Robert Gates Hub




Tuesday Speed Read: Jared Polis, Annise Parker, South Dakota, Robert Gates, Boy Scouts, Nevada, Kentucky

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

PolisLOG CABIN ADS ATTACK JARED POLIS:

The national gay Republican group Log Cabin Republicans has aired three “attack ads” against openly gay U.S. Rep. Jared Polis. According to a report in the Denver Post, the latest ad mocks Polis’ personal wealth to say he’s out of touch with the average Coloradoan when he opposes natural gas development in the state, thus denying thousands of jobs and affordable heating. In retort, Polis teased the group about the perception that it has relatively few members to support such attack ads: “Oh, did all three of them chip in?”

ORDINANCE FOES THREATEN RECALL:

Opponents of a proposed non-discrimination ordinance in Houston have threatened to organize a recall election against Mayor Annise Parker and other supporters of the bill. They have also threatened a referendum on the measure should it pass Wednesday, reports KHOU-TV.

SouthdakotaSOUTH DAKOTA GETS LAWSUIT:

Six same-sex couples in South Dakota filed a lawsuit in federal court in Sioux Falls, reducing to just one (North Dakota) the number of states which still have bans on same-sex couples marrying but no lawsuit challenging that ban. The South Dakota lawsuit is Rosenbrahn v. Daugaard.

NINTH CIRCUIT MOVES ON NEVADA CASE:

In an order issued May 23, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals announced it would hold oral arguments in September for Sevcik v. Sandoval, a Lambda Legal case challenging Nevada’s ban on same-sex couples marrying. The Ninth Circuit will also hear Latta v. Otter, concerning Idaho’s ban, the week of September 8.

GatesAVOIDING BOY SCOUT FRACTURE:

Former Defense Secretary Bob Gates was installed as president of the national Boy Scouts of America organization May 22 and, in an interview the next day with Associated Press, said he would have gone further than the BSA did last fall when it voted to end its policy of barring gay scouts. “"I would have supported having gay Scoutmasters,” said Gates. But Gates said he would not re-open the question with the membership at this time because he believes it would “irreparably fracture” the organization.

McconnellMcCONNELL OPPONENT WALKING A LINE:

In last Tuesday’s primaries, Democrats in Kentucky chose business attorney Alison Lundergan Grimes to go up against Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell in November. McConnell has a zero rating from the Human Rights Campaign on LGBT issues. When asked point blank by a group of Kentucky farmers whether she supports same-sex marriage, Grimes clearly tried to find position somewhere between being “for” or “against” them. According to the Herald-Leader, Grimes said: “I want to be honest  … my husband and I have been married seven years, and the Supreme Court has already determined in my view and decided this issue, and … I think that if I’ve been committed then others should be able to have that same commitment. But the Supreme Court --they’ve already ruled on this, it’s a state sovereign issue, and here in the state of Kentucky we already have a constitutional amendment.”

MICHELLE NUNN WALKING THE SAME LINE: U.S.

Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn, daughter of former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, is walking that same delicate line on same-sex marriage in Georgia. She has said she supports the right of same-sex couples to marry but believes the decision about who can marry should be left to the states.
© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Boy Scouts President Robert Gates Would've Welcomed Gay Adults, Doesn't Want to Reopen Issue Now

Robert gatesFormer Secretary of Defense and newly elected Boy Scouts of America president Robert Gates said in an interview on Friday that he would have pushed for openly gay adults to be allowed the organization had he been in charge when BSA leadership made the controversial decision to end its ban on openly gay youth (but not gay adults) last year. 

"I was prepared to go further than the decision that was made," Gates told The Associated Press in an interview in advance of a speech before the group's national leaders at its annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. "I would have supported having gay Scoutmasters, but at the same time, I fully accept the decision that was democratically arrived at by 1,500 volunteers from across the entire country.

Gates, who oversaw the end of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in 2011, sees welcoming gay youth into Scouting as an important step forward - but said he opposes any further attempts to address the policy now.

"Given the strong feelings — the passion — involved on both sides of this matter, I believe strongly that to re-open the membership issue or try to take last year's decision to the next step would irreparably fracture and perhaps even provoke a formal, permanent split in this movement — with the high likelihood neither side would subsequently survive on its own," Gates said in prepared remarks.

A handful of anti-gay conservatives who opposed the inclusion of openly gay boys have already started their own Mike Huckabee-approved scouting alternative: Trail Life USA.


