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Europe’s Islam problem and U.S. immigration policy

We must contain this very real threat to liberty

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Muslims, gay news, Washington BladeI come from the American Left. I am a feminist. I am a gay rights activist. These commitments form the core of my professional and personal life. Consequently, the argument I am about to make for tighter U.S. controls on the immigration of Muslims may surprise some readers. It shouldn’t. Islam is endemically antithetical to the well-being of gay people—primarily the people about whom and for whom I write. American liberals don’t want to hear this argument, however, because they share, ironically, with American conservatives a rather unreflective commitment to the defense of religion at all costs. Conservatives think the answer to most any problem is their religion. Increasingly, liberals seem to think that the answer is simply more religion—something they like to call diversity.   

Because I am a lawyer, evidence matters to me. As the world still reels from the attack in Berlin, in which a Muslim drove a truck into a crowded market leaving 12 dead, we must realize that pretending that these attacks are random is a deadly charade. The Berlin massacre was a copycat of an even deadlier massacre, also perpetrated by an Islamist in a vehicle, in Nice, France. Only days before the Berlin attack, a 12-year-old Muslim boy attempted to blow up a crowd of people (by blowing up himself) elsewhere in Germany. In July, a Muslim attacked tourists with an ax on a German train. Deadly bombings in Paris and the Charlie Hebdo murders were also committed by Muslims. The list goes on. In America, the deadliest mass shooting on record was perpetrated by a Muslim who purposefully targeted the gay community by shooting up an Orlando gay club. And, of course, there is a much longer list of Muslim homicidal acts, including the well-publicized San Bernardino shootings and the Boston marathon bombings. If anything approaching this kind of destruction had been unleashed under the banner of any political organization, the Nazis or Klan for examples, the Left would be quick to condemn and short on tolerance for adherents who ask us to believe that they only subscribe to the ideology’s nonlethal tenets. Because this mayhem is perpetrated in the name of religion, however, the gloves stay on. Even when the murderers tell us so in no uncertain terms, we are admonished not to believe them that their religion commands their behavior.

Of course, there are Muslims who do not subscribe to anti-gay views. I am frequently told that there are 1.5 billion Muslims, with the majority being peaceful and tolerant, etc., ad nauseam. Actually, the opposite is true. A majority of the world’s Muslims participate in an Islam that is overtly hostile to gays and to Western ideals of equality. Islamic law is clear: the penalty for homosexuality is death. The exact method varies depending on the version of sharia law enforced, but dead is dead. In most sharia countries, homosexuality is punishable by death. In those where it isn’t, whippings, public humiliation, and/or prison are par. And Muslims, unlike many immigrant communities, generally have no intention of integrating into more enlightened Western concepts of equality or tolerance.    

A survey of Muslims living in Britain in 2016 found more than half of them believing that homosexuality should be illegal. In Amsterdam, long revered by my generation as the “gay capital” of Europe, gay-bashings and murders have risen sharply with the influx of Muslim immigrants and “refugees,” with some primarily Muslim neighborhoods now being entirely off-limits to Dutch gays.

The Koran, which I have read cover to cover, calls unequivocally for conquest and colonization for the propagation of Islam. Sadly, colonization of Europe may now be irreversible. In the United States, their numbers are still small enough to make the threat Islam poses less grave. We—particularly those of us who cherish ideals like gay rights and the equality of women and men—cannot afford political correctness. We cannot afford the propaganda. Of course, certain exceptions must be made for women and gay people facing real oppression at the hands of Islamic families and governments, but we must not risk an open door to an ideology that imperils our most cherished values—and our lives. We owe it to ourselves and our most vulnerable citizens to contain this very real threat to liberty.

A professor of law and of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Wake Forest University, Shannon Gilreath is the author of ‘The End of Straight Supremacy: Realizing Gay Liberation.’

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113 Comments

113 Comments

  1. Jim Driscoll

    January 19, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    A wise and courageous piece. When will LGBTs wake up? Or the US legal profession for that matter? Sharia is inimical to Universal Human Rights, that is why Islamic countries refuse to endorse UHR. How is it possible for Sharia believers to support the US Constitution and our laws when their announced purpose is to replace our laws and rights with Sharia? There are moderate cultural Muslims just as their are cultural Christians; individuals should not suffer discrimination simply because they are from a Muslim culture. However, if they support Sharia and want to it to replace our laws, they should remain in Sharia countries. Sharia believers are threats in the same way as Stalinists or Nazis:
    they suspend human rights in pursuit of world dominance. No Islam is not a religion of peace, it seeks and worships power by any means.

    • Keith

      January 24, 2017 at 9:46 am

      Whilst I agree with you that moderate cultural muslims should not be persecuted because of their religion we have the following problem.
      Those moderate cultural muslims are the ones who shout Islam is the religion of peace after every terrorist attack, they are the ones who hide the violent terrorists in their midst. Most of them would not report one of
      their co-religionists who was planning a terrorist attack.

      • Ron Staiger

        June 16, 2017 at 11:11 am

        The extremist Muslim is the one who slits your throat while the “moderate” Muslim holds you down.

        • Keith

          June 17, 2017 at 2:39 am

          Too true

  2. LesbianTippingHabits

    January 19, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Not re tipping, but LGBTQ media should report on Muslim support [if any] of tolerance and equality for people who are different, including the LGBTQ community. Thank you.

    • lnm3921

      January 19, 2017 at 9:58 pm

      Dang, no tipping comment? Now we now something has frozen over along with Hogs flying as Trump swarms into DC!

  3. Jason Jehosephat

    January 19, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    “The Koran, which I have read cover to cover, calls unequivocally for conquest and colonization for the propagation of Islam.” Whereas, whether their scripture explicitly told them to do it or not, readers of the New Testament were the scourge of several continents for several centuries, and some of their descendants today speak without a sense of irony about how that history here makes this a “Christian nation”.

    Remember what conditions were like for gays in the United States 50 years ago and how churches overwhelmingly viewed us. Compare that to the situation today, including the schism of the Episcopal church over the choice of a large segment of that denomination to choose siding with us over unity.

    • John

      January 20, 2017 at 4:08 pm

      “Is this real, or is this like the canard

      It’s very real. Most of the muslim attacks on gays now taking place in Europe are either under-reported or not reported at all.

      And it’s precisely because of the mentality outlined in this article.

    • madge hirsch

      January 21, 2017 at 3:32 pm

      Birmingham is not under Sharia law but large swathes of East Birmingham have an Islamic monoculture and just recently there have been attacks on white joggers and cyclists being pushed into the canals by gangs of Muslim youths. I lived there from 1988 to 2001 and back then a kuffar woman could not get served before a Muslim man in a Muslim owned veg shop on Soho Road in Handsworth ( a mainly Sikh / Afro Caribbean area at that time). I doubt any gay couples would choose to frequent areas like Sparkbrook, Bordesley Gren or Washwood Heath.

      • mark

        January 21, 2017 at 10:22 pm

        Birmingham has had no go area for over 10 years!

        • madge hirsch

          January 22, 2017 at 6:27 am

          Not surprising.

  4. lnm3921

    January 19, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    Religion itself it not the problem. Religious extremism is whether it comes in the form of Christianity or Islam or any other faith. Our safety, freedom and lives as LGBT or whatever, has been threatened by both here and abroad ever since we’ve come out of the shadows and demanded our rights. We see how orthodox Christianity In Russia for example has led to laws that won’t even allow us free speech without being imprisoned or beaten to keep us in line even by the police. In some African countries, we see some Christian extremists that are so hateful that they will even desecrate a person’s final resting place if they are thought to be GLBT. I think I read that actually happened.

    Don’t be duped into thinking that Christian extremists are somehow less a threat to us than Muslim extremists. The worst of the lot think we deserve capital punishment. Religious Freedom Acts here can be a huge threats that should be taken very seriously. I’ve seen how such legislation makes these people think they have government sanction to harm us first hand.

    GLBT in America today take a great deal for granted and have no concept of how dangerous it was to simply be out on 30 years ago. Simply stating your sexuality in a room would bring it to silence and you would be looked at with fear, scorn or ridicule. A lot of those people are still around today only older. Family disowned you, friends would drop you. You’d be afraid of losing your job. People driving around with their friends looking to bash you was common as was hearing slurs.

    • WalterBannon

      January 20, 2017 at 11:23 am

      Wrong you cultural marxist buffoon.

      Islam is the problem.

      not any of your boogeyman arguments about “christian extremists” etc.

      Just islam

      • lnm3921

        January 20, 2017 at 12:52 pm

        You lying right wing fascist wad of snot! You can’t erase the blatant right-wing christian threat we face from extremist christian preachers such as:

        Stephen L. Anderson of Tempe Arizona

        Kevin Swanson of Colorado

        Roger jiminez of Sacramento, CA

        All advocate capital pumisemt for homosexualty!!

        • John

          January 20, 2017 at 4:15 pm

          Can you tell me what *Marc Lepine’s* real name was?

          And could you tell us the name of the Mosque he attended?

          • lnm3921

            January 20, 2017 at 6:57 pm

            So now the nutwing is asking about a Canadian terrorist who murdered in Canada in the late eighties. Really?

            Shall we talk about Christian terrorists such as Eric Rudolph who bombed a gay bar in Atlanta? How about David Koresh and Jim Jones for that matter? Timothy McVeigh?

        • mark

          January 21, 2017 at 10:23 pm

          Slither somewhere else muhamad

          • lnm3921

            January 22, 2017 at 12:45 am

            Only after you get my fatal bite rodent!

    • mobuyus

      January 20, 2017 at 12:20 pm

      Move to an islamic shithole and some inbreeds will toss you off a tall building.

      • lnm3921

        January 20, 2017 at 12:56 pm

        Open your mouth so my shithole can feed you! You Dung Beetle!!!

        I face the reality of all threats here not just what is politically expedient for losers like you! The right wing lives in perpetual denial. Tell it to the sheep that were duped by trump!

