jaysays.com |

because simon isn’t cool anymore.
Subscribe

Gay Group Goes Public to Celebrate DADT Repeal – Members Leave in Response

September 20, 2011 By: jaysays Category: Thought of the Gay

Gay San Antonio Facebook GroupThe Facebook group titled “Gay San Antonio” will be marking the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell by “coming out” from the “private” setting to the “public” setting on Facebook.  When the Administrators formed the group, they originally set the privacy settings so that, without an invitation, the group postings and its members remained hidden.  The chosen method of celebration seems appropriate and symbolic, but not all members support the change. Several of them announced that once the group goes public, they will be removing themselves from it for fear of retaliation by their family, co-workers and friends.

One of the group members who is leaving stated:

Sorry I can’t be a part of it but being a part of a political organization like this in the public eye will greatly harm my credibility at work. I’d rather be semi-in-the-closet and employed than openly gay and broke.

This is a very real and reasonable fear shared by many. “Coming out” of the closet as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is far too often a career killer.  It’s no wonder that the repeal of DADT is so bittersweet for me.  I see through the rose-colored, celebratory glasses and look directly at our oppressors and oppressions ruling us with fear.  The reality that our lives are still governed by this fear is a grotesque ode to the heavy toll denying dignity and freedom to a people has on their lives.

So to all members of Gay San Antonio (past, present and future), I offer you this video of Ms. Nina Simone, answering the question, “What’s freedom?”:

HRC’s Eric Alva Speaks about DADT and Obama’s Defense of Policy

October 17, 2010 By: jaysays Category: DADT, Featured

"We Will Not Be Silent." Don't Ask Don't Tell ("DADT")Marine Staff Sgt. Eric Alva (Ret.) was the first American wounded in the war in Iraq when, on March 21, 2003, while traveling to Basra, he stepped on a land mine.  In 2006, Sgt. Alva began working with the Human Rights Campaign, the “largest” LGBT Rights organization, to speak out against the military’s now (but likely temporarily) halted “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy (DADT). He now tours nationally for the organization and continues to lecture about DADT.

On Friday, October 15, 2010, just days after a Federal Judge ordered an injunction against enforcement of the unconstitutional policy, the Gay and Lesbian Association of San Antonio College hosted a lecture by Sgt. Alva as part of their Coming Out Week events.

Sgt. Alva began his lecture by discussing his tenure in the military and its abrupt and tragic end, with the triggering of the land mine.  He went on to explain that, after his medical discharge, he contacted the HRC to find out how he can work with them to educate and inspire a repeal of DADT.  Not only did his lecture included his personal experiences working toward a repeal, but he also used the opportunity to address the division within the LGBT community, stating that he never refers to us as a “community,” but instead prefers to refer to us as a “populace” because of our varied lifestyles, opinions, culture, etc.

It is very likely that the Department of Justice will appeal the lower court’s decision to the 9th circuit in an effort to halt a judicial repeal of the policy.  If such appeal is perfected, it means that the Obama Administration is attempting to keep the policy in place, rather than repeal it as has been stated by Obama to be his goal.  You can read more about that issue, here, including discussion of other cases which were not appealed by the justice department.

Sgt. Alva, in addressing the recent injunction, Obama’s appeal of the decision and the fact that Obama has continued to refuse to sign an executive order ending the policy, stated, “I do not want Obama to sign an executive order, ending don’t ask, don’t tell.”  He went on to explain that, if the president chose to end the policy it would put an end to the discussions; discussions he believes are important in light of the recent and highly publicized LGBT youth suicides.

DADT has been the policy of the United States Military for approximately 17 years.  Prior to implementation of the policy, the military’s policy was simply, you can’t serve if you’re gay.

Marine Staff Sgt. Eric Alva was the first American wounded in the war in Iraq. On March 21, 2003
Enhanced by Zemanta

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: Libertarian Party Board Member Says DADT Should Remain

September 27, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Headline, Stupid Things People Say About Gays

Although the Libertarian party has often pressed Congress on the repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, a recent internal email from one of the party’s Board Members, Norm Olsen of Region 4, argues against the repeal, stating that, “The heterosexual soldier has a right to be free from unwanted sexual advances.”  Here’s the full text of his “P.S.” remarks from a copy of the leaked email (all errors his own):

PS> This is written by a Libertarian individual who believes the that the ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy is fine and appropriate.  I realize this will ruffle a whole flock of feathers.  Please hear me out.

