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Lt. Dan Choi’s Military Board Recommends Discharge



West Point grad Lt. Dan Choi, an Iraq War veteran and Arabic linguist, is gay. He came out recently on The Rachel Maddow Show. And today he had his discharge hearing. Because if you’re in the U.S. military, and you’re gay, and you get found out, you get kicked out. That’s the way “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” works.

Today, in Syracuse, NY, a military board recommended Choi be discharged for being gay. It is not the final step. The Post-Standard reports:

“The recommendation is not a final decision. Another recommendation will be made by the Commander of the First Army, a regional branch of the army. The chief of the National Guard Bureau has the final decision.

“I’m disappointed,” said Choi at a news conference tonight.”Today was a setback for me.”

But Choi said he plans to appeal to higher ranking officers. “I refuse to lie about my love relationship,” he said.”

Here’s a shot from Lt. Choi’s Twitter page, taken just moments ago:


Choi became a bit of an LGBTQ celebrity, thanks to his intelligence, passion, and dedication to his country. I had the honor of hearing him speak recently at the NYC Gay Pride Rally. He was truly impressive. One of the most impressive things about Lt. Choi is that he has said repeatedly that if he is discharged, and DADT is repealed, he will be the first in line to re-enlist.

Here’s Choi on The Rachel Maddow Show:

There was surprisingly little news about today’s events. Leading up to today, Courage Campaign posted an online petition to save Lt. Choi’s job. Over 260,000 people have signed it. Here’s the only news we have, via Knights Out, the organization Choi and others founded for LGBT military members. Here’s what Choi wrote, in reverse chronological order, I believe:

“More updates…expected verdict soon.

More from Dan Choi:

About three hours of deliberation and no vrdict yet. Every witness on both sides said I was an asset to the unit and the only evidence were statements of homosexuality . My statement included Arabic poem, I am gay, refuse to lie, my duty to ensure the message to every gay soldier that they are not alone.

Message from Dan Choi….2:50pm

“Still awaiting their verdict… I’ve received support text messages from around the world, and most importantly the members of my unit. My statement talked about Army values of integrity and sending a message from Knights Out to all the deployed soldiers or anyone who feels isolated, that indeed NO soldier stands alone. (Outside the hearing room is a poster with that exact message.) I also said I am gay. I refused to lie, and told them I refuse to stay silent, particularly since the soldiers in my unit respect honesty above personal gain. I recited the Iraqi poem of historic fame and of course translated it myself. In Arabic English and transliterated English. I presented the total 260,000 support letters and signatures to include statements by generals, admirals, and congressmen. I refuse to go quietly, and explained this as my duty.”

Updates from the hearing…from Sue Fulton…communications director

10:55am: Still no word from Dan, but 2 local tv stations are outside the gate. Marg, Pen, and I have a press rm set up @ the hotel.

11:41am: Dan at lunch break and afterwards the board plans to deliberate. Margaret suggests calling governor and president asking for immediate intervention! Tell them 3 brave women were prepared to support and stand up for Dan…why won”t they? Call now!

11:46am: Dan had just come out and talked to reporters so thank God I stayed off camera. CNN-NBC affiliate was happy so that’s good.

1:30pm: Back at the Best Western awaiting news from Dan. Inside now so it stopped raining again

1:43pm: Last night Margaret helped Dan print out OVER 150 letters of support! Plus 250,000 petition signatures.

At 8:00 am on Tuesday, June 30th, in Syracuse, NY, a board of Army Officers will convene to determine the fate of 1LT Dan Choi’s military career.

The address is 6900 Thompson Road, Syracuse, NY.

NOW is the time for FULL CITIZENSHIP for all Americans – for all the rights and responsibilities that some Americans take for granted – including the right for LGBT individuals to serve in the military.

Please continue to check the website for updates. If you can attend a protest rally in Syracuse, contact”

The post is dated Mon, 06/29/2009 – 06:53, but it seems that’s the original date and it was updated this afternoon a few times.

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Jack Smith Asks SCOTUS to Rule on Major Trump Claim in ‘Unexpected Move’



Special Counsel Jack Smith is asking the conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court to rule on a major leg of Donald Trump’s defense, that he is immune from any prosecution for actions he took while President.

Smith’s question now before the justices: “Whether a former President is absolutely immune from federal prosecution for crimes committed while in office or is constitutionally protected from federal prosecution when he has been impeached but not convicted before the criminal proceedings begin.”

MSNBC on-air called it “an unexpected and fascinating legal move.”

The justices can agree to take up the question or refuse.

The Special Counsel has requested an expedited decision.

READ MORE: Clarence Thomas Vehemently Objects to LGBTQ Conversion Therapy Case Denial by SCOTUS

U.S> District Judge Tanya Chutkan has already ruled Trump can be prosecuted for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Trump has appealed and is attempting to put the entire case on hold until a ruling has been made.

“Smith is attempting to bypass the appeals court,” the Associated Press reports. “The request filed Monday for the Supreme Court to take up the matter directly reflects Smith’s desire to keep the trial, currently for March 4, on track and to prevent any delays that could push back the case until after next year’s presidential election.”


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Clarence Thomas Vehemently Objects to LGBTQ Conversion Therapy Case Denial by SCOTUS



The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear a case challenging the state of Washington’s law banning anti-LGBTQ conversion therapy for minors, but in the 6-3 decision Justices Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, and Clarence Thomas said they would have taken the case. Justice Thomas vehemently objected to the Court’s decision, using his dissent to declare the practice – denounced as dangerous by major medical organizations and as torture by organizations and some who have been subjected to it – a First Amendment issue.

NBC News reports, “the court left in place a state law that bars therapists from counseling minors to change sexual orientation or gender identity, a practice favored by some conservatives.”