      • lnm3921

        January 20, 2017 at 7:02 pm

        Not disputing they can be a threat. Only pointing out that their religion isn’t the only one to GLBT! The right-wing has a way of ignoring the elephant in the room when it comes to Christianity.

        • Richard

          January 21, 2017 at 11:06 am

          Sometimes you may have to join forces with someone you don’t like much in order to defeat a bigger threat. We allied with Stalin in WW2 to defeat Hitler.

          The islamic problem isn’t just an LGBT one – it is a problem for EVERYONE. Christians themselves get persecuted in Islamic countries wtiness the Copts who were executed by ISIS. If the Islamic problem isn’t defeated the LGBT community have no chance.

          Did you not notice that the progress that was made has happened pretty much exclusively in countries with a Christian cultural tradition?

          The fact is that when Christians persecute the LGBT community they do so in defiance of their faith (and before you bring up the old testament please note that Jesus said “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

          Any interpretation that is inconsistent with that statement is a misinterpretation andin case you get hung up on the loving God bit – bear in mind the following from the 1st letter of John

          “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he
          that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom
          he hath not seen?”

          The truth is that you have aproblem from Bad Christians -but you have a bigger problem from Good Muslims.

          • lnm3921

            January 21, 2017 at 11:18 am

            I have a problem with both! You’re asking me to support the lesser of two evils to defeat a purported bigger evil.
            The thing is once we defeat the common enemy our “ally” quickly turns against us. If you believe that homosexuality is wrong as a religion, and a choice that can be changed, you can’t expect that to change.

            I’m used to having multiple enemies. We each can fight in our own ways to defeat the ones we have in common. The enemy of my enemy really isn’t always my friend as you will always be against me because you believe GLBT is wrong and just as evil!

    • Arealgirl88

      January 20, 2017 at 7:07 pm

      Your view is quite inaccurate. The westboro baptist church has 30-50 members out of a country of nearly 300 million christians. They actively expouse non violence. They may show up at funerals with signs, but they have never been on record physically harming anyone or violating anyone’s rights, which is why the supreme court has repeatedly defended their right to protest funerals. Christian extermists are not the equivalent of Islamic extremists, who commit terror, rape and enslave on a daily basis. What you don’t understand is that Christian extremists, like westboro baptist church, are actually more liberal and moderate than MAINSTREAM muslims in most of the Islamic world. yes, that is right. There are 10 countries where homosexuality is punishable by death- all of them are Muslim. Clear majorities of over a dozen Islamic countries want shariah to be the basis of all laws (including stoning adulterers and executing people that leave the faith). This comes from data collected from several of most reputable research organizations in the world.

      The problem is not extremism. The problem is Islam. By that I mean what the vast majority of organized Islamic institutions teach today. Individual muslims may be tolerate towards gays, but nearly all denominations teach not only intolerace but state sanctioned violence towards gays.

      • lnm3921

        January 20, 2017 at 7:34 pm

        Is it now? In Uganda, a Christian nation they wanted to pass a law that not only imprisoned you for life but anyone supporting GLBT. This was encouraged by Americans Christians. They wanted to add capital punishment until the world pressured them against it! Many Christian based nations in Africa are hostile and violent toward GLBT. Stop pretending otherwise!

        Further, Eric Rudolph a Christian extremist bombed a gay bar in Atlanta. Christian Preachers here like Stephen L. Anderson of Arizona advocate our murder now. Even one is one too many. I haven’t heard any Imams here doing that.

        Did Islam murder Matthew Shepard? Did Islam murder U.S. Gay sailor Allan Schindler? What faith did their assailants have?

        We saw last year a lawyer in California wanted to put making it a capital offense to be gay in California.

        Percentage comparison are a red herring. These threats are here. I’m living in the US. NOT an Islamic country. I never denied that Islam can’t be violent or a threat. But to ignore Christianity as a threat to our legal freedoms let alone our safety is ridiculous and living in denial! You can live in hysteria and incite it against Islam all you want. I don’t care. But don’t pretend conservative Christians can’t do us harm.

      • Arealgirl88

        January 20, 2017 at 7:45 pm

        “Percentage comparison are a red herring.”

        So you’re denying the validity of the scientific method? Man, percentage comparisons are everything here. In medical research, if you are testing treatment A and it cures a disease 30% and treatment B which cures a disease 50% of the time, it would then be illegal to give treatment A. A large difference in percentages normally has huge implications for policy and how we think about what drives outcomes in a society. There are a some poor christian majority african countries that imprison gays (and most of those have sizable muslim minorities), but the greatest oppression comes from Islam because Shariah law mandates state sanctioned violence on gays.

        The lawyer who wanted gays executed is a fine example. He was so far from the norm that he couldn’t get anywhere near the signatures he needed to get his initiative on the ballot. In pakistan, he would have had enough signatures in a week. This is why though violent anti gay sentiment exists here, it doesn’t amount to the threat from Islamists. Even here with all the dominionist preachers preaching against homosexuality, it was a a muslim responsible for the greatest hate crime committed against gays. And as for you not hearing of Imams clammoring for murder of gays- that is unbelievable. 3 weeks before Omar mateen killed 50 gays in Orlando, an Imam was publicized on video giving a lecture in a mosque in Orlando saying that shariah law required executing gays. This was hardly an isolated occurance. Before Omar mateen, two of the 5 homocidal hate crimes against gays were also committed by Muslims (despite them being 1% of the population)- they are substantially overrepresented here.

        Even with 100 times the followers, extremist Christians in the US have not caused the carnage against gays that muslims have.

        • lnm3921

          January 20, 2017 at 8:02 pm

          Christians are still the majority in America. The conservative extremists maybe small but they are highly vocal and push for the extremes. Violence is not my only concern. Religious Freedom Laws pushed by organizations like FRC are a huge threat to us. It’s not Islam trying to implement them in America!

          Orlando was the biggest Massacre to date. And several Christian preachers praised the action. How many conservative Christians came out in support of GLBT?

          You conveniently ignored abortion Clinique bombing and those shot by Christian extremists. Eric Rudolph, matthew shepard and Allen Schindler and all I”ve said about who has threatened me. I have faced more threats including physical from Christians than I ever have a Muslim.

          Religious extremism is the threat doesn’t matter what the religion is. That’s the point and always will be!
          Time for my show. Later.

          • Arealgirl88

            January 20, 2017 at 8:45 pm

            ” I have faced more threats including physical from Christians than I ever have a Muslim.” The US is a country with 83 times more christians than Muslims. If you went to a country with even 5% muslims, your experience would probably be different if you actually spent time in areas with Muslim populations.

            “You conveniently ignored abortion Clinique bombing and those shot by Christian extremists.”

            No I have not. I don’t know why you think numbers have no meaning. 1% of the US is Muslim. 99% is not. Yet there have been more deaths caused by Islamic terror than christian terrorists post- 9/11. There have been more deaths caused by Islamic terror than by white nationalism post-11. There have been more deaths caused by Islamic teror than all other ideologies put together post-911 (yes, this means not including 9-11).

            Christians can murder out of ideology, but they are far far less likely to do so (muslims in the US are 5000% more likely to commit a terror act than non muslims).

            And it is true that policy matters more than an odd murder here or there, but this is the issue with immigration. If you let substantial numbers of people in a country who are from populations who abhor gay rights, this will eventually threaten gay rights and create communities of people who raise their children to hate gays and communities where gays and women cannot enter for fear of their own safety. This has already happened in Europe in places where more than 5% of the population is Muslim.

          • lnm3921

            January 20, 2017 at 9:07 pm

            I was born, raised and live in America, not a Muslim country so my experience of religious bigotry is naturally going to be with Christians. I have been to Muslim countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and UAE as a tourist but also know I wont’ be finding gay bars there. I’ve checked out men in some of those places, even been check out back, but haven’t gotten the violent reactions I’ve had from my fellow non-Muslim Americans.

            Having grown up in an environment where being openly gay was dangerous, that included Cops viewing as a criminals, I know how to navigate under oppression and threats. That came in handy in Russia.
            Many foreign countries abhor gays rights in particular Russia which Trump has been so chummy and he will likely drop sanctions against despite their human rights abuses against GLBT Russians!

            The issue with immigration seems to be with more than just Islam doesn’t it with your calls for a wall across the border with Mexico and Trumps allegation that they are all criminals! Xenophobia is on the rise and that’s not good for a nation of immigrants. It inspires racial bigotry and racial profiling. Build a wall across the Mexican border (you better pay for it as I don’t want my taxes doing it) but ignore the Canadian Border. As if people can’t fly in from other parts of the world there and then cross the border.

          • homer9

            January 21, 2017 at 10:17 am

            Of course, u are correct. Not only does sharia enforce harsh penalties against homosexuality, there is the enforcement of blasphemy laws. Blasphemy laws and apostasy laws within Muslim communities are what keep their societies so repressive and backwards all over the world. Many years ago one could perhaps say that Muslims were able to integrate more with their communities, and the pull of islamism was not as strong. ( For example, in Indonesia, where a milder non Muslim culture surrounded the Muslim community.) However, currently, all over the world Saudi money has influenced Muslim communities so that they are more literal and less prone to reform and integrate. Individuals do not want to advertise their differences with sharia thought due to the increasing likelihood of blasphemy laws bringing violence upon them. Hence, discussion of reform is muted. If people don’t believe the dynamics u describe in Muslim society, I suggest they read more widely, such as local newspapers all over the world describing the very regular instances of jihad occurring, as well as murder of gays etc in the Muslim communities.

          • Arealgirl88

            January 21, 2017 at 10:42 am

            I agree that blasphemy laws (which apply to the whole community) and the accompanying culture of refusing to criticize or reform Islamic tenets is the core of the problem. Terror gets the most attention, but terror affects only a few dozen people at a time (though it affects them lethally). What affects everyone is the Islamic norms of blasphemy codes, honor shame culture (which make self criticism look like admitting to weakness). This is what keeps whole populaces shackled to backwardness and bigotry.