My son serves in the military, and is currently deployed in Afghanistan. While joining the military was his choice, the conditions of his deployment are not of his choice.  With whom he is deployed is not his choice.  I suggest that he and all other heterosexuals who have volunteered to serve for whatever reason have a right to be free from unwanted sexual advances. Under normal conditions, he could separate himself from such advances, or physically defend himself from such advances.  Neither is appropriate or applicable in the combat situation; especially under those conditions where his physical safety is in jeopardy; specifically those case where he is dependent upon others for his survival.

The heterosexual soldier has a right to be free from unwanted sexual advances.  It is said that the homosexual has a right to serve his country. In the ‘you and me alone in a foxhole situation’, you have two rights in conflict.  You must solve to the highest level of morality.  In the case of the heterosexual soldier, the morality is ‘I own my own body’.  In the case of the gay soldier, the right is ‘I have a right to serve’.  Which right holds the higher moral ground.  No question in my mind.

The ‘Don’t ask,. don’t tell’ policy is a comprise here.  If non-heterosexual individuals do not exhibit homosexual behavior in military situations, no one cares what their sexual proclivities are.  If, however, they do insist on exhibiting sexual behavior in situations where such is militarily inappropriate, the right to serve loses to the higher moral ground: the right of those in a situation not of their choosing to own their own body. It could very well be that in certain cases this is not the manner in which the ‘Don’t’ ask, don’t tell’ policy is implemented, but improper implementation in certain cases does not invalidate the policy as a whole.

This is simply protecting the rights of the heterosexual soldier to be free from unwanted sexual advances in situations over which the heterosexual soldier has absolutely no choice or control; the only alternative being the firing squad for desertion.  Further, the ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy is fairly liberal.  Homosexuals are free to join the military, serve their country, and to improve their lives using the many benefits offered by the government to those who serve in the military.  Heterosexuals are entitled to the same rights and benefits, without having to give up their right to own their own bodies.

Mr. Olsen’s statements are based upon a lot of assumptions/stereotypes.  For example, he assumes that his son is so attractive to gay men that they cannot resist the urge to continually badger him with sexual advances.  He also stereotypes homosexuals (and in his story he appears to specifically target gay men) by indicating that they will “exhibit homosexual behavior in military situations” because they do not have the ability to control themselves.

Apparently, Mr. Olsen is unaware of the current statistics regarding sexual abuse/assault in the military or that the Department of Defense developed the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program to confront the problems that currently exist.  In fact, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made this announcement about sexual assault in the military (even though the U.S. Military doesn’t currently allow openly gay people to serve):

The Department has a no-tolerance policy toward sexual assault. This type of act not only does unconscionable harm to the victim; it destabilizes the workplace and threatens national security.

Now, if Mr. Olsen’s complaints weren’t already a serious problem in our military would Mr. Gates needed to have address the problem?  Would an agency such as the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program need to exist?  No.

In 2009, there were 3,230 reports of sexual assault involving service members.  That’s very nearly 9 assaults per day!  A whopping 89% of all reported cases of sexual assault were made by women in the military, in spite of the fact that women make up only about 20% of the U.S. military.  Of the total reported sexual assaults, only 2% were committed by female personnel.

Education goes a long way Mr. Olsen, discrimination goes nowhere.

To contact Norm Olsen, call (303) 277-9967 or email region4rep@doneDad.com and/or Norman.Olsen@lp.org.

H/T to reader, Brian Miller, for the tip.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Radical Racist Extremists Infiltrating U.S. Armed Forces – It’s ok… they are straight.

July 27, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Thought of the Gay

Sometimes, priorities are difficult to establish, particularly when dealing with issues of national security.  For example, when airplanes begin crashing into buildings, it’s sometimes difficult to choose between disappointing a room full of school children by not finishing a story or racing to action to defend whatever attack is happening.

A similar sort of decision was faced by the Obama Administration when forced to choose between having well-trained qualified soldiers serving our country or discharging them under the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy.  The arguments against repeal of DADT generally revolve around “troop morale.”  The Department of Defense expressed concerns, by way of a survey sent to numerous troops regarding the repeal of DADT, that allowing gay and lesbians soldiers to serve openly in the military would diminish the ability of the military to respond. Apparently, the theory is that heterosexual troops would be so fearful of gays in the shower that they wouldn’t be able to focus on their jobs.

