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ACLU to Sue Military If Chelsea Manning Isn't Given Appropriate Medical Treatment

Manning

ACLU lawyers for convicted Wikileaker Chelsea Manning have announced they will sue the military if the Army fails to provide Manning with appropriate medical treatment by September 4. 

Buzzfeed reports:

“Our constitution requires that the government provide medically necessary care to the individuals it holds in its custody,” Chase Strangio, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project, said in a statement. “It is cruel and unusual punishment to withhold from Ms. Manning the care that the military’s own doctors have deemed medically necessary. The Army is withholding her care for political reasons, which is simply not permitted by our Constitution.”

In a letter dated Aug. 11, Manning’s lawyers note “[t]he Army’s continued indifference to Ms. Manning’s serious medical need for treatment, despite the recommendations of the Army’s own medical providers.”

Last month, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Manning would receive "rudimentary treatment" for her gender transition. 


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."


Chelsea Manning Will Receive 'Rudimentary' Gender Transition Healthcare: VIDEO

Chelsea manning

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has announced that convicted Wikileaker Chelsea Manning will receive “rudimentary treatment” for her gender transition, reports Transgender Law Center (TLC).

Although it is unclear what specific treatment Manning will be allowed, TLC says:

“It is critical that all transgender people, including those who are incarcerated and detained, have access to life-saving health care. Transgender Law Center will continue to urge the Department of Defense that ‘rudimentary’ treatments include all health care treatments defined as medically-necessary by the preeminent health care organizations including the American Medical Association and American Psychiatric Association.”

According to The Washington Post, “the gender treatment provided by the military could include allowing Manning to wear some female garments and also potentially provide hormone treatments.”

In May, we reported that Hagel was considering moving Manning from her current incarceration in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas to a civilian prison so that she could receive hormone therapy and other necessary transgender medical care. Hagel said in May that he is open to reviewing the military’s ban on transgender service members

Watch the Washington Post report, AFTER THE JUMP

Continue reading "Chelsea Manning Will Receive 'Rudimentary' Gender Transition Healthcare: VIDEO" »


U.S. Navy Ship Command Undermines Observations Of Pride Month: VIDEO

Sala

The repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell has made life easier for LGB folks in the military, but it certainly isn't "easy", and trans people still suffer the brunt of it all. The command staff of San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson have engaged in passive-aggressive attempts to undermine any observations of LGBT Pride Month, something that the sailors explicitly requested. In addition to dragging their feet on signing off on the event even though the month is half over, regressive conditions were implemented which included removing any language of "gay" or "lesbian" over the loudspeaker, and "transgender" was to be removed from all posters altogether, conceivably justified by the fact that the military still considers being transgender a psychological disorder.

Several sailors have filed complaints, but the Navy released a statement saying that they have not confirmed any complaints. The sailors have responded to their command's lack of action with a course of action of their own: if they are denied an event, they will unfurl a rainbow flag at the pier and have an impromptu event of their own. 

You can watch ABC 10's report on the issue AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "U.S. Navy Ship Command Undermines Observations Of Pride Month: VIDEO" »


Check Out This Video of LGBT Service Members and Allies at Travis Air Force Base: WATCH

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With the military still settling into a post-DADT landscape, it’s a welcome sight to see some of the on-the-grounds efforts to promote LGBT visibility in the armed forces ranks.

The LGBT Alliance at Travis Air Force base in California is one such effort – and is actually the first official LGBT “private organization” sanctioned by the U.S. Air Force.

A video has been made to introduce you to some of the members of this organization and why they decided to join. Sure makes you wonder why these heroes were banned from serving their country in the first place...

Check it out, AFTER THEY JUMP

Continue reading "Check Out This Video of LGBT Service Members and Allies at Travis Air Force Base: WATCH" »


U.S. Armed Forces Color Guard to March in DC Pride Parade in Nationwide First

The Department of Defense has approved, for the first time, a color guard presenting the American flag as well as each flag of the military, to march in the Capital Pride parade in Washington DC on Saturday, the Washington Post reports:

ColorguardThe eight-member team is scheduled to help lead off the 11 / 2-mile parade, immediately preceding the Capital Pride lead banner and grand marshal Chris Kluwe, a former National Football League punter and the author of the book “Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies.”

While no policy has precluded a U.S. Armed Forces color guard from participating in gay rights events since the 2011 repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, gay rights organizations from D.C. to Hawaii say they have routinely faced rejection from local military offices, saying the color guards were otherwise occupied on the days of pride parades.


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