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Udall, Gillibrand circulate ‘Don’t Ask’ petition

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Colorado Senator Mark Udall (Blade photo by Michael Key)

Two U.S. senators at the forefront of efforts in Congress to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” are circulating a petition among supporters urging the U.S. Justice Department not to appeal a recent court ruling against the 1993 law.

On Monday, the campaigns for Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) sent out an e-mail blast asking supporters of open service in the U.S. military to sign a petition against a possible appeal while calling “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” an “outmoded law that hurts our military readiness.”

“Too many brave men and women have been hurt by ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,'” the letter states. “We must not lose one more service member because of this nonsensical law. As the judge ruled, [‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’] actually hurts our national security — and that is unacceptable at a time of two wars.”

In September, a federal district court in California determined in the case of Log Cabin Republicans v. United States that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is unconstitutional because it violates the First and Fifth Amendment rights of gay, lesbian and bisexual servicemembers.

The Justice Department has already issued an objection to the military-wide injunction against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” that plaintiffs have proposed as a result of winning the case.

However, U.S. District Court Virginia Phillips hasn’t yet entered judgment for the lawsuit and there is no set time for her to take that action. Once she enters judgment, the Justice Department will have 60 days to make a decision on whether or not to appeal the case to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Udall letter says an appeal from the Justice Department would undermine efforts in Congress to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

“Senator Gillibrand and I understand that only action by Congress can bring real finality to this issue,” the Udall letter states. “However, we believe an appeal of the recent federal court decision could set back efforts in the Senate to repeal [‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’]”

Last month, the Senate was unable to debate major defense legislation containing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal language because a vote of cloture on moving forward with the bill failed by 56-43. The votes of 60 senators were needed for the legislation to come to the Senate floor.

The Udall and Gillibrand petition comes on the heels of a letter the senators sent to the Justice Department advising the administration not to appeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” decision. A similar letter signed by 68 U.S. House members was also made public last month.

Udall and Gillibrand are circulating their letter among U.S. senators in hopes of finding more signatures to make a stronger statement to the Justice Department. A Democratic aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the letter currently has 16 signatures.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Tim

    October 6, 2010 at 5:48 am

    Obama had better not opt to appeal the decision to overturn DADT, because its obvious Congress can’t and/or won’t take action to repeal it. If the justice department opts not to appeal the decision it can be effectively overturned. I think Obama and the Dems owe us that, and they better not hide behind the bogus excuse of having to defend it the way they did with DOMA.

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Politics

Anti-LGBTQ Daily Wire host says 2 men shouldn’t be allowed to adopt babies

” […] because babies need mothers. They also need fathers, which is why two women shouldn’t be allowed either.”

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Screenshot of Matt Walsh via YouTube (Blade file photo)

NASHVILLE – Anti-LGBTQ Daily Wire podcast and YouTuber Matt Walsh joined the growing chorus of far-right and conservative voices outraged that U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg went on paternity leave from his job in August after he and his husband Chasten had adopted two children.

On his show Monday Walsh not only criticized Buttigieg, but he attacked same-sex couples adopting children altogether.

It’s absurd for any public employee, paid on taxpayer dime, to be given that much time off. Now, you can make an argument for women on maternity leave but not for men. Paternity leave is a nice luxury for private companies that can afford it. The U.S. government is not a private company – it’s a public institution, deeply in debt, failing in just about every way and everywhere. So this is not a time and not the place for those kinds of luxuries. But that’s the somewhat safer point to make, right? You are in a much more hazardous place, you are in more hazardous waters when you go away from that and, instead, you start saying mildly critical things about paternity leave in general as a concept.”

I also didn’t say that there’s nothing at all for a man to do for his family after a child is born. I said that as far as caring for the newborn himself, most of that is going to be done by the mother. She, in most cases, will be feeding the child. The child also needs and wants his mother’s presence, his mother’s touch, her voice. The father should be interacting with the baby also, obviously, but the infant is far more focused on his mother at that age. And needs his mother more. There is no mother in the Buttigieg household, but that doesn’t change the point here.”

