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Servicemembers United outlines path for ‘Don’t Ask’ repeal

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The head of a gay veterans group estimates that Congress has between a 50 or 60 percent chance of legislatively ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” this year, but only if the Senate takes up a repeal measure before breaking for Thanksgiving recess.

Alex Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United, made public a video Thursday emphasizing the importance of bringing to the Senate floor no later than Nov. 22 the fiscal year 2011 defense authorization bill — legislation to which “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal language is passed.

“What happens if the defense authorization bill isn’t brought before the Senate recesses for Thanksgiving?” Nicholson says. “Well, it’s possible in theory to still get it done, but the chances go down from about 50 or 60 percent to about five or six percent.”

Nicholson estimates that debating and voting on the defense authorization bill could take about two weeks and another two weeks would be needed for the House and the Senate to conference the legislation. Therefore, bringing up the bill in November is necessary for having enough time to complete legislative work on the bill.

In September, the Senate failed to invoke cloture on moving forward with the fiscal year 2011 defense authorization bill. A unified GOP — along with Democratic Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) — voted against the motion to proceed.

Still, Nicholson dismisses speculation that the opportunity for legislative repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” this year has passed and maintains “there still is a path to get this done this year.”

“It’s a narrow path, it’s a delicate path,” he says. “But don’t let anyone tell you that the path does not exist because it certainly does. It’s just going to take a little patience to understand it and a lot of work and pressure on the right people to get this done.”

For the bill to have new life, Nicholson says pressure is needed on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to schedule the legislation for vote, on the White House to whip the votes necessary for repeal and on moderate Republicans to switch their votes from September to support moving the legislation to the Senate floor.

Watch the video here:

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Katie Murphy

    October 28, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    From what I’ve heard there are two senate seats (W VA and another), where the senator is a fill -in for a senator who died, and another one who apparently resigned, don’t remember details.

    And their seats go to the elected senator immediately after the election. given the 50-50 chance that the taliban will win one of htese seats, it doen’st look good. And lets not forget that their repub party eats its own young literally, like the SS did in Nazi Germany – say seig heil or else, as well as the party decides who are on the key committees that really control legislation.

    Lets not hold our breath on this one. Its almsot Friday. I’m spending almost all my time through tuesday volunteering for a good Dem who is livid over the existance of DADT. Will you all please go out and find a few good candidates, and help them win.

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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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