Ousted as Gay, Aging Veterans Are Battling Again for Honorable Discharges

This is an important article in the Times. I’m not altogether sure that we’re teaching our young people just how oppressive it was for gay people even just a few short years ago. You think the Kentucky clerk of court psychodrama is crazy, you should have been around 40 years ago. Or five, for that matter.

I am a person of a ‘certain vintage,’ but even I can’t comprehend the savagery that was the status quo in the U.S. in the, say, 30-year period between the end of World War II and when I began to come of age and wonder about sexuality.

The military committed, perhaps, more of these atrocities against humanity than did just about anyone else. We owe generations and generations of veterans an enormous apology.

Ousted as Gay, Aging Veterans Are Battling Again for Honorable Discharges – The New York Times

Today the NYPD Hates Bill de Blasio; Tomorrow It May Be You

The Real Reason Police Hate Bill de Blasio.

Bill_de_Blasio

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio

This is an excellent short piece from Daily Kos. New York City’s police (some of them) are up in arms about remarks made by newly-installed mayor Bill de Blasio. They have taken offense at some things the mayor has said in the wake of police shootings in Gotham lately. At one of these public gatherings, de Blasio said this about his biracial son:

Chirlane and I have had to talk to Dante for years about the dangers that he may face. A good young man, law-abiding young man who would never think to do anything wrong. And yet, because of a history that still hangs over us, the dangers he may face, we’ve had to literally train him—as families have all over this city for decades—in how to take special care in any encounter he has with the police officers who are there to protect him.

Some members of the NYPD and some members of the public find these remarks insensitive. They say it shows the mayor doesn’t stand behind law enforcement. Really?

The mayor should never criticize law enforcement? Even when everyone knows there are serious racial problems, serious ethical problems, serious effectiveness problems in the force?

To me, not criticizing, not accepting ingrained bureaucracy and prejudice is both obscene and a dereliction of duty.

We need cops. I’m all for law enforcement. I’m all for peace officers. To protect and to serve. No matter who you are. What I’m not for are cowboys and race-baiters and gay-haters and misogynists. Saying that there are bad cops, telling your kid to look out for bad cops who will profile you — and maybe even rough you up — because of the color of your skin, that’s not anti-police. That’s intelligent governing and parenting.

Being critical of police is the only way we will make change happen. Otherwise, New York, greed, graft and corruption are self-perpetuating and hellish to get rid of. The corrupt love to hang onto power. If you’d like a primer on what corruption can do to a city — your city —please visit the Wikipedia entry for Tammany Hall.

What’s the Deal with Bathrooms? | Part I

Maine Court Rules In Favor Of Transgender Pupil.| Huffington Post Jan. 31, 2014

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — School officials violated state anti-discrimination law when they would not allow a transgender fifth-grader to use the girls’ bathroom, according to a ruling by the highest court in Maine that’s believed to be the first of its kind.

The family of student Nicole Maines and the Maine Human Rights Commission sued in 2009 after school officials required her to use a staff, not student, restroom.

“This is a momentous decision that marks a huge breakthrough for transgender young people,” said Jennifer Levi, director of the Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders’ Transgender Rights Project after the Maine Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling on Thursday.

This is the latest round of judicial tug-of-war over transgendered persons and use of restroom facilities.

I AM COMPLETELY BAFFLED BY OUR SUDDEN WORRIES OVER PEEING!

I’ve more to say on this — perhaps that’s obvious as this is labeled “Part I” — but if you have anything to say on the subject, please leave a comment below or send me a tweet.

I Was An NFL Player Until I Was Fired By Two Cowards And A Bigot

 

I Was An NFL Player Until I Was Fired By Two Cowards And A Bigot.

I don’t, as they say, “do football,” but this piece just solidifies my love for Chris Kluwe, one of our most vocal allies.

LGBT History Month 2013: 21 Influential Black LGBT Icons

LGBT History Month 2013: 21 Influential Black LGBT Icons.

An important list, I think. Often those of color were so marginalized in society that those that were gay were practically invisible.

Bayard Rustin, the gay, Quaker civil rights organizer. He is one of the unsung heroes of the last century's social movements.

Bayard Rustin, the gay, Quaker civil rights organizer. He is one of the unsung heroes of the last century’s social movements.

One social reformer that was not invisible was Bayard Rustin, the main organizer of the 1963 March on Washington. Rustin’s sexuality did, however, impact negatively on his place in history. Only now, 50 years after the March and two and a half decades after his death is his importance to civil rights and gay rights in the 20th century being reexamined.

OK Gov. Tells Guard Not to Process Benefits for Gay Couples

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has ordered the National Guard to stop processing requests for military benefits for same-sex couples, her office confirmed Tuesday, despite a Pentagon directive to do so.

Fallin spokesman Alex Weintz said the governor was following the wish of Oklahoma voters, who approved a constitutional amendment in 2004 that prohibits giving benefits of marriage to gay couples.

via Mary Fallin, Oklahoma Gov., Tells National Guard To Stop Processing Benefits For Gay Couples.

*sigh* It’s like living in a country run by wolves sometimes. With apologies to smart wolves.

John Barrowman Shows His Ass for NOH8

John Barrowman Bares Some Below-The-Belt Skin In New NOH8 Campaign Picture (PHOTO).|Huffington Post Gay Voices

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John Barrowman shows his ass. For a good cause, of course!

No one does bloody cheek like Barrowman. The video below is a perhaps unexpected eloquent case for marriage equality. It’s snarky and campy and deeply human and touching, just like the man himself.