            I also agree that muslims had a chance to join the modern world before Saudi funding preaching took over the sunni community the world over. Now they are constantly infused with saudi funded foreign imams, saudi funded theology scholarships, saudi funded prizes for islamic learning, saudi funded buildings. When you bring sunni muslims, you bring their saudi funding with them. This is dangerous.

            I hope that in 30 years it becomes perfectly safe and sane to let muslims immigrate to the west, but that is not the case today.

          • mark

            January 21, 2017 at 10:25 pm

            It will never be safe to let satan worshipping muslims into non muslim countries!!!!

          • Richard

            January 21, 2017 at 10:45 am

            Religious extremism is the threat doesn’t matter what the religion is.
            From the outside the LGBT movement looks pretty much like a religion to me.

            Do you include that in your list?
            If not why not?

          • lnm3921

            January 21, 2017 at 11:05 am

            “From the outside the LGBT movement looks pretty much like a religion to me.”

            From the outside the Republican Party looks like a religion to me, with those not towing the most extremist ideology labeled RINOs even though they may want to still be identified with the party.

            Should we add that to the list, too? If not, why not?

          • Richard

            January 21, 2017 at 11:28 am

            “From the outside the Republican Party looks like a religion to me,
            with those not towing the most extremist ideology labeled RINOs even
            though they may want to still be identified with the party.”

            OK so you agree with me then – that any set of belief systems has the potential to be oppressive – and that the inclusion of a God or other supernatural features aren’t a distinguishing requirement.

            My point is that when you believe that you have the right to make others think the way you do by force of arms or force of law then you are the problem.

            Most religions AND political movements have been guilty of this at some point.

          • lnm3921

            January 21, 2017 at 11:50 am

            The introduction of GOD, makes it all the more dangerous. People have gone to war over it, murdered in the name of it and used it to justify oppression, manipulation and conquest of others. GOD is misused to legitimize what has no justification. As John Lennon once said, imagine no religion and the world would be as one.

            The GOP’s God Squad continues to influence public policy including how that impact GLBT Americans.

            The GLBT Movement is in response to centuries of oppression, violence and murder often committed in the name of religion. We were forced into it for survival.

            Stone Wall was the match but the AIDS crises was the catalyst that forced us to do more. And now religious freedom laws make all the more pressing. We were fighting for the right to be out when being so could be fatal, put you in jail or ostracize you from society. We fought for the right to be ourselves with dignity and self-respect. We fight for polices that do not tolerate harassment or bias due to being GLBT.

            We fight against discrimination in the workplace, housing, public accommodations and services. We fought for a right to have our relationships recognized and to serve in the military. How dare you trivialize it with your petty comparisons and ignore the risks and sacrifices that were taken by those fighting!

            It’s no different than how racism sparked the civil rights movement for racial minorities in America.

          • Richard

            January 21, 2017 at 2:43 pm

            “The introduction of GOD, makes it all the more dangerous.”

            More dangerous than Stalin?
            More dangerous than Mao?
            More dangerous than Pol Pot.

            Sorry, your prejudice is showing.

          • lnm3921

            January 21, 2017 at 2:52 pm

            You have a lot to be sorry for given your own!

            Stalin, Mao and Pot Pot. You forgot Putin your
            President’s boss and role model!

            I thought Islam was your Boogey man. Or is your McCarthyism now showing? A new red scare and crusade at the same time.

          • Richard

            January 21, 2017 at 3:01 pm

            You have a lot of misconceptions here.

            Firstly I’m not in the US – so I have nothing to do with Trump and I wouldn’t defend most of what he has said. Neither do I have anything to do with your GOP – or the republican “Christian” right.

            Of course it seems you have believed all the US political estabishment’s propaganda about Putin so that his status as a bogeyman is unchallenged in your head.

            However his presence is a direct result previous US policy towards Russia that refused to give up on the idea of Russia as an enemy – even when the stopped being communist.

          • lnm3921

            January 21, 2017 at 3:12 pm

            If you’re not in the US then why do you involve yourself with issues here?

            Russia is hostile toward LGBT freedoms and rights. We know quite well about the homophobic youth targeting LGBT for humiliation and bashing. That is endorsed and supported by Putin. Police there, too. You expect us to normalize relations with Russia, despite their human rights violations.

            Putin’s actions against his opponents are also not in line as they involve murder.

          • Richard

            January 21, 2017 at 4:09 pm

            You expect us to normalize relations with Russia, despite their human rights violations?
            You have “good” relations with Saudi-Arabia don’t you.

            Also US human rights are nothing to write home about, death penalty (unlike Russia and often wrongly applied – sually to young black men)), police shootings (also usually of young black men).

            Putin’s actions against his opponents are also not in line as they involve murder.

            Drone strikes anyone?

            Pot meet kettle!

          • lnm3921

            January 21, 2017 at 4:23 pm

            Relations with Saudi Arabia were established long before GLBT rights mattered to any President or State Department in the US. But I’m fine with dropping them.

            Russian Police have a reputation for being brutal and corrupt and Russia has a very racist record when it comes to Blacks and Asians! They put up a banner I recall of Obama in Russia and waived a banana next to it. So Russia is a poor example for you to hold up! Yes, the US have those issue with it’s police force but you can’t put Russia in a category better than us.

            Drone strikes that put out terrorists that lead people into committing terrorist acts so they are good things for the public good. Putin puts people out that threaten his power.

            Are you Russian? Sounds like it.

          • Richard

            January 21, 2017 at 4:41 pm

            Russian Police have a reputation for being brutal and corrupt and Russia
            has a very racist record when it comes to Blacks and Asians!

            Russia had a 70 year history of brutal communist dictatorship and was then thrown to the wolves of laissez faire capitalism as an “experiment”. It will take a while to turn that around.
            However as I said they don’t have the death penalty now unlike the US – and that is a really big factor in my book.

            Also the way the US system has squirmed around to keep the death penalty going (by excluding anyone who opposes it from the process) is sickening.

            Drone strikes that put out terrorists
            Not to mention innocent bystanders, wedding parties etc etc.

            And No I’m not Russian – butI have been there – and to the US whereIsigned a ptetion to impeach George W Bush. (when he was president).

          • lnm3921

            January 21, 2017 at 4:49 pm

            Russia was doing pretty well for a while wasn’t it once things stabilized. It’s standards are on par with most Western Nations. Regardless that doesn’t address their history with xenophobia and anything different. Are there laws there that ban racial discrimination?

            Drone strikes may kill innocent bystanders but terrorist attacks do that explicitly. People going about their normal lives. If the Drone strikes saves us from that then it’s for the greater good.

            Conservatives here like the death penalty so they preserve it. They have an eye for an eye mentality. They also find it cheaper to execute than keep these people in prison for life having to pay for it through taxes.

          • Richard

            January 21, 2017 at 5:09 pm

            Russia was doing pretty well for a while wasn’t it once things stabilized. It’s standards are on par with most Western Nations.

            Between the fall of the USSR and the advent of Putin things were pretty bad. I visited in 94 and saw for myself. I was there again in 2013 and the country was in a much better state. It is entirely reasonable that the Russians love him because he has actually done what so many politicians promise but fail to do.

            Russia’s population is largely homogenious – they don’t have a history of slavery or colonialism like the US or UK.

            Drone strikes may kill innocent bystanders but terrorist attacks do
            that explicitly. People going about their normal lives. If the Drone
            strikes saves us from that then it’s for the greater good.

            End justifies the means then.

            Look – the article that started this discussion was just asking for honesty about the religion that motivated those attacks.

            IMO we’d make more progress stopping them by being honest than by drone strikes that simply give them an excuse for more.


            Conservatives
            here like the death penalty so they preserve it. They have an eye for
            an eye mentality. They also find it cheaper to execute than keep these
            people in prison for life having to pay for it through taxes.

            Wow- can’t believe that you’d defend that stuff!

          • lnm3921

            January 21, 2017 at 5:23 pm

            We can stop them by being “honest”? Honest about what? They are cold blooded killers. Every terrorist put out in one less we have to worry about here.

            I didn’t say I support the reasons conservatives support the death penalty just why they argue for it.

          • Richard

            January 21, 2017 at 6:10 pm

            We certainly can’t stop them by a few drone strikes – there are too many of them – and drone strikes just make us look as bad as them without really denting their capabilities.

            History teaches that a terrorist organisation that has “cover” from a civilian population cannot be defeated militarily. You need to remove that cover – and that can only be done by words,

            Usually you would call on the authorities of a religion to repudiate the violence. That is what happened in N.Ireland and that is what Bush and Obama tried to do The problem is that the authorities of Islam have no real option since the central texts of the faith really do endorse the violence and the history of islam is expansion by military conquest.
            Consquently they stay silent and let westerners who know no better do the job for them. This anaesthetises us and is ignored by them.

            If we are honest then they will be the ones who are forced to try and defend the indefensible and the whole edifice will crumble

    • Omar

      January 21, 2017 at 10:49 am

      “Religion itself it not the problem. Religious extremism and those that incite the flames of it whether it comes in the form of Christianity or Islam or any other faith are. . . ”

      Sam Harris addresses this argument quite effectively in this clip (less than 8 minutes):

      “The Problem with Islamic Fundamentalism are the Fundamentals of Islam”

      https://youtu.be/kMFsO58hXVM

  5. Dave

    January 20, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    You have just lost a reader.

    I expected this sort of filth might begin to be published in mainstream media by a complicit press eager to survive and serve a new, terrifying power but I didn’t expect it on day one from an LGBT publication. If any of us survive as citizens in a restored democracy after whatever evil you’ve decided to aid and abet, this column will be remembered by those who stood up for truth and reason with remorse and shame.

    • Luis Duran

      January 23, 2017 at 6:44 am

      Those who hate the truth, hate even more those who dare tell it.

    • Abandon Islam

      January 25, 2017 at 3:51 pm

      Because all she wrote is TRUE.

