And we're back!
Started by Martinus, June 19, 2009, 04:33:36 AM
QuoteObama reaffirms support for gay-rights activismBy LIZ SIDOTI – 1 day agoWASHINGTON (AP) — Countering criticism that he's done little on gay rights, President Barack Obama commemorated the 40th anniversary of the birth of the modern movement by welcoming its leaders to the White House and reaffirming his commitment to their top priorities."I want you to know: You have our support," Obama told members of the core Democratic constituency as he and first lady Michelle Obama hosted a cocktail-and-appetizer reception in the East Room for gay pride month. It's been some four decades since the police raid on New York City's gay Stonewall Inn that spurred gay rights activism across the country.As activists work to change minds and change laws, Obama added: "I will not only be your friend, I will continue to be an ally and a champion and a president who fights with you and for you."Since Obama took office in January, some activists have complained that Obama has not followed through on his campaign promises on issues they hold dear and has not championed their causes from the White House, including ending the ban on gays in the military.Obama pleaded for patience."I know many in this room don't believe that progress has come fast enough. And I understand that," Obama said. But he added: "I expect and hope to be judged not by words, not by promises I've made, but by promises that my administration keeps."By the time he leaves office, the president said, "I think you guys will have pretty good feelings about the Obama administration."The crowd erupted in cheers.He noted that he has issued a presidential memorandum expanding some federal benefits to same-sex partners. Critics have noted that it doesn't include health benefits or pension guarantees.Obama also reminded the audience that he has called on Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which limits how state, local and federal bodies can recognize partnerships and determine benefits. Still, he added: "We have a duty to uphold existing law, but I believe we must do so in a way that does not exacerbate existing divides."He said that does not mean he doesn't back a repeal of the law.Obama also said the administration is working to pass an employee nondiscrimination bill and a hate crimes bill that includes protections for gays and lesbian, and he said it's committed to rescinding a ban on entry to the United States based on HIV status.Obama reiterated his support for repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that allows gays and lesbians to serve in the military as long as they don't disclose their sexual orientation or act on it. He said he doesn't believe the policy makes the United State more secure, and he said his administration is working with Congress to develop a plan that will end the practice legislatively in a way that ensures the new policy works in the long term.
Quote"This is a Russian warship. I propose you lay down arms and surrender to avoid bloodshed & unnecessary victims. Otherwise, you'll be bombed."Zmiinyi defenders: "Russian warship, go fuck yourself."
Quote from: Martinus on July 01, 2009, 01:04:23 AMSo, Languish 'mos, what do you think? A genuine commitment for change or is this just a honeymoon period starting again?
Quote from: MadImmortalMan on July 01, 2009, 01:45:44 AMLOL nice graphic. Frankly, I don't see anything significant happening on DADT soon. So, I guess I vote honeymoon, unfortunately.
QuoteJuly 01, 2009Associated PressWASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday he wants to make the law prohibiting gays from serving openly in the armed forces "more humane" until Congress eventually repeals it. He said he has lawyers studying ways the law might be selectively enforced."One of the things we're looking at is, is there flexibility in how we apply this law?" Gates said.Gates made his comment the same day that a military administrative board recommended that a National Guard officer and combat veteran who publicly announced he's gay should be discharged for violating the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.Lt. Dan Choi would be the first New York National Guard member discharged for violating the policy against homosexual conduct, said Lt. Col. Paul Fanning, a spokesman for the New York Army National Guard.Gates, a holdover from the Republican administration of former President George W. Bush, told reporters traveling with him in Europe that the Clinton-era ban was written without much wiggle room. The Pentagon general counsel is looking at potential avenues around full enforcement as a stopgap, Gates said.For example, Gates said, the military might not have to expel someone whose sexual orientation was revealed by a third party out of vindictiveness or suspect motives. That would include, Gates said, someone who was "jilted" by the gay service member."That's the kind of thing we're looking at, to see if there's at least a more humane way to apply the law until the law gets changed," Gates said, according to a transcript released by the Pentagon.But even that kind of change would not help Choi, who revealed himself to be gay during an interview on a nationally televised news program.Choi said discharging him for being gay amounted to firing him "for nothing more than telling the truth about who I am."Choi, 28, appeared in Syracuse before a Federal Recognition Board, a panel of four military officers, which deliberated four hours before deciding to recommend the Army no longer recognize him as an officer -- effectively discharging him.The recommendation must be approved by the First Army commander and the chief of the National Guard Bureau before Choi is discharged, a process that could take anywhere from a few weeks to a year, said Maj. Roy Diehl, who represented Choi. Until then, Choi remains an active member of the National Guard, he said."It's a recommendation, not a completed act," Diehl said, adding he hoped military commanders would reconsider Choi's value as a soldier. Choi is a West Point graduate who majored in Arabic and environmental engineering. He served in Iraq with the 10th Mountain Division for 15 months in 2006 and 2007, leading combat patrols through a region called the Triangle of Death and serving as a translator and language instructor. He also helped rebuild schools and hospitals.In 2008, he left the Army and joined the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry of the New York National Guard, based in Manhattan.Choi likely will receive an honorable or a general discharge and could lose some of his veteran educational benefits, Diehl said."They are taking effective troops ... and kicking them out, removing them from the force just as effectively as if al-Qaida was blowing them up," said Diehl, who claimed the military is more tolerant of drug abusers, malcontents and adulterers.Gay rights activists and others have criticized the Obama administration for not quickly following through on a pledge to lift the ban on openly gay military service.President Barack Obama and his spokesmen say he remains committed to repealing "don't ask, don't tell," but neither the White House nor congressional leadership has moved swiftly to do so.There is no timetable for the pending bill to repeal the 1993 law, which was intended as a compromise to get around a full ban on gay military service. Gay rights leaders, however, have said it is an insult.Obama says he wants to build support for the change among military commanders before urging Congress to move ahead.The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff and others have cautioned that repeal of the law must be done carefully so as not to disrupt military cohesion in wartime or to place an additional burden on an already overstretched uniformed force.Gates said he discussed repeal of the no-gays policy with Obama last week, but he did not detail the conversation."We were talking about how do we move forward on this to achieve his objective, which is changing the policy, and the issue that we face is that how do we begin to do preparations and simultaneously the administration move forward in terms of asking the Congress to change the law," Gates said.Several liberal legal experts and outside groups have urged Obama to issue an executive order that would make the law unenforceable, but Gates appeared to be considering measures short of that.
Quote from: BuddhaRhubarb on July 02, 2009, 12:02:19 PMpersonally I think people are over reacting a bit in the media over Obama's supposed cold shoulder. But then that's all the media does anymore is blow every single issue out there completely out of proportion. I blame 24/7 news cycles. The world was more interesting when you only got news a couple of times aday.
Quote from: Valmy on July 02, 2009, 12:06:14 PMQuote from: BuddhaRhubarb on July 02, 2009, 12:02:19 PMpersonally I think people are over reacting a bit in the media over Obama's supposed cold shoulder. But then that's all the media does anymore is blow every single issue out there completely out of proportion. I blame 24/7 news cycles. The world was more interesting when you only got news a couple of times aday.And amazingly despite having news 24/7 I do not feel particularly informed. Most of the news shows are actually pundit shows where people advance whatever their particular partisan team is.Meh.
Quote from: Neil on July 02, 2009, 12:07:49 PMThat's the second-largest type of news show. The largest is, of course, celebrity news.
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