LGBTI global news 24-7

Content about Don't Ask, Don't Tell

October 11, 2014

'Homo[sexuality] is a problem for us'

Twenty-one years ago, when Bill Clinton was in the White House, the Democratic president formed a military policy called 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'

The code permitted gay, lesbian, and bisexual troops to serve in the US military as long as they were not out. Yesterday, 10 October, the Clinton Library released documents chronicling the debate in creating the plan.

October 11, 2014

'Homo[sexuality] is a problem for us'

Twenty-one years ago, when Bill Clinton was in the White House, the Democratic president formed a military policy called 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'

The code permitted gay, lesbian, and bisexual troops to serve in the US military as long as they were not out. Yesterday, 10 October, the Clinton Library released documents chronicling the debate in creating the plan.

May 20, 2014

Staff Sgt. Tracy Dice Johnson will be the first spouse of a member of the US armed forces to receive equal death benefits over her National Guard wife Donna’s death in Afghanistan in 2012

Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Tracy Dice Johnson will be the first ever military spouse to receive the same death benefits given to heterosexual widows and widowers when their spouses die in the line of duty.

Tracy married wife Donna Johnson in Washington in February of 2012 but she was killed by a suicide bomber just months later in Afghanistan in October that year.

April 29, 2014

Two openly gay veterans of the Iraq war were planning to use Mint Springs Farm in Tennessee to host their commitment ceremony but the owners have refused to let them, claiming the state’s ban on same-sex marriage prevents them

A wedding venue in Tennessee is denying a pair of Iraq War veterans the use of their facilities because they are a gay couple.

Anthony Wilfert and Brian Blas met while stationed at Fort Campbell nine years ago and became a couple despite the then policy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell that banned openly gay people from serving in the military.

April 28, 2014

A US navy communications specialist has spoken out to The Washington Post about being discharged for transitioning to being male – showing that part of the LGBTI community is still legally barred from serving in the US Armed Forces

Transgender sailor Landon Wilsonhas spoken out about being forcefully discharged by the US Navy after superiors discovered he had transitioned to be a male – showing that some LGBTI people still face legal discrimination in the US Armed Forces past the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

The US Defense Department still retains a policy that was set when being transgender was viewed as a form of mental illness and classes it as a ‘paraphilia.’

March 3, 2014

A charity drag show by personnel at a US military installation on the Japanese island of Okinawa sold out Saturday – stunning organizers

A drag fundraiser for US LGBTI military network Outserve-SLDN sold out on Saturday after organizers issued more than four times the number of tickets they originally thought they would need for the show.

Organizers of the event, held at the Rocker NCO Club on the grounds of Kadena Air Base on the Japanese island of Okinawa, originally expected to only need about 75 tickets for the show – but ended up selling 400 tickets, maxing out the venue’s capacity.

January 30, 2014

Itay Hod believes closeted politicians with anti-gay voting records should be outed: 'I made it very clear as to who I was talking about'

Itay Hod was already not a fan of Aaron Schock, a Republican congressman from Illinois who has toed the party line and consistently voted against pro-LGBT legislation.

But the openly gay freelance journalist, who worked for CBS News for several years, reached his boiling point earlier this month when he heard a story about Schock from a friend, a fellow reporter.

January 7, 2014

79-year-old military veteran Hal Faulkner has had his discharge record changed from ‘undesirable’ to ‘honorable’ 58 years after he was kicked out of the Marines for being gay

A 79-year-old man who is dying from cancer has finally had his military service record cleared 58 years after he was kicked out of the US Marine Corps when the military learned he was gay.

Faulkner was discharged as an ‘undesirable’ after three years of military service beginning in 1953 during which he served in the Philippines and rose to the rank of sergeant.

Faulkner was diagnosed a few years ago with cancer and asked his relatives to help him secure a dying wish – to have his service record cleared.

January 5, 2014

Fed up with closeted anti-LGBT politicians and the complicity of the media, a gay journalist has accused Illinois Republican congressman Aaron Schock of being gay and voting against equal rights

When is it acceptable to out gay politicians especially when they have been voting against bills that would bolster equal rights for gays, asks freelance reporter Itay Hod, who is himself gay.

December 25, 2013

Major Daniel Toven and husband Johnathan Taylor were already legally married in Washington DC

Gay marriage may not be legal in North Carolina but that didn't stop Ft. Bragg military base from hosting its first same-sex ceremony.

Major Daniel Toven and husband Johnathan Taylor had been legally married in Washington DC several months before their formal ceremony over the weekend at Ft. Bragg in front of about 100 guests.

Toven, who joined the Army in 2003, said he is impressed with the speed of progress since the end of Don't Ask Don't Tell in 2011.

December 12, 2013

Kaitlin Ward and Lauren Bloch are first same-sex couple in school's 137 year history to get traditional lunchtime announcement

Kaitlin Ward and Lauren Bloch met and fell in love at the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut.

In this post-Don't Ask, Don't Tell era, it's a love they have not had to keep secret. It's also a love that has led them to become engaged.

Last week, the couple made a nice little bit of history when their engagement was announced to the entire corps during the holiday meal that is the one time that all four years of cadets eat together.

November 13, 2013

A group of active and retired US gay and lesbian military service members have held a wreath laying ceremony to mark Veterans Day at the grave site of the first man to out himself in the military to fight the ban on gays surving

Veterans Day was commemorated on Monday by a group of gay and lesbian retired and active service members in Washington DC with a wreath laying ceremony in Congressional Cemetery.