    • Dana Steer

      February 4, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      Our Old AND New Testament are both blatantly anti-feminist and anti-gay as well. The history of Christianity is a history of oppression and barbarism. As recently as 1985, “Christians” and academics were calling for the deportation of all gays. What gives?

  6. Faraz

    January 20, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    I am disturbed this piece was published. So poorly researched and wrong. So sad to see that seemingly educated people would perpetuate nonsense. Instead of working with LGBTQI Muslims and building solidarity, you throw them under the bus. Shame. Shame on you.

    • Omar

      January 21, 2017 at 10:00 am

      Here’s undercover footage from some of the largest, most prominent mosques in the UK. They aren’t practicing a fringe version. This is mainstream, orthodox islam:

      “Dispatches Channel 4: Undercover Mosque”

      https://youtu.be/kJk_AiK-4No

      • Omar

        January 21, 2017 at 10:01 am

        . . . And don’t miss the sequel: “Undercover Mosque – The Return”

        • mark

          January 21, 2017 at 10:20 pm

          Those channel 4 programs were acually done by muslims essentially to attack another sect of islam (no surprise there of course), but also to do their own al taqiyya about islam.

          • Omar

            January 22, 2017 at 10:14 am

            Take the footage for what it’s worth. Of course, as with any report intended for mainstream consumption, it contains the obligatory disclaimers and muslim apologetics. (It would not have been aired otherwise). At this point, I just tune that stuff out.

    • great disconformity

      January 21, 2017 at 1:22 pm

      Non-Muslims cannot ‘work with’ Muslims. You can only become their tool. Muslims cannot accept the equality of non-Muslims and remain Muslim. It is impossible. Some of us know what taqiyah is and aren’t fooled by your BS, Faraz.

    • Fenbeagle

      January 22, 2017 at 4:52 am

      Shame on you for defending islam and Allah’s ‘messenger’.

      If it’s ‘poorly researched’ point out the flaws in it.

    • sarah

      January 22, 2017 at 6:08 pm

      All I am hearing is ‘I choose to belong to a religion and political ideology, whilst being born a certain way that I cannot help or change, but that is an utter anathema to said religion and political ideology that I chose. Meanwhile, I and the utterly miniscule minority (being the Muslim LGBTQ community) are so important that we deserve to be placed at a far higher priority than literally everyone else, on the planet

      Our hurt feelings are far more important than the safety of the multiple billions on this planet, whose lives and liberty are at risk from Islam. And those hurt feelings are SO IMPORTANT that no one should ever even dare to speak out and decry Islam, which is MY CHOICE of being a Muslim, despite MY CHOICE to its damndest to hate, discriminate against and try to kill me, all because I was born either L,G,B,T or Q.’

      You are utterly, unbelievable. Way to march yourself to your own gas chamber.

    • Bob

      February 20, 2017 at 10:37 pm

      You are a liar or a fool.

  7. Yassir

    January 20, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    Where to start? First, the world’s three monotheistic faiths are all generally homophobic so why single Islam out? Second, most of the oppressed LGBT people in the world live under oppressive laws instituted by Christians. The numbers here are far greater than those oppressed by shariah laws in Islamic states. Third, the author chooses only to highlight radical attacks in the west, ignoring attacks in Turkey or Kenya, since these would not fit in with her “Islam against the west” bent. Let me add that most Muslims do not regard these radicals as Muslims as they go against Koranic teaching. By this yardstick, Christianity can also be blamed for Hitler murdering 6 million Jews and there is certainly a good case for hold European white Christians responsible for having allowing this to happen. Fourth, an opinion is voiced that Muslims have no intent to integrate as immigrants-no evidence presented, but who needs facts? Lastly, the author may have read the Koran cover to cover but clearly does not understand it, otherwise she would have been able to make the distinctions between the particular and the universal, especially for something going back to 609 CE. An equivalent reading of the Bible would suggest that adulterers be put to death, as well as women who are virgins at marriage. For a professor to be operating at this juvenile level of discourse is shocking. At a time when this country is being divided by a demagogue, the writer is fanning the flames of intolerance. Shame on her and the Washington Blade.

    • Arealgirl88

      January 20, 2017 at 7:24 pm

      “irst, the world’s three monotheistic faiths are all generally homophobic
      so why single Islam out? Second, most of the oppressed LGBT people in
      the world live under oppressive laws instituted by Christians. The
      numbers here are far greater than those oppressed by shariah laws in
      Islamic states.”

      Islam does deserve to singled out. It is blatantly untrue that most of the oppressed LGBT people in the world live under christian oppressive laws. There are 10 countries that mandate the death pentalty just for being openly gay. All of those countries are muslim. Almost every Islamic country that isn’t a secular dictatorship punishes homosexuality with a prison sentence, in some cases a life sentence. This is uncommon among christian countries, even poor christian countries such as in central america. Even most chrisitan African countries are lenient compared to wealthy muslim countries.

      There aren;t as many vocal LGBT people in the Islamic world because it carries such a strict sentence. They can’t even come out. But they are there and they are the most oppressed. And it’s not the case that the majority of Muslims disagree with how gays are treated. The author is absolutely correct. People erroneously conflate the idea that most muslims are not terrorists with the idea that most muslims are moderate or tolerate. That is wrong. Most muslims in the middle east support shariah as the basis of law in today’s world, which mandates violent punishment for homosexuality. Bringing these people into the western world undermines the rights that sexual minorities have fought so hard for and it even endagers their lives.

      • Dave

        January 20, 2017 at 8:15 pm

        I write as an Arab Christian whose family lived peacefully among a Muslim majority for centuries, and as one who knows a tiny bit about sharia. Those who know even a whit about Sharia know it applies to Muslims in the way church law is for Christians and talmudic law is for Jews. Sharia is a complex tradition of legal thought and is not monolithic on many topics that anti-Muslim propagandists tend to put on their “worst things about sharia list.” Homosexuality, women’s rights, minority rights… all have been weighed by many different legal scholars over the centuries and there are as many different interpretations of sharia laws in Muslim tradition as there are in the Napoleanic and English / American common law ones. One can’t generally say “Sharia law says this” or Sharia law says that.”

        All that being said, there in NO danger of sharia coming to the US. Those that claim there is are making good money off of the irrational fears of ignorant readers. Smart, adult US citizens with any degree of education shouldn’t fall for it. That the editors of the Blade have is a really, really sad thing.

        Rather than fearing and hating Muslim Americans who have immigrated here or are American-born, who serve in our armed forces, courts, police forces and hospitals rooms, we should offer them the respect and courtesy that we extend all our fellow citizens.

        By the way, as an out Gay man I have served in Muslim-led and Arab-American organizations for years. I and my partner are always honored respected and included. My straight Muslim friends are among the most outspokenly pro-marriage and pro-LGBT rights of anyone I know, and so are the few Muslim elected officials in the US. Imams and other Muslim leaders have repeatedly expressed solidarity with the LGBT community, especially after the Orlando massacre.

        • Omar

          January 21, 2017 at 10:29 am

          “Those who know even a whit about Sharia know it applies to Muslims in the way church law is for Christians and talmudic law is for Jews. Sharia is a complex tradition of legal thought and is not monolithic on many topics”

          Every country fully governed by islamic law – whether Sunni or Shia – practices it in very similar ways:

          For example, both Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran share the following explicitly islamic practices:

          1). Gender aparteid/purdah
          2). Forced veiling
          3). concubinage/polygamy
          4). halal under-aged – even prepubescent – marriage
          5). halal/permissible wife/sister/daughter beating
          6). death penalty for open apostates/blasphemers
          7). death penalty for open homosexuals/adulterers
          8). extreme punishments for proselytizing for other faiths and, more often than not, extreme restrictions and/or punishments for the open practice and building of other faiths
          9). hudud criminal punishments
          10). islamic morality police and judiciary
          11). significant support, both overt and covert, for terrrorist groups working to establish islamic law elsewhere in the world

          If there are so many ‘subtle interpretations/varieties,’ why do the countries actually governed by islam all practice it in essentially the same way*?

          *(and not as “personal canon law,” but as STATE LAW”?)

          • Dave

            January 21, 2017 at 10:41 am

            Hey, Omar – thanks for replying. Yes, you’re right – these two examples of state law are based on extreme interpretations of Sharia. This shouldn’t imply that all Islamic scholars agree with these interpretations.

            And there is no evidence that any US Muslims wish to have these sorts of systems here – Muslims come to the United States for the same reasons that everyone else does – for freedom, opportunity and democracy, not to take over and set up an Islamic state.

          • Omar

            January 21, 2017 at 10:58 am

            “these two examples of state law are based on extreme interpretations of Sharia.”

            These countries are, respectively, the vanguards/flagships in their respective traditions and control large swathes of the planet.

            “And there is no evidence that any US Muslims wish to have these sorts of systems here”

            Based on what limited polling is available on the subject, I don’t think that is altogether true. Polling in the UK, for example, indicates that support for the imposition of shariah among young muslims hovers around 40% (as I recall).

          • madge hirsch

            January 21, 2017 at 3:20 pm

            In what way are these extreme interpretations of Sharia? In what period of history has Sharia ever said that open homosexual practice between consenting adult males ( not the type of relationships that exist in places like Afghanistan where prepubescent and adolescent boys take the place of female prostitutes), fornication and adultery were not illegal . How many Islamic scholars who disagree with these interpretations would be called out as apostates by those who do?
            There is evidence that US Muslims who belong to or support the many Ikwan front organisations that exist in America do wish for an Islamic state there. What is clear is that it is very difficult to distiguish when admitting immigrants which category they belong to – the supremacists or the live and let livers because the supremacists lie. Hard though it might be on the live and let livers excluding them all guarantees the exclusion ogf the supremacists.

          • mark

            January 21, 2017 at 10:18 pm

            slither somewhere else muhamad or an easy to fool dhimmi.

          • Reynaud

            January 21, 2017 at 4:53 pm

            Should have read your post first, I just said essentially the same thing. . . !