Conversion therapy, which experts say is unsuccessful and has been labeled child abuse or fraud, aims to change an LGBTQ individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Human Rights Campaign has published the statements of 15 medical groups’ positions against conversion therapy, and of a coalition of medical, mental health, education, and religious groups also opposing the practice.

Courthouse News, reporting on the Court’s refusal to take up the case, noted, “State lawmakers enacted the law to protect the physical and psychological well-being of minors, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. A 2018 study found that over 60% of children who received conversion therapy attempted suicide.”

READ MORE: ‘They’re Coming After Our Children’: Watch Casey DeSantis’ Dystopian Fear-Mongering Ad

When accepting or denying a case for review, Supreme Court justices are under no obligation to identify their vote by name, much less submit legal arguments for their positions, but on this issue Justice Thomas included a multiple-page dissent.

Thomas insisted conversion therapy is an issue of free speech, despite that methods used in the U.S. and around the world can range from talk therapy to medication, surgery, electro-shock “therapy,” and even “physical and psychological violence” according to a statement opposing conversion therapy from the Independent Forensic Expert Group on Conversion Therapy.

“There is little question that SB 5722 regulates speech and therefore implicates the First Amendment. True, counseling is a form of therapy, but it is conducted solely through speech,” Thomas wrote in his dissent. “A law that restricts speech based on its content or viewpoint is presumptively unconstitutional and may be upheld only if the state can prove that the law is narrowly tailored to serve compelling state interests.”

Justice Thomas did not appear to consider the state’s primary role and compelling interest in protecting minors.

He also wrongly claimed, “under SB 5722, licensed counselors cannot voice anything other than the state-approved opinion on minors with gender dysphoria without facing punishment.”

CNN reports, “Under the law, a licensed therapist can discuss conversion therapy with minors or recommend it be performed by others such as a religious counselor, but a licensed therapist cannot perform it.”

READ MORE: Peter Doocy Admits No ‘Concrete Evidence Joe Biden Personally Profited’ From Hunter’s Business

Ignoring the numerous statements, studies, and positions of experts that conversion therapy is both unsuccessful in its aims and dangerous to the health of those who undergo the discredited practice, Justice Thomas wrote that under the Washington state law known as SB 5722, “licensed counselors can speak with minors about gender dysphoria, but only if they convey the state-approved message of encouraging minors to explore their gender identities.”

“Expressing any other message is forbidden—even if the counselor’s clients ask for help to accept their biological sex,” he continued. “That is viewpoint-based and content-based discrimination in its purest form. As a result, SB 5722 is presumptively unconstitutional, and the state must show that it can survive strict scrutiny before enforcing it.”

Justice Thomas also appeared to invite additional challenges to laws banning conversion therapy, which now exist in 22 states and the District of Columbia, according to the Movement Advancement Project.

“Although the Court declines to take this particular case, I have no doubt that the issue it presents will come before the Court again. When it does, the Court should do what it should have done here: grant certiorari to consider what the First Amendment requires,” Thomas wrote.

Issuing only a short statement that he agreed with Justice Thomas’ decision, Justice Alito called the case “a question of national importance.”

“It is beyond dispute that these laws restrict speech, and all restrictions on speech merit careful scrutiny,” he added.

In 2020, the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law reported on a study that found “non-transgender LGB people who experienced conversion therapy were almost twice as likely to think about suicide and to attempt suicide compared to their peers who hadn’t experienced conversion therapy.”

READ MORE: ‘Corruption of the Highest Order’: Experts ‘Sickened’ at ‘Definitely Bought’ Clarence Thomas and His ‘Pay to Play’ Lifestyle




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‘His Own Worst Enemy’: These Liabilities Could Sink Trump if He’s the Nominee



Former President Donald Trump is not only the clear frontrunner in the 2024 GOP presidential primary — he also has single-digit leads over Democratic incumbent President Biden in some national polls as well as some swing-state polls.

Wall Street Journal and Emerson College polls released in early December find Trump leading Biden by 4 percent in a hypothetical 2024 matchup, although Biden has a 1 percent lead in an Economist/YouGov poll conducted December 2-5.

But in an article published on December 11, The New Republic’s Walter Shapiro argues that Trump has some major liabilities as a candidate and that Biden can use them against him if he plays his cards right.

POLL: Should Trump be allowed to hold office again?

“With the stakes so high,” Shapiro writes, “Democrats keep trying —and failing — to find emotional sustenance in the polls. But Trump has led Biden in 16 of the 21 national horserace polls conducted in the last month. The common explanations for Biden’s poll-vault problems feed the fear factor: the president’s age (81), waning support from Black voters, disaffection among younger voters, and Bronx cheers on handling the economy. But — and, boy, is this a big ‘but’ — polls more than 11 months before a presidential election have the accuracy of a blindfolded archer.”

Shapiro lays out some issues that Biden could use to inflict serious damage on Trump’s campaign in the general election, including: (1) abortion and Trump’s role in the demise of Roe v. Wade, (2) Trump’s legal problems, and (3) Trump’s “threat to democracy.”

“This time around,” Shapiro warns, “Trump has made clear that he intends to be a competent authoritarian surrounded by lackeys rather than just a foam-at-the-mouth-in-the-Oval-Office madman. In every public appearance, Trump gives the impression that in his second term, he wants to have the power to issue orders like, ‘Take that man outside and have him shot.’ Assuming Trump is anointed as the GOP nominee, 2024 is shaping up as America’s first ‘Yes, it can happen here’ election.”

READ MORE: Mehdi Hasan slams ‘unhinged’ MAGA lawyer who’d make ‘Trump’s darkest fascist impulses’ a reality

Read The New Republic’s full article at this link.

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