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DADT: Obama, Defense Secretary, Joint Chiefs All Certify Gay Ban Repeal

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President Obama, Defense Secretary Panetta, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mullen this afternoon all certified that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), the ban on gays serving openly in the military can now be repealed without impacting military readiness or so-called unit cohesion. According to the Byrd Amendment, lesbian, gay, and bisexual members of the military can begin serving openly in 60 days, September 20. Until that date, however, DADT technically is still in effect. Today, coincidentally, marks seven months to the day President Obama signed into law the path to repeal, culminating in today’s repeal certification.

“Log Cabin Republicans are proud to have helped put an end to ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’” R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director, Log Cabin Republicans, said. “It is our hope that the clear precedent established in federal court that will ensure an absolute end to this unconstitutional law.”

“The days of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ are quite literally numbered. Very soon, gay and lesbian service members will be able to serve their country openly, honestly and with the dignity they deserve and for far too long were denied,” said Laura W. Murphy, director of the American Civil Liberties Union Washington Legislative Office. “While this policy’s repeal is a huge step forward, statutes that discriminate against LGBT Americans and their families remain intact. The demise of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ demonstrates that we should not write discrimination into our laws. Now is the time for Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.”

“Service members celebrate this historic announcement, and they are ready for this change,” Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, said today. “Our nation’s top military leaders have testified that commanders see no significant challenges ahead, and now the president, Secretary Panetta, and Chairman Mullen have certified to Congress that the armed forces are prepared for the end of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’”

“For far too long, lesbian, gay and bisexual servicemembers have had to hide their families in the shadows for fear of losing their careers and their ability to provide for their children,” said Family Equality Council Executive Director Jennifer Chrisler. “With certification comes a new day for those 65,000 men and women who selflessly serve our country and for their families who make tremendous sacrifices everyday.”

“While we still must wait 60 days for this change to formally take effect and for the law to officially be off the books, this step is nothing short of historic,” Alex Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United, said. ”This is the final nail in the coffin for the discriminatory, outdated, and harmful ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law.”

“This is a welcome step, and reflects what our members are saying, that the military is ready to move beyond ‘DADT’,” said “JD Smith,” active-duty co-director of OutServe, the association of actively serving LGBT military personnel, who is identified by a pseudonym while “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is still in effect. “In 60 days, my life and the lives of thousands of other gay and lesbian troops changes. I cannot be more proud to be able to serve during this time.”

“This day has been a long time in coming. Soon, we will see that gay and lesbian troops demonstrate the same professionalism that is the hallmark of our armed forces, and that all military personnel will prove more professional than some have given them credit for,” added OutServe spokesperson and combat vet Jonathan Hopkins.  “Through our work with the Pentagon, we are confident they have worked hard to devise smart policies as we move forward.  As we move forward, what matters most is leadership.”

“For far too long, the ban on openly gay service members has harmed our security and tarnished our values,” stated HRC President Joe Solmonese. “The President’s certification of repeal is a monumental step, not just for those forced to lie in order to serve, but for all Americans who believe in fairness and equality.

“There are many people who brought this historic day to fruition starting with the President’s tremendous leadership and the steadfast allies in Congress who refused to give in to the lies and fear mongering. Additionally we thank all of the brave men and women who have continued to wear the uniform under a policy that forced them to hide who they are.  The end of that shameful time is thankfully near.”

 

“Most people take it for granted that you are straight and talking about your loved ones in the workplace is a common and everyday occurrence,” said National Stonewall Democrats PAC board member Terry Fleming, who served for 10 years in the US Navy. “For gay and lesbian service members, avoiding those discussions, or worse, changing genders when talking about one’s spouse is difficult to say the least. I always felt like I was denying who I am and denying my partner’s importance in my life. This denial corrosively harms relationships and destroys families.”

 

 

For responses from service members and veterans, see Chris Johnson’s Washington Blade article.

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'WHAT'S THE NEXT LINE?'