        • Reynaud

          January 21, 2017 at 4:53 pm

          The Western liberal democracies do not enforce Church Canon Law nor Jewish Talmudic law. Such laws are for individuals to follow if they choose, and the parts of such codes which are incompatible with our Constitutionally guaranteed rights cannot be enforced by any Church, Mosque, or Synagogue.

          Wherever Sharia law is imposed it ends up looking the same. Look at Brunei or the Maldives, both of which have recently begun following Sharia. Blasphemy laws, death for abandoning Islam. But any time such things are mention all we hear is “oh, you mustn’t say such things, Sharia is just too complex for anyone to understand”. . . etc.

    • mark

      January 21, 2017 at 10:17 pm

      INSPIRED BY Yassir – Google ‘muhamads sexual perversions’.

      It was not just paedophilia nor was it only with little girls.

      Get links to what sick evil filth mupig was from their own mainstream books.

      Then realise what sick filth muslims have to be to call him the best man on earth on whom everyone must base their lives on.

    • Jim Fox

      January 23, 2017 at 8:31 am

      Who else throws gays off rooftops? Or hangs them from cranes [IRAN]?
      You are a bloody idiot and a dangerous liar.

  8. James Hoagland

    January 20, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    This is absolutely disgusting and an outrage to see published. Her clear anti-Muslim stance does not belong in this publication. She confuses and conflates Muslim with Terrorist. “A Muslim drove a truck into a crowd” is one horrific example. She only perpetuates fear of Muslims and a growing attack on people who identify as Muslim or are thought to. Shame on the Blade for running this and Shame on Shannon for believing that this blanket anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant rhetoric will solve any of the world’s problems. The problem of terrorism is (obviously) much more complex and complicated than this and deserves a smarter approach.

    • Blazingcatfur

      January 20, 2017 at 8:19 pm

      Trust her. Islam is the problem.

    • Jim Fox

      January 23, 2017 at 8:26 am

      Here, stupid liberal, read THIS–
      http://www.koran-at-a-glance.com

      • Keith

        January 24, 2017 at 10:04 am

        Bet he can’t be bothered to even click on the link let alone actually read it.

    • Abandon Islam

      January 25, 2017 at 3:50 pm

      Ok, An assignment for you.
      Go online and find the quran and the hadith.
      Reseach what does the islamic law prescribe for homosecuals, apostates, infidels. Research the legal status of women and non-muslims. Research and analyze the special non-muslim tax called jizya.
      Then come back and delete your comment and write a new one.

  9. Deen Khan

    January 21, 2017 at 3:16 am

    “The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
    An evil soul producing holy witness
    Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
    A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
    O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!”
    ― William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

  10. Deen Khan

    January 21, 2017 at 3:19 am

    Vile and Disgusting Rubbish indeed…..shame on you.

  11. D Cripps

    January 21, 2017 at 9:58 am

    For some insight into sharia-law-based Islam, see the sections on caliphate, jihad, slavery, non-Muslims in this orthodox Shafi’i manual of sharia-law (the manual is 1200+ pages long and has been endorsed by al-Azhar university in Cairo); a brief section relating to gay rights is on pages 664-5: https://creepingsharia.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/reliance2_complete.pdf. The manual’s introduction states “The four Sunni schools of Islamic law, Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali, are identical in approximately 75 percent of their legal conclusions, while the remaining questions, variances within a single family of explainers of the Holy Koran and prophetic sunna, are traceable to methodological differences in understanding or authentication of the primary textual evidence, differing viewpoints sometimes reflected in even a single school”. While some development is possible within sharia-law, not every kind of change would be acceptable – for example, the change must not be contrary to the basic teachings and objectives in Islam. Under Islamic law, injunctions laid down in the Our’an and the Sunnah can not be changed by any human agency. Certificates of authenticity attest to the translation from the governments of Egypt, Syria, and Saudi Arabia; al-Azhar University certified that “this translation corresponds to the Arabic original and conforms to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni community (Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’a)”.

  12. kako

    January 21, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    How sad that The Blade publishes this piece of hate speech, but deletes comments pointing out the bigotry.

  13. Reynaud

    January 21, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Refreshing. I have long been irritated that so many American feminists magnify the speck in our eye while ignoring the enormous log in others’.

    I too have found precious little mercy or compassion in the Koran. The Hadith spell out Islamic atrocities in greater detail. Don’t let anyone tell you that stoning is not Islamic because it’s not in the Koran. The Hadith according to Buhkari have many examples of stoning, and specifically says it was supposed to be in the Koran, but a goat ate that page. Seriously, that’s what it says.

  14. Luke101

    January 22, 2017 at 12:25 am

    Were islam goes, Freedom Dies…..

  15. Dow Jones

    January 22, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    The depraved, primitive creed of IS lam has no place in a civilized democracy.

    IS lam is a sickness and should not be tolerated in the West. Muslims who are not prepared to live in a secular, democratic society should be immediately returned to their IS lamic paradise. As long as “our” governments impose this barbarism upon us by importing legions of fanatics, welfare bums and terrorists, they too should be considered our enemies and targeted for total removal from all facets of political life. IS lam is evil.

    “In his book «Praktischer Idealismus», (1920) Austrian Count Richard
    Von Coudenhove Kalergi indicates that the residents of the future “United
    States of Europe” will not be the People of the Old Continent, but a kind
    of sub-humans, products of miscegenation. He clearly states that the peoples of Europe should interbreed with Asians and colored races, thus creating a
    multinational flock with no quality and easily controlled by the ruling elite.
    Kalergi proclaims the abolition of the right of self-determination and
    then the elimination of nations with the use of ethnic separatist movements and
    mass migration. In order for Europe to be controlled by an elite, he wants to
    turn people into one homogeneous mixed breed of Blacks, Whites and Asians. Who is is this elite however? Kalergi is particularly illuminating on this: The man of the future will be of mixed race. The races and classes of today will gradually disappear due to the elimination of space, time, and prejudice. The Eurasian-negroid race of the future, similar in appearance to the Ancient Egyptians, will replace the diversity of peoples and the diversity of individuals. Instead of destroying European Judaism, Europe, against her will, refined and educated this people, driving them to their future status as a leading nation through this artificial evolutionary process. It’s not surprising that the people that escaped from the Ghetto-Prison, became the spiritual nobility of Europe. Thus, the
    compassionate care given by Europe created a new breed of aristocrats. This
    happened when the European feudal aristocracy crashed because of the
    emancipation of the Jews [due to the actions taken by the French Revolution]

    “Count” Richard Coudenhove Kalergi’s Plan outlined by Gerd Honsik

    “Kalergi proclaims the abolition of the right of self-determination, … the
    elimination of nations by means of ethnic separatist movements or mass
    allogeneic (genetically dissimilar) immigration tocreate a multiethnic flock
    without quality, easily controllable by the ruling class. Kalergi characterized
    the multiethnic flock as cruel and unfaithful but maintained the elite must
    deliberately create them in order to achieve their own superiority: ‘Then the elite will first eliminate democracy – the rule of the people. Next, the elite will
    eliminate the people via miscegenation, thereby replacing the ruling white race
    with an easily controllable mestizo race. By abolishing the principle of
    equality of all before the law, avoiding and punishing any criticism of
    minorities, and protecting minorities with special laws, the masses will be
    suppressed.’’

    5 wise members of the sect help us understand “the plan” of our

    elite masters.

    And concerning the rape of Sweden…in her own words supremacist USSAN Israeli Barbara Lerner Spectre explains clearly what their plan is.

    Spectre

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFE0qAiofMQ

    Gysi

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDU9V579g74

    Kahane

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpQgJBmgymM

    Sarkozy

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8yaiN6ew_g

    Russo

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyzW8tV-bz4

  16. Duke of Lancaster

    January 22, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    I will say only one thing: the history of this religion cannot be ignored: two countries share this pain until today: Portugal and Spain, whose people are now looking horrified of what is going on in the rest of Europe.

    You just need to read the chronicles to understand what was going on in Cordoba in in the IX century. You will find that the resemblance with today’s time is remarkable. Whoever challenged this religion was executed, etc.

  17. Bugs Potter

    January 22, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    So nice to hear other rational humans are out there (albeit few and far between).

    This seems so obvious, and yet try making this argument in polite company and see if you’re invited back.

  18. sarah

    January 22, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    I am a feminist and a supporter of LGBTQ rights – there’s nothing wrong with being gay, and besides, you’re born that way. May as well hate someone for being born with fingers and toes etc.

    I too, have read the Quran, I took the time,about 5 years ago, to do a few study sessions at a nearby Mosque with a couple of the senior members, so as I would understand and interpret the Quran correctly.

    It is a horrifying document. As is the Hadith. Islam is not safe to anyone who is not a male Muslim, or a male from elsewhere who is willing to submit and convert to Islam. And just ask any Muslim what they think of anyone or anything Jewish. It makes their attitude towards homosexuality and even women, pale in comparison. God help you I guess, if you’re a lesbian Jew.

    Thankyou for your piece, I enjoyed it.

  19. Luis Duran

    January 23, 2017 at 12:27 am

    Wow, you are very brave to speak the ugly truth many do not want to hear. What a breath of fresh air! I’m shocked they even published your article (credit to the Washington Blade). Thank you Shannon Gilreath. Stay safe.

  20. Jim Fox

    January 23, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Muslims will be here in denial, using all the usual tactics of deceit. TOO LATE, FOOLS- we know far too much about Islam.

    1•Taqiyya (Shia) or Muda’rat (Sunni): tactical deceit for the purposes of spreading Islam.
    2•Kitman: deceit by omission.
    3.Tawriya: deceit by ambiguity.
    4•Taysir: deceit through facilitation (not having to observe all the tenets of Sharia).
    5•Darura: deceit through necessity (to engage in something “Haram” or forbidden).
    6•Muruna: the temporary suspension of Sharia to make Muslim migrants appear “moderate.”

    Muslims imitate Allah ‘THE GREATEST OF DECEIVERS’.