Lockheed Martin Cuts Off Boy Scouts Over Ban on Gay Leaders

U.S. aerospace, defense and security company Lockheed Martin has announced that it will cease donations to the Boy Scouts of America over its ban on gay leaders, the AP reports:

Lockheed Martin"We believe engaging with and funding an organization that openly discriminates is in conflict with our policies," [spokesman Gordon Johndroe] said. "While we applaud the mission of the Boy Scouts and the good things they do in our communities, their policies that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and religious affiliation conflict with Lockheed Martin policies."

This year, the Irving, Texas-based Boy Scouts revised its policy to allow gay boys to participate in Scouting, but it maintained the ban on gay leaders. The change drew criticism from both sides of the debate over the anti-gay policy.

Johndroe said Lockheed Martin was pleased to see the Boy Scouts revise its membership policy but opposes the continued ban on gay leadership. The company's review of its philanthropy came at the end of the year as it reevaluates priorities for 2014, he said.

"We're taking a close look at all nonprofit organizations we support to ensure they align with our company's core values," Johndroe said.

Scouts for Equality founder Zach Wahls praised the company’s decision in an interview with Buzzfeed, saying that he hopes the news resonates with BSA leadership.

Zach Wahls“This is a big deal for two reasons,” Wahls told BuzzFeed. “First, it’s another clear sign of where the country’s business community is on this issue. And second, it’s particularly important given the ascendance of Bob Gates to the Boy Scouts executive board. He is taking over in May of 2014 and as a former secretary of defense, he has a unique relationship with Lockheed Martin. This says the issue is not going away.”


Former Defense Sec'y Robert Gates, Who Oversaw DADT Repeal, To Lead Boy Scouts of America

6a00d8341c730253ef0133f5cdbc82970b-800wiRobert Gates, former Secretary of Defense under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, will be the next President of the Boys Scouts of America, replacing Wayne Perry, Imperial Valley News reports. Gates' role in dismantling the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that discriminated against openly gay service-members is being perceived by some as valuable experience to bring to an organization that has struggled with whether and how to accept openly gay members. Earlier this year, the Boy Scouts repealed their ban on openly gay scouts but not on openly gay scout leaders. Some are hopeful that will change under Gates' leadership:

Gay-rights groups praised Gates' appointment and called on him to push BSA a step further and allow gay leaders and adult volunteers.

"Millions of people and national corporations have called on the Boy Scouts to put an end to discrimination once and for all," GLAAD spokesman Wilson Cruz said. "We urge Dr. Gates to continue his work to ensure all people are treated equally, no matter who they are and no matter what uniform they wear."

Gates, a former Eagle Scout, has previously spoken of what he sees to be the values of scouting in today's society:

"At a time when many American young people are turning into couch potatoes, and too often much worse, Scouting continues to challenge boys and young men, preparing you for leadership," Gates said, according to a transcript of his remarks posted by the Department of Defense.


Officials: Gates Unlikely to Certify 'DADT' Repeal Before Retirement

Wtih Defense Secretary Robert Gates retiring on June 20, the Stars and Stripes reports that certification of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal is unlikely to happen before that happens

Gates Defense Secretary Robert Gates is unlikely to certify repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” before leaving office next week, senior defense and military officials said...

...Gay rights groups have for weeks been pushing for Gates to wrap up the process, concerned that his replacement, CIA director Leon Panetta, might wait several more months before moving forward. Now, with Gates’ retirement just days away, that’s becoming less realistic.

Final assessments on the progress of the training are due this Friday:

Those reports will help the Army chief of staff’s office compile its final recommendations on repeal, which the defense secretary and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen must review before certifying the change.


Defense Secretary Gates Suggests 'DADT' Repeal Could Be Certified This Month

In an interview with the AP, Defense Secretary Robert Gates suggested that "if the top officers of each service recommend moving ahead on the repeal before the end of the month" he would endorse it:

Gates The move to end the ban on gay services could be one of Gates’ final acts as defense chief.

More than a million U.S. troops have been trained on the new law that repealed the 17-year-old ban on gays serving openly in the armed services, and Gates said the instruction has gone well.

“I think people are pretty satisfied with the way this process is going forward,” he said. “I think people have been mildly and pleasantly surprised at the lack of pushback in the training.”

If the repeal is certified by the end of the months, troops could be serving openly as soon as September.


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