Babies need their mothers, which is why two men shouldn’t be allowed to adopt babies in the first place. And the outrage mob can now start a secondary campaign over that comment. But I’ll say it again. Two men should not be allowed to adopt babies because babies need mothers. They also need fathers, which is why two women shouldn’t be allowed either.

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Politics

Pete Buttigieg calls out Tucker Carlson over attack

Fox News host mocked transportation secretary over paternity leave

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg (Washington Blade file photo)

Appearing remotely on MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace’s politics program Friday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called out Fox News host Tucker Carlson for the attack on his parental leave.

“This attack is coming from a guy who has yet to explain his apparent approval for the assassination of Harvey Milk, ” Buttigieg said.

During his Thursday evening program Carlson said, “Pete Buttigieg has been on leave from his job since August after adopting a child—paternity leave, they call it—trying to figure out how to breastfeed. No word on how that went. But now he’s back in office as the transportation secretary and he’s deeply amused, he says, to see that dozens of container ships can’t get into this country.”

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National

Biden recognizes National Coming Out Day as time to honor LGBTQ people

White House statement denounces ‘bullying and harassment’

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President Biden recognized Oct. 11 as National Coming Out Day in a statement on Monday calling the occasion a time to celebrate the “courage of LGBTQ+ people who live their lives with pride, create community with open arms and hearts, and showcase the strength of being your authentic self.”

Biden ticked off in the statement the achievements on LGBTQ policy, including signing an executive order on his first day in his office ordering federal agencies to implement the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year against anti-LGBTQ discrimination to the furthest extent possible.

“Despite the extraordinary progress our nation has made, our work to ensure the full promise of equality is not yet done. Anti-LGBTQ+ bills still proliferate in state legislatures,” Biden said. “Bullying and harassment — particularly of young transgender Americans and LGBTQ+ people of color — still abounds, diminishing our national character. We must continue to stand together against these acts of hate, and stand up to protect the rights, opportunities, physical safety, and mental health of LGBTQ+ people everywhere.”

Read Biden’s full statement below:

Statement by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on National Coming Out Day

Today, we celebrate National Coming Out Day and the courage of LGBTQ+ people who live their lives with pride, create community with open arms and hearts, and showcase the strength of being your authentic self. Today and every day, I want every member of the LGBTQ+ community to know that you are loved and accepted just the way you are – regardless of whether or not you’ve come out.

My Administration is committed to ensuring that LGBTQ+ people can live openly, proudly, and freely in every corner of our nation. I am proud to lead an Administration with LGBTQ+ officials serving openly at the highest levels of government — and prouder that together we have made historic progress advancing protections and equal opportunities for the LGBTQ+ community. From acting on Day One to prevent and combat discrimination, to enabling all qualified Americans – including transgender Americans – to serve their country in uniform, to defending the human rights of LGBTQ+ people around the world, my Administration has been clear that we will continue to champion the dignity, equality, and wellbeing of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Despite the extraordinary progress our nation has made, our work to ensure the full promise of equality is not yet done. Anti-LGBTQ+ bills still proliferate in state legislatures. Bullying and harassment — particularly of young transgender Americans and LGBTQ+ people of color — still abounds, diminishing our national character. We must continue to stand together against these acts of hate, and stand up to protect the rights, opportunities, physical safety, and mental health of LGBTQ+ people everywhere. From defeating discriminatory bills to passing the Equality Act, we have more work to do to ensure that every American can live free of fear, harassment, and discrimination because of who they are or whom they love.

To LGBTQ+ people across the country, and especially those who are contemplating coming out: know that you are loved for who you are, you are admired for your courage, and you will have a community — and a nation — to welcome you. My Administration will always have your back, and we will continue fighting for the full measure of equality, dignity, and respect you deserve.

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