  21. Jim Fox

    January 23, 2017 at 8:42 am

    Muslims- educate yourselves; the koran is a Manual of War composed by MadManMuhammad
    http://www.koran-at-a-glance.com/

  22. Michael Arnold

    January 24, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    OK..but this needs to go to the feminist groups and all other groups supporting the muslim political organisation, called Islam. This group is larger than all other political movement on the earth yet we have to accept them as a minority…not at all. We should have the human right courts cleared of Saudi and all other islamic organised mafias and the criminal court should criminally investigate the Koran for hate..etc. This is a political guide to dominate the world..and its no joke for those who suffer under Sharia after conquest. Stop islam.

  23. D Cripps

    January 25, 2017 at 6:02 am

    After I posted I realised I should have ‘peeled the grapes’ a little to make matters more accessible. (I have since done this, to the extent that space would allow, on several other websites re Rep. Kyle Beidermann’s letter to mosques and Muslim student associations, and re CAIR’s Linda Sarsour.) Additional points on the manual include…

    See what is written on “scholarly consensus”, p. 23>b7.0 – 24>b7.4: briefly “When the four necessary integrals of consensus exist {see manual for definition}, the ruling agreed upon is an authoritative part of [sharia-law] that is obligatory to obey and not lawful to disobey. Nor can [jurists] of a succeeding era make the thing an object of new [independent reasoning], because the ruling on it, verified by scholarly consensus, is an absolute legal ruling which does not admit of being contravened or annulled.”

    See p. 638>o25.0 – 645>o25.6 on caliphate and its obligatory nature; here is a brief excerpt from p. 638: “The investiture of someone from the Islamic Community (Umma) able to fulfil the duties of the caliphate is obligatory by scholarly consensus, though scholars differ as to whether its obligatory character is established through reason or through Revealed Law.”

    See p. 599>o9.0 – 606>o10.3 on jihad (war against non-Muslims). Note that “Jihad is a communal obligation. When enough people perform it to successfully accomplish it, it is no longer obligatory upon others” and “If none of those concerned perform jihad, and it does not happen at all, then everyone who is aware that it is obligatory is guilty of sin, if there was a possibility of having performed it. In the time of the Prophet … jihad was a communal obligation after his emigration (hijra) to Medina. As for subsequent times, there are two possible states in respect to non-Muslims. The first is when they are in their own countries, in which case {offensive} jihad is a communal obligation … upon the Muslims each year. The second state is when non-Muslims invade a Muslim country or near to one, in which case jihad is personally obligatory upon the inhabitants of that country, who must repel the non-Muslims with whatever they can” and “The caliph makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians (provided he has first invited them to enter Islam in faith and practice, and if they will not, then invited them to enter the social order of Islam by paying the non-Muslim poll tax (jizya)) … until they become Muslim or else pay the [jizya] … The caliph fights all other peoples until they become Muslim (according to the Hanafi school, peoples of all other religions … are permitted to live under the protection of the Islamic state if they either become Muslim or agree to pay the poll tax, the sole exceptions to which are apostates from Islam and idol worshippers who are Arabs, neither of whom has any choice but becoming Muslim” and “Whoever enters Islam before being captured may not be killed or his property confiscated, or his young children taken captive. When a child or a woman is taken captive, they become slaves by the fact of capture, and the woman’s previous marriage is immediately annulled” (plus p. 932 w37.1 (2nd para.: “whom their right hands own” refers to their slaves; the Arabic chapter on slavery has not been translated)) and “Interests that justify making a truce are such things as Muslim weakness because of lack of numbers or materiel, or the hope of an enemy becoming Muslim … If the Muslims are weak, a truce may be made for ten years if necessary … It is not permissible to stipulate longer than that, save by means of new truces, each of which does not exceed ten years.” Jihad al-talab (offensive jihad) is the sharia-law-based imperative to subjugate the world: http://www.meforum.org/2767/offensive-jihad.

    See p. 607>o11.0 – 609>o11.11 on non-Muslim subjects of an Islamic state.

    There are many other sections of interest to non-Muslims (e.g p. 652>p1.0 – 653>p1.3 (which includes Christianity), p. 846>w4.0 – 851>w4.7 (on religious supersession, unbelievers, finality of Islam), p. 1040>x91 (on one element of Islamic eschatology), and others; note that non-Muslim Arabic-reader Mark Durie has stated that p. 59>e4.3 has been mistranslated and should read “Circumcision is obligatory (for every male and female) by cutting off the piece of skin on the glans of the penis of the male, but circumcision of the female is by cutting out the clitoris”. However, the matters indicated previously above should illustrate why threat to non-Muslim societies will continue emerging from growing hosted communities attached to sharia-law-based Islam.

  24. Andy from Beaverton

    February 21, 2017 at 11:12 am

    When is the last time Christians and Catholics have beheaded, blown up, tortured, raped or thrown off the top of buildings those who have disobeyed the Bible?
    Since 9/11, there have been over 30,000 terrorist attacks by the religion of peace. http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/ Why are you are trying to compare chalk to cheese.
    Will this image get me beheaded? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/28c8c4b99bcb66a17c90e679d17af69f2748337e1bff4b8e57014a1d4874463c.jpg

    • Dana Steer

      February 21, 2017 at 8:26 pm

      With all due respect sir, radical Christian groups such as the KKK have consistently committed acts of terror for decades under the flag of racial and religious purity. They certainly don’t represent mainstream Christianity and they certainly don’t do Jesus any service. How do you fail to see that we’ve had these Christian terrorist organizations among us?

  25. matt10023

    February 21, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Islam has a lot in common with the old testament given they share the same roots. In the olden days, Jews and Christians certainly had prohibitions against homosexuality. But we’re talking about today, rather than hundreds, if not thousands of years ago.

    I think the difference is that you cannot point to modern Christian theocracies that punish homosexuality with the death penalty. There are many Islamic theocracies that do today, and they point to their interpretation of the Koran as justification.

    While there’s plenty of homophobic people out there in Judeo-Christian cultures, we don’t see public state-led executions of gay men and some women.

    These are not equivalents.

    • Dana Steer

      February 21, 2017 at 8:31 pm

      The Southern Poverty Law Center tracks Christian terror groups throughout the country. Neo-Nazi and KKK Christian groups are not mainstream but they commit heinous actos of violence and terror quite frequently and have for decades. And they often do it in the name of Christianity. Does your bias blind you to these parallels?

      • matt10023

        February 22, 2017 at 4:36 am

        I see you’ve ignored the point. Individuals are going to hate. That’s a different scale than entire countries with law calling for the death sentence in the name of religion, fueled by religious leaders. I don’t expect you to change your mind. My comments are my own, but part of a larger chorus who don’t appreciate the extreme and wide ranging hostilely towards LGBT people demanded by many adherents of Islam.

        • Dana Steer

          February 22, 2017 at 11:45 am

          These are not “individuals.” Christian-based hate groups such as the KKK are organized networks which sometimes receive tacit support from certain deep red states. The operative word here is “state.” That’s right, the Christian Right and its terrorist arm have enjoyed complicity from certain deep red states for decades.

          The nation of ISIS is not a nation state. So I’m not sure which country you are referring to which overtly celebrates the type of Sharia Law which advocates death to Muslims.

          I would only say that I feel more at home – and safer – as a gay man in my workplace and home amongst my Muslim coworkers and neighbors than I have ever felt in parts of the deep South.

          So my experience is actually that the Christian terrorists which have been empowered by Bannon and Trump are more dangerous to citizens of this country than similar Islamic terrorist organizations.

          • matt10023

            February 23, 2017 at 1:38 pm

            You’re so caught up in your own rhetoric, that you wrote, “I’m not sure which country you are referring to which overtly celebrates the type of Sharia Law which advocates death to Muslims.” I think you mean, “….advocates death to gays”.

            Since you seem unable to look up any of this, here’s a Washington Post article on the topic of nations (mainly Islamic) that have stiff penalties including the death sentence.

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/06/13/here-are-the-10-countries-where-homosexuality-may-be-punished-by-death-2/?utm_term=.8a99cf598292

          • Dana Steer

            February 23, 2017 at 1:48 pm

            Did you read my post? I wrote “overtly celebrates.” Iran does not tout its homophobia to attract tourists and trade partners. In fact, many of the countries that this article listed face steep economic sanctions from the international community. Moreover, very few are actual democracies. So we’re talking about authoritarian rule being imposed on the people. Unlike Trump voters who invited hatred in by casting a ballot in favor.

          • matt10023

            February 23, 2017 at 2:28 pm

            “Overtly celebrates” matters little to the gay teen put to death in Iran. I think you’re parsing yourself into oblivion.

          • Dana Steer

            February 23, 2017 at 3:41 pm

            I’m sorry. I can’t argue about this anymore. On my continent, there are actual mosques being burned down, Muslims being shot while praying, actual Jewish gravestones being desecrated, and actual families being torn apart by the ICE. As such, I’ve got a rally to run to with my LGBTQ allies and friend to support our Muslim brothers and sisters under attack. You ought to be ashamed of yourself sir. And the Blade as well. History will judge you harshly for peddling your hateful half-truths.

          • Kake1977

            June 30, 2017 at 6:13 pm

            It’s people like you, that make me glad Trump won. Keep it up, and I’ll look forward to voting for him again.

  26. notafraid

    February 21, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    I am an atheist so have no axe to grind, but to equate Christianity which has had a reformation and enlightenment to defang it, with Islam which has not, is absurd,

    • Dana Steer

      February 21, 2017 at 8:29 pm

      Google “The Southern Poverty Law Center” which tracks hate crimes committed by fringe Christian groups such as the KKK and neo-Nazis. How are these terrorists any different?

      • notafraid

        March 10, 2017 at 3:50 pm

        The per capita mass murder rate of Muslims is how they differ

  27. Edhenry15

    February 21, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    Shannon is spot on…. and courageous
    (Pains me to no end to admit that as NC alum)

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Opinions

Congrats to Parkland survivor Cameron Kasky on coming out

An advocate for LGBTQ equality and reform of gun laws

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Cameron Kasky (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Oh to come out again.

