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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Blogswarm to get HRC to Take Action on DADT

Pam Spaulding has more.

The role of HRC in pressing the WH

The largest LBGT organization in the country, the Human Rights Campaign -- with nearly a million members, according to president and executive director Joe Solmonese -- is seen by the White House, Congress, and the mainstream media as the community's official representative inside the Beltway. HRC had the ear of the White House -- attending strategy meetings on LGBT policy, and appeared numerous times at public social and political events, such as the signing of the hate crimes bill.

While many in the LGBT community have criticized HRC on many occasions (including yours truly), the motivation, at least on my part, I cannot speak for others, is that its position and responsibility is so critical now that we have an administration that has made promises --and dodged action.

Why now?

If DADT is not repealed in 2010, you're not going to see it happen in this administration's first term. Between retirements, deaths, and poor leadership, Democratic control of Congress is in jeopardy this year. When Scott Brown won the "Ted Kennedy" seat in Massachusetts, you saw a distinct panic and desire to move to the middle, a signal that hot button issues (read: civil rights for LGBTs) were going to be submerged, deemed too controversial. The administration cannot guarantee there will be a second term either.

Repealing DADT is not controversial with the public -- polls have been strongly in favor of repeal for some time now with Colin Powell and Dick Cheney of all people calling for repeal. There is no reason for timidity in calling for accountability now that Secretary of Defense Gates and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mullen have called for this policy to end.

Tax-paying LGBTs have pulled out their wallets for the Human Rights Campaign for years, waiting for the day their investment would result in action once a gay-friendly administration and Congress were finally in place. Now is the time time to act. We need the full force of HRC flexing its political muscle to call for the President to publicly press for repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell.

If we have "White House officials" floating that it could take years before repeal, then we know there is not leadership going on at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But we do know that repeal of DADT could be included in the Defense Budget he sends to Congress soon if pressed to do so.

What can you do?

This is a call for you to tell HRC that it's time to use its role and reach in an assertive, public manner as other organizations -- such as the AFL-CIO -- have had to do to move its issues onto the priority list of this White House.

HRC Front Desk: (202) 628-4160
TTY: (202) 216-1572
Toll-Free: (800) 777-4723

Nancy Elliott Reprise

Remember Rep. Nancy Elliott, who shared her anal sex fantasies at a hearing to repeal same sex marriage in New Hampshire? Well now she has been called to back up her claims that anal sex is being taught to 5th graders in the Nashua public schools, and she has now backed off her claim.

CONCORD – Merrimack Republican State Rep. Nancy Elliott apologized Tuesday and withdrew her claim that gay sex was being taught to fifth graders in Nashua public schools.

At the beginning of a House Judiciary Committee meeting, Elliott read a statement.

“I would like to apologize to Judiciary Committee, the Nashua public schools and its employees and the speaker as well as anyone else affected by what I said,’’ Elliott said. “I will try much harder in the future to verify fully my statement.’’

The Telegraph reported Friday on Elliott’s comments, made during a judiciary committee hearing last week for a bill that would repeal same-sex marriage, in which she said she had been told by a “mother” that fifth-graders in Nashua had been shown pictures of naked men and taught about gay sex. Nashua school officials insisted her charge was false.

“This statement made in the Judiciary Committee had caused some controversy so I went back to my source for the statement to verify the information that I had received,’’ Elliott said. “I found that I could not confirm the accuracy of the information.”

From the comments:

Nancy Elliott's To Do List
1. Make a weak attempt at covering my a$$ (DONE)
2. Apologize to Nashua educators and students for getting them caught up in my lies
3. Apologize to GLBT community for attempting to deny them their civil rights
4. Apologize to citizens of Merrimack for making people think we're ALL idiots
5. Apologize to fellow NH Representatives for my vile public sex talk and video
6. Apologize to police for asking them to investigate my false report and making them look bad
7. Apologize to YouTube for bogging down their servers from downloads of my vile video
8. Apologize to Republican party for being yet another unbridled wing nut
9. Apologize to staff, pack up my office and put boxes into storage
10. Apologize to God, parents and family for not making better use of my life

well yeah watch em all distance themselves from her. Now some other house republican is carrying the torch to repeal same sex marriage in NH. But thanks to the power of the internet the video will never, ever go away. It's there forever and for always and we can use it to hammer home the message of the kind of mentality that is anti-civil rights. It can be used in other state battles as well. Good Going Nancy!!!

Nancy Elliott is a liar. The withdrawal of her egregious and inflammatory statements proves what many have known all along: that she has no credibility and no business being in public office. Rather than serve the interests of her constituents, she uses her position as a platform to spew bigotry, hate and insults.

Ms. Elliott has lied to her peers, made a mockery of her office and the Government of the State of New Hampshire. This has played out on a global technological stage to worldwide jeers and disgust. The negative attention she has generated through her lies will likely be economically damaging to many New Hampshire industries as her actions reflect poorly on the perception businesses have of our state as a stable, tolerant and inclusive place.

The only acceptable apology from Ms. Elliott should be her resignation. We must take steps immediately to remove her from office before she causes further damage and embarrassment to the State and it's residents. Letting the world know we do not tolerate behavior such as Ms. Elliott's will be a good start to what may be a lengthy repair process.

Rep. Nancy Elliott's remarks have made international news.

Monday, February 15, 2010

WaPo's Piece on Rachel Maddow and Her Coverage of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Check it out here.

It was a dramatic moment for Lt. Dan Choi -- revealing his sexual orientation on national television -- but he couldn't resist paying tribute to the host.

"I love your show, Rachel," Choi said. And then, last March, he told Rachel Maddow why he was there: "By saying three words to you today -- 'I am gay' -- those three words are a violation of Title 10 of the U.S. Code. . . . Basically, they want us to lie about our identity."

Seconds later the satellite feed went down, and the glitch forced the Army lieutenant to come back to the MSNBC program the following night. But it was the start of a sustained effort that reached a milestone this month when the nation's top military officer said he wanted to abolish the hotly debated policy of "don't ask, don't tell" -- at a hearing attended by Maddow.

As one of the few openly gay television anchors, Maddow has kept the spotlight trained on the contentious issue of whether service members known to be homosexual should face discharge proceedings, as Choi did after that interview. But she doesn't view herself as mounting a crusade.

"I was an activist before I went into the media," Maddow says. "It is useful for me to tell my opinion on some things I cover. But I'm not trying to get people to march in the streets or call their congressmen. I don't believe that's my role."

Read the whole thing.

Advocate's Kerry Elseveld Challenges HRC

Why has HRC accomplished so little for the gay community since Obama has been elected President, and Democrats hold strong majorities in both houses? Kerry Elseveld's piece in the Advocate sheds some light on this matter.