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04/19/2007


Gay Marine Vet Eric Alva Booed At San Antonio City Council Meeting

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Marine vet Eric Alva proposal was booed while he addressed the San Antonio City Council about an oridinance which would add protections for the LGBT community.

The San Antonio Express-News reports:

“I said that if this ordinance doesn't pass, I could be fired from a job and even thrown out of a restaurant, and people started to boo me,” said Alva, 42. “I was real hurt by that. It was unbelievable.”

Alva took to Facebook to explain what he said during his closing comments:

"Before I left the podium I said: 'to all you people that preach the word of God, shame of you because God loves me, like the day I laid bleeding on the sands of Iraq and that's why he saved me!'"

That's not the only anti-gay behavior coming from within the San Antonio City Council. Just a few days after Alva was booed, audio of a debate of the ordinance surfaced in which Councilwoman Elisa Chan is heard calling gays and lesbians "disgusting."

This past Friday morning, U.S. Congressman Joaquín Castro issued a statement about both incidences:

“The intolerant views expressed by Councilwoman Chan and the deplorable actions of those who booed a wounded warrior do not represent the sentiments of most San Antonians,” the mayor's brother said in a statement. “Our city celebrates diversity and prides itself in supporting our veterans as Military City, USA.”

A vote on the ordinance is expected early next month.


Watch: Gay Vet Eric Alva, Who Lost Leg in Iraq, Rips Gen. Amos for 'DADT' Remarks; Maddow Calls Out Log Cabin Republicans

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You may recall Marine Commandant General James Amos' remarks the other day about repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".

Said Amos: “I don’t want to lose any Marines to the distraction. I don’t want to have any Marines that I’m visiting at Bethesda [National Naval Medical Center, in Maryland] with no legs be the result of any type of distraction."

Murphy Gay retired Staff Sgt. Eric Alva, the first Marine wounded in combat in Iraq, lost his leg there. He tells Rachel Maddow how he feels about Amos' remarks. "He took my Purple Heart and threw it in my face."

Maddow also talks to outgoing Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA) about his advocacy for the repeal of 'DADT', and later called out the Log Cabin Republicans for endorsing his opponent.

Watch both clips, AFTER THE JUMP....

Previously...
Marine Commandant James Amos Suggests 'Distracted' Troops Could Lose Legs in Combat if 'DADT' is Repealed [tr]

Continue reading "Watch: Gay Vet Eric Alva, Who Lost Leg in Iraq, Rips Gen. Amos for 'DADT' Remarks; Maddow Calls Out Log Cabin Republicans" »


Watch: Former Staff Sgt. Eric Alva, the First Marine Wounded in Iraq, Speaks Out About DADT on Hardball

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Former Staff Sgt. Eric Alva, the first Marine wounded in Iraq, speaks out about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" on Hardball and coming out as a gay man.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Watch: Former Staff Sgt. Eric Alva, the First Marine Wounded in Iraq, Speaks Out About DADT on Hardball" »


HRC & Servicemembers United Launch "Voices of Honor" Tour to Repeal DADT

SafariScreenSnapz005 The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Servicemembers United announced today a national "Voices of Honor" Tour to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA), a former West Point professor and Iraq War vet, is the lead sponsor of legislation to repeal the unpopular policy that bars LGBT people from serving openly in the United States armed services.

Murphy said, in part:

"Our president, President Barack Obama, has stated that If Congress can get a bill to his desk repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell, he will sign it into law. It is now our job, and my job specifically, to quarterback this through the Congress of the United States to do just that. I can not tell you today how long it's gonna take. All I can tell ya is that paratroopers don't quit, and paratroopers get the job done. To remove Eric_alva honorable, talented and committed Americans from serving in our military is contrary to the values that our military holds dear."

Video of Murphy's speech after the jump.

"Voices of Honor" will make stops in Philadelphia; Trenton; Virginia Beach; Phoenix; Kansas City, MO; Orlando and Tampa and will feature former Marine Staff Sgt. Eric Alva, the first American soldier injured in Iraq, among others. CNN points out that some of those involved were chosen because they're straight, as outreach to other straight soldiers.

Continue reading "HRC & Servicemembers United Launch "Voices of Honor" Tour to Repeal DADT" »


Congress Holds Hearings on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

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Reports are filtering out about today's hearings before the House Armed Services subcommittee on Military Personnel on the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

Three former servicemembers testified for the Democrats — Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Eric Alva, retired naval intelligence officer Capt. Joan Darrah, and retired Army Maj. Gen. Vance Coleman. Coleman is straight, Alva and Darrah gay. Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, one of two witnesses brought by the Republicans (the other was retired Army Sgt. Maj. Brian Jones) seemed to cause the greatest stir. Below, a clip of Donnelly being questioned by Rep. Patrick Murphy. Donnelly was grilled, chastised, and lambasted, according to The Hill.

Clips of testimony from Subcommittee Chairwoman Susan Davis, Alva, and Darrah,
AFTER THE JUMP...

The Washington Blade reports: "Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Penn.), a former Army private, said he was “insulted” that Donnelly did not believe that service members were 'less professional' than other workers and could not handle gays among their ranks. He disputed the notion that letting gays serve openly would encourage sexual misconduct in the military. 'We're talking about orientation and not misconduct here,' he said...Donnelly recommended that recruiters ask enlistees about their sexual orientation when they enter service so that they can be removed if they are gay. Donnelly maintained that nothing in the law prevents recruiters from asking questions about sexual orientation. Donnelly said straight service members would be exposed to harassment if gay service members were allowed to serve openly. She frequently cited a 1974 incident in a letter she says she received from Cynthia Yost, a former Army medical corpsman. Yost said a group of black lesbians sexually assaulted her, but she didn't report the incident to keep her record clean."

Chris Johnson at the Human Rights Campaign who liveblogged the event, describes the scene during Donnelly's testimony:

"Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness is speaking. There is an audible burst of laughter when Donnelly throws in a 'San Francisco left' phrase just for dramatic effect. Another guffaw from the crowd when Donnelly expresses her concern over gay men sharing a 'cramped submarine' with other soldiers....There is on older lady in the room who just turned around to the room brimming with youngsters and issued the warning, 'Show respect while she speaks!' The room keeps laughing at Donnelly's outrageous statements. The older woman is obviously losing this fight. 'They're just disrespectful people!' she hisses."

Incidentally, some are questioning Donnelly's qualifications to testify. That's a shocker.

Eric Alva wrote a piece for the Huffington Post in conjunction with his testimony.

And in related news, Idaho Senator Larry Craig told CNS News that he supported the policy: "Current policy has served us well. I think we ought to sustain it. I see no evidence that it should be repealed." And why wouldn't he? It's worked perfectly well for Craig and his wife.

Clips of testimony from Subcommittee Chairwoman Susan Davis, Alva, and Darrah,
AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Congress Holds Hearings on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'" »


Towleroad Guide to the Tube: #99

ERIC ALVA: The recently out Iraq war veteran talks to Paula Zahn.

SENATOR CHRIS DODD: The Presidential hopeful calls for the end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".

IMPLOSION: The Las Vegas Stardust Hotel is now just dust.

JOHN EDWARDS: Talks about General Peter Pace on The Situation Room.

Check out our previous guides to the Tube here!


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