The excitement. The nervousness. The sheer terror? Announcing it over and over to that friend or to that coworker. When people ask when I came out I generally say freshman year. But more accurately it’s more of a question of when and to whom? Thinking about it all again, there’s really no scenario in which I want to relive that. After all that was 1995, not 2021. The experience has to be a bit different now, right? There are myriad differences between then and now — greater social acceptance, gay marriage, what have you — but one of the greatest differences is that one can sort of do it now in one fell swoop thanks to social media and sites like Twitter.  

That’s where gun control activist and Parkland massacre survivor Cameron Kasky chose to make his coming out announcement on Monday. You remember Cameron; he was a principal organizer of the 2018 March for Our Lives rally and somewhat a Twitter personality since then. I like him because he constantly picks on Trump loyalist and bobblehead model, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz. 

In his coming out, Cameron noted that his “ability to proudly share who I am today only exists due to queer activists, specifically queer activists of color, giving their lives for our right to exist.” Yes, of course, and he’s right to pay homage to those who have come before and to mention queer people of color who have and continue in many ways to bear the brunt of social activism. A kid like Cameron, or let’s say a man like Cameron now, coming from a comfortable Florida upbringing, could have easily dismissed or ignored any of that and just coasted into a comfortable gay existence. But he recognized his privilege. And there’s a head nod to what might be coming, that is the obvious intersectionality of gun violence and anti-LGBTQ violence, not to mention really the scores of intersections of violence in America and the plight of minority groups. 

And it should be said that Cameron isn’t the only Parkland survivor to come out. X González came out as bisexual closer to the March for Our Lives rally. I’m sure you remember her and her powerful speech there, pausing for several minutes in honor of each of the 17 dead and 17 injured at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Leave it to the queer kids to lead the charge. 

I actually spent a morning with Cameron and a few of his fellow students leading up to the rally. I was essentially a media escort, driving them around to different interviews with local media outlets around Washington. We didn’t bond or anything and I doubt he remembers. What I remember are teenagers dealing with fame, trauma, and suddenly, but deftly, crafting a coherent and national message. Leave it to a theater kid like Cameron to see it through. I do remember being impressed, perhaps a bit perplexed, that listening to the radio in the van between interviews a 17-year-old knew that Prince actually wrote the Bangles head-bopper 80’s hit “Manic Monday.” I guess that should have been a giveaway. But we had other things on our mind that day.

Cameron closed his announcement saying that “to those of you who are also struggling to find an identity that you find authentic, take your time. Look inwards and indulge in your beauty and light. You’ll find so much to love, so much to be proud of.” So what’s next for Cameron? Well, I guess that’s up to Cameron really. And if he just wants to spend his gay 20s trading in fame here and there, he’s earned the right. But I doubt that would satisfy him. 

So what’s next? I guess there’s time, and the space, for all that. 

Congrats on coming out, Cameron. 

Brock Thompson is a D.C.-based writer who contributes regularly to the Blade.

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Commentary

The road to DADT repeal — remember their names

‘Maybe not in my lifetime, but we are going to win in the end’

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Lt. Dan Choi handcuffs himself to the White House fence in 2010. (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

“Maybe not in my lifetime, but we are going to win in the end.” – Air Force TSgt. Leonard Matlovich, Sept. 19, 1975.

The road to repeal of the codified charade known colloquially as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), masquerading as something different than the Pentagon policy ban dating to World War II, was long and built by many hands. While a straight-identified Congress and president were necessary to reach the destination, LGBT Americans made it happen. But “DADT Speak” can unintentionally erase the some 100,000 discharged before its creation. The following focuses on some of the First Volunteers; those very few service members who chose to risk their careers by outing themselves, putting faces to the ban, without which it would still be destroying lives.

In March 1974, Leonard Matlovich was the happiest he’d ever been in his life. It had taken him until he was 30, and surviving thoughts of suicide-by-war and direct suicide, to finally accept and embrace that he was gay, and now he had a job that he loved: Race Relations Instructor for the Air Force. He was so good in this job that he was sent around the country to train other instructors. An African-American fellow instructor said that, “He has the classroom in the palm of his hand.” 

His department chief wrote, “As a Race Relations Instructor there is none better. His mastery of group dynamics and group facilitation has enabled him to conduct seminar after seminar around the difficult and sensitive subject of race relations without incident. He should be promoted to Master Sergeant well ahead of his contemporaries.” 

And then he read an interview with Frank Kameny in the Air Force Times.

World War II veteran Frank Kameny had a genius IQ and Harvard Ph.D. in astronomy. Hired by the Army Map Service (AMS) in 1957, his dream of being one of the first astronauts, in fact, his entire scientific career, crashed and burned when the AMS learned he was gay. LGBs were already banned in the military; now, per Republican President Dwight Eisenhower’s Executive Order banning “sexual perversion” among civilian federal employees, he was fired five months later, and, worse, blackballed from employment by any other federal agency or private company or university receiving federal funding.

Unaffiliated with any gay group, he did what no other fired gay person had done. Eight years before Stonewall, he appealed his case against the Secretary of the Army to the Supreme Court in a self-penned brief whose eloquent fury still stuns today.

“The government’s regulations, policies, practices and procedures, as applied in the instant case to petitioner specifically, and as applied to homosexuals generally [including in the military], are a stench in the nostrils of decent people, an offense against morality, an abandonment of reason, an affront to human dignity, an improper restraint upon proper freedom and liberty, a disgrace to any civilized society, and a violation of all that this nation stands for. These policies, practices, procedures, and regulation have gone too long unquestioned, and too long unexamined by the courts.”

Yale Law School professor William Eskridge, Jr., later called it revolutionary, “the birth of Gaylegal Equality Arguments”; and Frank “the Rosa Parks and the Martin Luther King and the Thurgood Marshall of the gay rights movement.”

In a “court of last appeal” letter to newly inaugurated President John F. Kennedy in May 1961, two months after the Court refused to hear his case, Kameny, still on his own, also denounced “the policies, practices, and official attitudes of the military” and “less-than-fully-honorable discharges.”

That November he cofounded the militant Mattachine Society of Washington (MSW; not a chapter of original Mattachine) whose four missions included challenging military homophobia— 29 years before the creation of the first national group dedicated to fighting the ban, and 32 years before its codification into DADT.

MSW’s unprecedented three pickets of the White House in 1965 included signs protesting the ban, and he led a picket at the Pentagon itself. 

 “STOP Wasting Taxpayers Money on Hunts for HOMOSEXUALS.” “65,000 Homosexual Sailors DEMAND NEW NAVY POLICY.” “Quarter Million Homosexual American Servicemen & Women Protest Armed Services Policies.” “15 Million U.S. Homosexuals Protest Treatment by Armed Forces.”

That year the Navy alone kicked out at least 1,365—some 100 more than all the branches kicked out in the worst year under DADT. 

The ban was the subject of the first same day, nationally coordinated gay rights protests in 1966. Frank led another Pentagon picket then flew to New York City to lead a protest there. He was essentially the only non-lawyer source of help for LGB service members trying to avoid being kicked out or at least be granted an Honorable Discharge characterization. 

Since at least 1964, he’d been looking for a “perfect test case” — a service member with a clean record willing to out themselves and fight the ban in court. Leonard Matlovich read that in the Air Force Times and called him describing his three tours in Vietnam, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and outstanding performance ratings. After a number of meetings, Leonard agreed to carry the banner, coming out on the front page of The New York Times and on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite on Memorial Day 1975.

The response was seismic, rippling from the Times to the Kokomo, Indiana, Tribune and around the world. So unlike the mainstream concept of a gay male one reporter asked him if he was really gay. The effect was magnified when he appeared in uniform on the cover of Time magazine with the bold, black caption “I Am a Homosexual”—putting a face on the ban for millions for the first time. Gay historian Nathaniel Frank, author of the definitive book on the evolution of DADT, “Unfriendly Fire,” said, “it began a national discussion on gay rights.” 

Accounts of his four-day discharge hearing filled newspapers and TV screens. When the Air Force board couldn’t see past “Homosexual” to the perfect airman, they recommended his discharge; Leonard telling the crush of reporters outside: “Maybe not in my lifetime, but we are going to win in the end.” He failed to overturn the ban, but a 1981 Pentagon mandate that, barring extenuating circumstances such as sex on base, all discharge characterizations for gays should be Honorable can be linked to his case. No one imagined how short his lifetime would be, but he filled it fighting for gay equality. Frank was the lead honorary pallbearer, walking by the horse-drawn caisson carrying his body in 1988, and today his grave in Washington’s Congressional Cemetery with its iconic gravestone is a place of pilgrimage next to a Veterans Administration cenotaph for Frank.

“Exemplary” Army Reserve Drill Instructor Miriam Ben-Shalom was honorably discharged in 1976 after refusing to deny she was a lesbian during questioning about her criticizing the discharge of Leonard Matlovich. In 1980, a federal judge ruled that her discharge violated the First, Fifth, and Ninth amendments of the Constitution—the first court ruling that the ban was unconstitutional and 30 years before the ruling against DADT in the Log Cabin Republicans challenge—and ordered her reinstated. The Army simply ignored the order for seven years; until a Circuit Court forced them to return her to duty. But they refused to allow her to reenlist at the end of that period of service. 

The Supreme Court refused to hear her appeal in February 1990. Three months later, she and five other veterans founded Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Veterans of America, the first such national lobby group; today American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER). She and several other veterans were arrested at the White House in 1993 protesting the ban’s refashioning as DADT. She was arrested there again in 2010 protesting President Obama’s slow walk on repeal along with eight fellow veterans and four civilians including myself.