‘Performative Drivel’: Marco Rubio Mocked and Schooled After Taking MLK Quote Out of Context

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Washington Post National Political Reporter Eugene Scott set the stage Sunday evening:

Sure enough, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio was only too happy to oblige, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The Florida Republican, who almost daily posts a Bible passage to Twitter, is notorious for being among the many conservatives who are battling Critical Race Theory, the right’s latest non-existent boogey man.

Rubio has introduced legislation with far right extremist U.S. Senators Mike Braun (R-IN) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND), to “prohibit federal funding to promote divisive concepts, such as Critical Race Theory.” A companion bill was introduced in the House by U.S. Representatives Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) and Virginia Foxx (R-NC).

Just as Scott warned, Senator Rubio posted a tweet that reads:

“When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.” Dr. Martin Luther King (1963)

It’s from the third paragraph of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, and it exposes Rubio’s ignorance and hypocrisy.

New York Times opinion columnist Jamelle Bouie was among those who asked, “so, uh, what’s the next line?”

Bouie offered Rubio the answer:

He was far from the only one to chastise and expose Rubio.

Equality Florida’s Press Secretary Brandon Wolf, a survivor of the Pulse Nightclub anti-LGBTQ hate crime massacre (which Rubio used to reverse his promise to never run for office again):

“And yet you filibuster his dream over and over,” tweeted American Independent Senior Writer Joshua Israel.

Nikole Hannah-Jones, the award-winning New York Times journalist and creator of “The 1619 Project”:

More:

 

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WTH?

Lara Trump Thinks Microsoft Office Assistant ‘Clippy’ Is a Real Person Spying on Everything She Writes

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Fox host Lara Trump either has a new conspiracy theory, or she is very confused.

Hosting the 5 p.m. EST hour, Trump was ranting about Microsoft Word’s Clippy and the suggested changes to words like “postman” into “letter carrier” and “mankind” into “humankind.” It’s part of the right’s latest attack on “wokism,” which they define as anything done in polite society that makes them uncomfortable.

“Someone is reading this?! And assessing what I’m writing?” Trump said, assuming that a person was actually watching and reading what she was typing in Word instead of an AI programed into what they call “office assistant.” It was once named Clippy, and it was never a real person.

According to Trump, the “office assistant” is a lot like her fancy new car that doesn’t require a key, just a push-button to start it. She said that the car wouldn’t start if she didn’t jingle the keys around. That’s false. Push-button start cars use safety technology that requires your foot on the break, the car in park, and the key fob in the car with you. It’s essentially a small low-frequency transmitter. So if the car won’t start, it’s likely that you need to replace the batteries.

According to Microsoft, the assistant doesn’t have to be turned on.

“The checker can be turned on and off in a menu called ‘Grammar & Refinements’, which lists everything it checks: Age bias, Cultural bias, Ethnic slurs, Gender bias, Gender-Neutral Pronouns, Gender-Specific Language, Racial Bias, Sexual Orientation Bias and Socioeconomic Bias,” said the statement.

See Lara Trump’s rant below:

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Die-Hard MAGA Trump Supporters in Arizona Think ‘It’s Very Possible’ States Will ‘Decertify’ the 2020 Election

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Donald Trump’s most recent rally in Arizona brought many opportunities for his supporters to explain why they think the former president will be back in office any day.

Politico spoke to a few MAGA folks on the ground at the event and got their thoughts on what’s next in the Trump movement.

“I hope states decertify the election. I want to hear him say it’s over, we are ready to move on and hold a new election,” Politico cited Ray Kallatsa from Tucson. “I do think it’s possible, very possible.”

His thoughts echo those of pillow mogul Mike Lindell, who spoke to the crowd ahead of the former president. He cited QAnon language.

“Can you feel the storm building? It’s America,” he said using the allusion of “the storm” which is part of the conspiracy group’s messaging.

The storm, “refers to excessive social conflict that is predicted to occur prior to society reaching the point of ‘The Great Awakening,’ explained Murray State University.

See the photos from the event at Politico.

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