July 29, 2010 at 3:53 pm EDT | by Staff reports
National news in brief

Choi discharged from Army

WASHINGTON — Dan Choi, the public face of protest against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has been honorably discharged from the Army National Guard.

Choi, who held the rank of lieutenant and was an Iraq war veteran, called the July 22 development “infuriating and painful,” but vowed that his fight against the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law “has only begun.”

“The true honor and dignity of service does not come from a piece of paper, a pension or paycheck, a rank or status,” he said in a statement. “Only an unflinching commitment to improve the lives of others can determine the nature of one’s service.

“From the first moment we put on our nation’s uniform and swore our solemn oath, we committed ourselves to fight for freedom and justice; to defend our Constitution and put the needs of others before our own. This is not an oath that I intend to abandon. Doing so at such a time, or remaining silent when our family and community members are fired or punished for who they truly are would be an unequivocal moral dereliction that tarnishes the honor of the uniform and insults the meaning of America.”

Choi announced he is gay on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” more than a year ago.

Lawyers seek injunction to halt ‘Don’t Ask’

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Lawyers for a gay Republican group say they will ask a federal judge in California to impose an injunction to halt the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law nationwide.

The Associated Press reported that lawyers for the Log Cabin Republicans made the request during their closing arguments July 23 in a Riverside courtroom.

The case is considered the policy’s biggest constitutional test in recent years. It has put the Obama administration in the awkward position of defending a policy the president wants repealed.

Government attorneys have said throughout the two-week trial that the matter should be decided by Congress — not a federal judge.

The government presented only the policy’s legislative history as its defense.

Fla. campaign signs defaced with anti-gay slur

NORTH MIAMI, Fla. — Campaign signs for Florida gay congressional candidate Scott Galvin have been found defaced with anti-gay slurs, according to his campaign.

Derek Newton, general consultant for the Galvin campaign, told the Blade that in the past several days between six and 10 signs have been found in North Miami spray-painted with the word “fag.”

“We’ve taken them down, obviously — had people calling in to report them and what-not,” Newton said. “It’s impossible to know who’s doing it, of course.”

Galvin, who serves on the North Miami City Council, is among nine contenders seeking the Democratic nomination to represent Florida’s 17th congressional district. The primary is set for Aug. 24.

Newton said the Galvin campaign informed the North Miami Police Department about the graffiti and is considering the next appropriate action.

Study: MTV leads in depicting gay characters

NEW YORK — MTV held a solid lead among 15 networks for its representation of gay characters last season, according to a new report.

In its fourth annual Network Responsibility Index, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation found that of MTV’s 207.5 hours of original prime-time programming, 42 percent included content reflecting the lives of gay, bisexual and transgender people. This earned MTV the first-ever “Excellent” rating from GLAAD.

“MTV programs like ‘The Real World’ and ‘America’s Best Dance Crew’ have offered richly diverse portrayals of gay and transgender people that help Americans better understand and accept our community,” said GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios.

Among broadcast networks, the CW was on top with 35 percent, while Fox ranked a close second with 30 percent. ABC, with 26 percent, got a “Good” rating, while NBC was “Adequate” with 13 percent. CBS’ 7 percent earned that network a “Failing” grade from the report.

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