currently serving, will receive a memorial to honor their sacrifices. Located in Washington, D.C.'s congressional cemetery, the memorial will cement DADT as a thing of the past.

Blue Nation Review reports:

The monument will be three pillars in a triangle shape with each branch’s insignia on it and a flag in the middle. The point of the memorial is to make people aware of the sacrifice and hardship that LGBT people face in the military. There are countless stories of veterans repressing their sexuality in order to serve their country. Thanks to President Obama’s leadership and the action of Congressional Democrats ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in 2010, soldiers don’t have to do that anymore.

Of course, transgender service members cannot serve openly in the military, a tragic oversight which requires immediate attention. Still, this memorial will be an important symbol of equality for many Americans.

In related news, the Congressional Cemetery is the final resting place of Leonard Matlovich, a Vietnam war vet and gay rights pioneer who took up residence in San Francisco's Castro District in the late 70's, and appeared on the cover of TIME magazine in September 1975 under the headline "I am a Homosexual".

Matlovich's headstone is well-known. It reads: "When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one."


A Gay Secret is Discovered in New Clip from Military Drama 'Burning Blue': VIDEO

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Last month we reported that the long-in-development feature film adaptation of the 1995 play Burning Blue is headed to the big screen in select theaters and VOD on June 6.

The filmmakers have just released a new clip from the film, about Navy fighter pilots who fall in love under 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and are exposed during a government investigation into a series of fatal accidents.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Watch the full trailer HERE if you missed it.

Continue reading "A Gay Secret is Discovered in New Clip from Military Drama 'Burning Blue': VIDEO" »


Military Continues To Dismiss Transgender Service Members: Video

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The repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in 2011 may have eliminated the discriminatory military policy for gays, lesbians and bisexuals, but not for everyone in the LGBT community. Sadly, transgender service members can still be dismissed from the armed forces.

The Washington Post reports:

Transgender service members can still be dismissed from the force without question, the result of a decades-old policy that dates back to an era when gender nonconformity was widely seen as a mental illness.

The policy, however, is now coming under scrutiny as service members like Wilson become more visible. Transgender service members are increasingly undergoing procedures to align their bodies more closely with the genders with which they identify. Medical experts, meanwhile, are urging the Defense Department to rescind a policy they view as discriminatory and outdated, noting that some of America’s closest allies, including Canada, Britain and Australia, have done so seamlessly.

Although the American Psychiatric Association revised its manual last year to indicate gender nonconformity is “not in itself a mental disorder,” the Defense Department relies on guidelines that describe transgender individuals as sexual deviants, and their condition as a “paraphilia.” Thousands of transgender men and women are now serving in the military while remaining in the closet, according to studies.

Some background on how activists approached the fight to repeal DADT several years ago:

Although transgender service members were avid supporters of the repeal, activists who led the effort were careful not to inject the plight of transgender service members into the debate.

“There was a certain reticence to discuss it in any official way with stakeholders for fear of complicating the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” said Allyson Robinson, a former Army officer and transgender activist. “There was a very clear awareness among all the organizations that worked on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell that this issue was going to remain outstanding.”

While it's estimated that approximately 140,000 transgender people have at one point served in the U.S. military, no statistics are available on the number dismissed from the military.

A Pentagon spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Cathy Wilkinson, said the Defense Department does not know how many service members have been discharged for being transgender. She said the Pentagon has no plan to change its medical qualification standards based on the changes to the psychiatric association’s entry on gender disorder, but she noted that medical policies are being constantly reviewed.

AFTER THE JUMP, watch a Washington Post news segment about Landon Wilson, a 24-year-old transgender service member who was dismissed from the military just last month.

Continue reading "Military Continues To Dismiss Transgender Service Members: Video" »


Gay Fighter Pilot 'DADT' Drama 'Burning Blue' Comes to the Big Screen: VIDEO

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Burning Blue, the 1995 off-Broadway play about Navy fighter pilots who fall in love under 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and are exposed during a government investigation into a series of fatal accidents, has been adapted for the big screen.

The film, directed by DMW Greer, stars Trent Ford, Morgan Spector , Rob Mayes  William Lee Scott, Cotter Smith, Michael Cumpsty. It hits select theaters and VOD on June 6.

Watch the film's trailer, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Gay Fighter Pilot 'DADT' Drama 'Burning Blue' Comes to the Big Screen: VIDEO" »


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