Sgt. Perry Watkins’ 16-year adventure in the U.S. Army began when Lyndon Johnson was president and would not end until George Bush père sat in the Oval Office. It spanned the globe, sometimes a comedy, sometimes a tragedy. It was sometimes even a musical comedy—but it was always, just as the ban itself, nonsensical; here ignoring that he was gay, there trying to kick him out because he was gay. Year after year, time after time, he demanded justice; and, in the end, it was his own truth that set him free—the truth he had told from the very beginning, during his draft physical in 1967 when he was 19 and checked the box indicating “homosexual tendencies.” 

The first gay African-American soldier to make headlines, while the Army ignored a court order to reinstate Miriam, in May 1982, Watkins also became the first out gay service member returned to duty by a court. But he was kicked out again, and, eventually, the Supreme Court let a lower court ruling stand that he should be reinstated in the name of fairness. Like Leonard, for whom he was an honorary pallbearer in 1988, he chose a settlement; passing himself in 1996. 

Petty Officer Keith Meinhold, a certified Master Training Specialist teaching sonar crews on P-3 Orion aircraft how to hunt submarines outed himself on ABC’s World News Tonight on May 19, 1992. Formerly recognized as “Aircrew Instructor of the Year,” his usually perfect performance ratings drop. Without any evidence, they claimed knowledge of his sexual orientation had “adversely affected his performance of duty and adversely affected the good order and discipline.” Though given an honorable discharge he sued and was ordered reinstated. Overall, his return was met positively, and his crew continued to win new awards. He retired four years later with full military honors, naval band music, a Navy Achievement Medal, and a 60-foot American flag.

Purposely coinciding with Meinhold’s coming out the same day, 25-year old Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade Tracy Thorne, first in his class in flight training, outed himself on “Nightline.” A bombardier-navigator flying A6 Intruders, like a ship on a roiling sea, his status repeatedly changed due to the unknowns of what might happen—or not—to the ban following Bill Clinton’s possible election, then election. He joined a five-week, 32-city cross-country veterans bus Tour of Duty to try to drum up public support for an end to the ban. He testified against the ban before the Senate Armed Services Committee — homophobic Sen. Sam Nunn’s dog and pony show where he was jeered by 1,000 sailors and Marines. To wild applause and laughter, infamous racist Sen. Strom Thurmond told him, “Your lifestyle is not normal. It’s not normal for a man to want to be with a man or a woman with a woman. Have you considered getting help from a medical or psychiatric standpoint?” He filed a lawsuit in 1994 and returned to active duty with the stipulation that the Navy could attempt to discharge him under DADT. In 1995, he was discharged. He sued again; his challenge ending when the Supreme Court refused to hear his case.

Their high-profile outings were planned to coincide with the same-day introduction of the long forgotten end-the-ban Military Freedom Act of 1992. Popular war hero and chair of the Joint Chiefs Colin Powell’s statements to Congress killed not only that bill but crippled Bill Clinton’s intentions even before he had the party’s nomination. Powell: “Skin color is a benign, non-behavioral characteristic. Sexual orientation is perhaps the most profound of human behavioral characteristics.” His disingenuous, pseudo intellectual way of saying, “they choose to be gay so it’s not a civil rights issue.”

Navy Reserve Lieutenant Zoe Dunning outed herself at a Jan. 16, 1993, rally in support of Keith Meinhold. She was allowed to stay in after convincing a board that “status” did not equal “conduct” — a finding immediately forbidden in future cases by the Pentagon. By retirement in 2007, she’d risen to the rank of commander, having served openly for more than 13 years. In December 2010, as co-chair of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) Board of Governors, she was invited to stand next to the president as he signed the provisional DADT repeal bill. Co-founder Dixon Osburn just released “Mission Possible,” his account of the crucial role SLDN played in ending the ban.

Former Marine of the Year Sergeant Justin Elzie had served 10 years when he outed himself on “World News Tonight” on Jan. 29, 1993. The Corps reneged on their existing approval for his early separation in April with benefits, moving to honorably discharge him immediately with none. He testified to Congress in support of ending the policy ban. A judge ordered he be retained until his legal challenge was resolved. He eventually settled out of court, receiving the early retirement bonus after having served as an out gay Marine for four more years during which he was recommended for promotion three times. He was one of our 13 arrested at the White House in November 2010 demanding DADT repeal.

Twenty-three-year old Desert Storm veteran and former Sixth Army Soldier of the Year Joe Zuniga outed himself at a huge event honoring gay military activists the night before the April 1993 March on Washington, including Meinhold and Thorne. “The roar was deafening. People cried. People hugged each other.” – The Washington Post. The next morning the three joined the veterans’ contingent in the march with hundreds of thousands.

Conversely, his Army command was enraged, discharging him, however honorably, in record time—in less than a month. They also brutally demoted him from Sergeant to Specialist after falsely accusing him of wearing a decoration he had not earned. His battalion commander melodramatically threw newspapers in which his story had appeared into a trashcan during his administrative hearing. But he continued to speak out all across America, and appeared in the historic first national gay TV ad; created for the Campaign for Military Service, an ad hoc group representing multiple existing gay groups hoping to offset the rabidly homophobic campaign of those in and out of the Democratic-controlled Congress determined to prevent President Bill Clinton from ending the ban. He also travelled the country and TV newsrooms trying to promote public support.

Army First Lieutenant and Iraq veteran Dan Choi came out on “The Rachel Maddow Show” on March 19, 2009, resulting in his discharge in June 2010. Far from just another came-out-on-TV story, Dan was the first Asian-American to become a leader in the anti-ban movement, and shook that movement when he began to engage in nonviolent direct action in the second year of the Obama administration after the president broke his promise to start working with Congress to end DADT when he took office. Dan allied with new direct action group GetEQUAL, and a small but growing number of people joined him in handcuffing themselves to the White House fence (including transgender veteran Autumn Sandeen); each time growing more media coverage, never more critical than in November 2010 when word went round that the repeal provision bill, stalled in the lame duck Congress, was going to be withdrawn likely damning the chance for repeal for years. Republicans would take over the House in 2011.

I have no proof that the action Dan led that month, joined by Miriam, Justin, et al., helped salvage the bill and, thus, repeal. I can only say that I am proud to have been next to them; one wrist handcuffed to the White House fence behind me; and holding Leonard’s Time magazine cover aloft with my free hand.

“Remember your roots, your history, and the forebears’ shoulders on which you stand.” – Marion Wright Edelman. 

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Opinions

Biden should develop national digital vaccine passport now

Those who refuse shots must be locked out of travel, jobs, schools

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COVID-19 vaccine, gay news, Washington Blade

President Biden finally mandated vaccinations for all federal employees and Mayor Bowser has started doing the same for city employees. It is time to take every legal avenue to mandate people get vaccinated since so many don’t seem to have the will or even compassion for their children and the community to do it on their own. The president proposed Executive Orders including asking the Department of Labor to set a rule mandating every company with over 100 employees demand they be vaccinated or tested weekly. Interesting to hear Mike Pence blast Biden’s vaccine speech: ‘Unlike anything I’d ever heard from an American president.’” Clearly he has only listened to Republican lies and BS.

D.C. LGBTQ bars took the lead to require vaccinations for admission, now it is up to the mayor to mandate this. In the meantime every restaurant, bar, and public venue must do the same. If we are a society that really cares for each other, mandating vaccinations is a way to prove it and enforce care for the community. It’s past time to stop coddling those who refuse to get vaccinated. 

The president must now immediately order a national digital vaccine passport to help those vaccinated prove it in places that require it. The United States must join other nations of the world who already have done this. Add it to Global Entry requirements. Mr. President, stop prevaricating and do it now. No one is required to have this proof but if they don’t they should be locked out of travel, jobs, schools, and entertainment venues requiring vaccination. 

Airlines should announce those who aren’t vaccinated but eligible will not be allowed to fly and Amtrak should do the same for rail travel. Mr. President, support the Safe Travel Act introduced by Don Beyer (D-Va.), which mandates this. You shouldn’t be able to enter a baseball or football stadium without proof of vaccination. You should need proof to enter a movie theater. Theaters in New York and D.C. now require proof of vaccination to buy a ticket. It’s not hard to do if the will is there.

I was in Rehoboth Beach for the two weeks before Labor Day and appalled at indoor bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues that didn’t require proof of vaccination or even masks. I heard regularly about breakthrough COVID cases in outdoor venues I went to, so clearly there were many cases of those who weren’t vaccinated. CAMP Rehoboth had trouble selling tickets to its SunFest concerts and then did the right thing requiring proof of vaccination and a mask and sales picked up as people were more comfortable going to what became very successful events. The Washington Blade recently announced it would require proof of vaccination to attend its Sept. 17 benefit in Rehoboth to raise funds for the Steve Elkins Memorial Fellowship given out by the Blade Foundation. I applaud the Blade for doing the responsible thing. 

We may never be fully rid of COVID but surely we must do everything we can to protect each other and our children even if it means mandating people to do the right thing. I write as an older American and cancer survivor who spent 10 months eating every meal alone to protect myself during the pandemic. I wore a mask to protect both myself and others with whom I came in contact. It wasn’t that difficult. It still isn’t. When Mayor Bowser reinstated the mask requirement for all indoor settings in D.C. I put my mask back on everywhere including in the hallways and lobby of my condo building. I wore it when I went to visit a neighbor currently going through chemotherapy to protect her. Again, so simple to do. 

It is beyond comprehension why a parent wouldn’t want to protect their unvaccinated child. Why they would fight to keep their child from wearing a mask in school when they know how many children are now getting sick. Judges are debating whether Gov. Ron DeSantis’s no masks in school order in Florida is legal and whether he has the authority to mandate it around the state. Another judge stayed his order mandating cruise ships embarking from Florida having to take unvaccinated passengers. One questions whether in the long run, as more children get sick and some die, DeSantis’s views will continue to be a winning political strategy for him. Clearly his policies aren’t based in science. In the end, when the rubber meets the road, people are into self-preservation no matter how long and hard they first rejected it.  

Peter Rosenstein is a longtime LGBTQ rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.

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