The wreath was left at the grave site of Air Force Sergeant Leonard Matlovich who became the first serving US service member to fight the military’s ban on gays and lesbians serving in 1975.

November 7, 2013

After 64-32 vote, attention now turns to House where Republican leadership expected to let legislation die

After nearly 20 years, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act has finally passed the US Senate.

The legislation, known as ENDA, has been introduced in all but one Congress since 1994. It was last voted on by the full senate in 1996 when it fell one vote shy of passage.

In the end, the 64-32 vote had every Democratic senator and 10 of their Republican colleagues voting in favor of passage.

Surprisingly, among the Republicans supporting ENDA was Arizona Senator John McCain who was a vocal opponent of ending the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.

October 31, 2013

Robert Gates led the dismantling of Don't Ask, Don't Tell while US Secretary of Defense

Former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has been chosen as the next leader of the Boy Scouts of America.

Gates assumes the role in May 2014, five months after the scouts change in policy regarding gay members goes into effect.

The BSA voted earlier this year to change its century-old policy of banning openly gay members up until they reach the age of 18. But the ban remains for adults scout leaders, employees and volunteers.

Gates has experience in such situations.

October 19, 2013

President Barack Obama calls Jeh Johnson, the Homeland Security secretary nominee, 'an absolutely critical member of my national security team'

President Barack Obama has nominated Jeh Johnson, a lawyer who co-authored the US Pentagon's Don't Ask, Don't Tell study, to be the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

DADT forced gay and lesbian personnel to conceal their sexual orientation in order to avoid being discharged.

September 21, 2013

Senator John McCain goes to Pravada.ru to respond to President Putin's New York Times editorial where he said 'God created us equal'

US Senator John McCain, a leader in the Republican Party, wrote an editorial in Pravda.ru that includes one sentence that takes Russian President Vladimir Putin, and his supporters, to task for the country's ‘gay propaganda’ law.

‘gay propaganda’ law

'They write laws to codify bigotry against people whose sexual orientation they condemn,' the senator wrote.

August 31, 2013

Darren Manzella, who served two two tours of duty in the Iraq War, continued to fight against DADT after his honorable discharge in 2008.

Darren Manzella, the Army sergeant who came out in 2007 to protest the US military policy Don't Ask, Don't Tell, died this week in car accident. He was 36-years-old.

According to the Democrat and Chronicle, Manzella was involved in a highway accident, with another car, on 29 August in Pittsford, New York.

He stopped his vehicle, got out, and began to push it from behind. A sports utility rear-ended his car, pinning Manzella between the two vehicles.

August 16, 2013

Eric Alva tells crowd: 'Shame on you because God loves me'

U.S. Marine Corps veteran and openly gay man Eric Alva was booed by anti-LGBT protesters at a San Antonio City Council meeting this week when he spoke out in favor of extending the city's nondiscrimination law.

It was 10 years ago in March that Alva became the first US Marine to be injured in the Iraq War when he stepped on a land mine and lost his right leg.

August 8, 2013

The soon to be former president of the Young Democrats in America calls his coming out 'some unfinished business'

Before leaving his post as president of the 81-year-old political group Young Democrats of America, Rod Snyder came out.

'...I’ve never taken the opportunity to tell my own story – that I am a Christian, an American, a West Virginian, a Young Democrat, a rural advocate, a singer-songwriter, a brother, a son, a grandson, a nephew, an uncle, and a gay man,' he wrote on the YDA website.

July 31, 2013

While Don't Ask, Don't Tell is over and soldiers are no longer running the risk of discharge, they could still be disgraced for not having married sex while overseas

Gay US soldiers in Afghanistan are using Craigslist to meet up and have sex with each other on bases.

Military commanders have forbidden any service members who are not married to each other from having sex, according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service are now tracking those hooking up in the war zone.

July 26, 2013

The Restore Honor to Service Members Act will help complete what the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell started

Mark Pocan, an out US House representative from the Midwestern state Wisconsin, joined Charlie Rangel, a representative from New York, to introduce a bill that would assist gay veterans discharged from the military because of their sexuality.

July 19, 2013

Anti-gay conservative Bryan Fiischer warns voters to be wary of US Senate candidate Liz Cheney

Bryan Fischer, the spokesperson for the conservative organization American Family Association, has come out against Liz Cheney's bid to join the US Senate.

The conservative commentator is worried the candidate, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, lacks his anti-gay fervor.

Fischer acknowledged Cheney has all the right positions when it comes to foreign policy but 'she will fight for the team wearing lavender instead of the team wearing red, white and blue.'

July 13, 2013

Outserve-SLDN's Executive Director Allyson Robinson steps down as the board head says the organization faces severe financial problems

In an email, OutServe-SLDN's board of director chair reveals the organization is bankrupt

April Heinze, the board of director chair, sent an email to members of the group's military advisory cmmittee. The memo, obtained by AMERICAblog, describes the gay military group's bleak financial present and future.

'The situation is bluntly that the organization was out of money and could not afford to maintain staff and infrastructure,' Heinze wrote.

July 7, 2013

Two years after the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, the Department of Defense held an official pride event in Kandahar for gay and lesbian American troops 

Gay and lesbian US troops stationed in Afghanistan got their chance to show their pride last week.

A video posted to the Department of Defense’s official Youtube channel shows video footage from other pride events, and interviews with US troops stationed in Kandahar Airfield.

One of the soldiers interviewed said: ‘I don’t want to be treated special, I just want to be treated equal,’ said one soldier who was interviewed.

‘People came to support people that they didn’t even know.’