However, it seems that troops serving openly as a fascist, a racist, an anti-Semite or an outright quack is just fine by military standards.  The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) recently sent a letter to Congress expressing its discomfort with the U.S. Military training men and women for combat who are openly anti-Semitic, anti-black or admittedly fascist for fear that such training will breed more domestic terrorists and claiming that such hate-groups are infiltrating the military.

In order to shed light on their concerns, SPLC provided numerous examples of online profiles of military members.  Many revealed a deep hatred for anything “non-White” American.  In order to illustrate my point, I provide examples of statements soldiers make in their online profiles that are not dischargeable offenses, followed by statements that would result in a discharge.

Acceptable Statement in the U.S. Military (no discharge):

I hate illegal immigrants with a passion and feel every true red blooded, white American should do whatever it takes to stop the foreign invasion and protect America and the American way of life so our children can grow up in a pure White America someday. – Click here for quoted profile.

Unacceptable statement in the U.S. Military (dischargable offense):

I’m gay.

Acceptable Statement in the U.S. Military (no discharge):

Dislikes – n*g*ers, Ky*es, Mexicans, I could go on, to [sic] much is detestable in this world right now.  People with no values for family. Race mixers.  – Click here for quoted profile.

Unacceptable statementin the U.S. Military (dischargable offense):

I’m bisexual.

Acceptable Statement in the U.S. Military (no discharge):

[I’m a] Proud White man, twenty six years old and tired of the destruction of our clean white culture and heritage, the poison of black culture in our society, and the illegal invasion of mexico into our sovereign nation.  – Click here for quoted profile.

Unacceptable statement in the U.S. Military (dischargable offense):

I’m a lesbian.

DADT is a witch-hunt policy.  Although the military claims, and even re-emphasized in March, 2010, that the policy was a “Don’t Pursue” policy and would be relaxed, all it takes is a bit of a jab from a third-party and an entire, honorable military career could be shattered.  Also in March, 2010, Jene Newsome, an Air Force Sergeant who played by the rules of DADT and served silently, was outed by police officers in Rapid City, South Dakota.  This wasn’t a case of Jene showing up in the local newspaper being dragged out of a gay nightclub by police as we’ve seen in the past, this was obviously a targeting ploy by the Rapid City Police Department, which after finding Jene Newsome’s marriage license from Iowa, reported her to their local Air Force base.

While Jene hunts for a new job, redefines her career goals and attempts to put her life back in order, a neo-nazi/fascist is serving openly with Jewish soldiers.  Whether that affects the moral of Jewish soldiers is yet to be determined as no study has been conducted.

I Hereby Command You… (but Will I Defend You?)

July 01, 2010 By: jaysays Category: DADT, Featured

Lt Dan ChoiThe Uniform Code of Military Justice applies to members of the armed forces.  The Code sets out the laws that each member of the services is bound to follow.  It enumerates offenses and punishments much like the Penal Code does for non-military citizens, and includes Article 92, which criminalizes the failure to obey an order or regulation.

Often, commanders issue general orders to those in their command.  The person receiving the order must carry it out.  If they do not carry out the order, they could then be charged under the Article 92 provisions and would be subject to court-martial.

Sub Chapter X. Punitive Article

892. ART. 92. FAILURE TO OBEY ORDER OR REGULATION

Any person subject to this chapter who–

(1) violates or fails to obey any lawful general order or regulation; [emphasis added]

(2) having knowledge of any other lawful order issued by any member of the armed forces, which it is his duty to obey, fails to obey the order; or

(3) is derelict in the performance of his duties;

shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

“I was only following orders.”  We’ve historically heard that argument so often that we’ve almost become immune to it.  From Nazi Germany to Abu Ghraib, soldiers have heralded the defense for all sorts of atrocious acts of human rights violations.  Even Hollywood has adopted the defense for some of their greatest hits, like A Few Good Men.

On June 1, 2009, President Barack Obama, the Commander and Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces, issued a proclamation declaring June Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.  The proclamation outlined laws and inequities suffered by LGBT people, including a call for “ending the existing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy in a way that strengthens our Armed Forces and our national security.”

Twenty-eight days after that statement, on June 29, 2009, the President reiterated his support for the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy:

And finally, I want to say a word about ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’  As I said before — I’ll say it again — I believe ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ doesn’t contribute to our national security.  In fact, I believe preventing patriotic Americans from serving their country weakens our national security.  Now, my administration is already working with the Pentagon and members of the House and the Senate on how we’ll go about ending this policy, which will require an act of Congress.

On October, 10, 2009, the Commander of the United States Armed Forces, Barack Obama, issued his “order.”

If we are honest with ourselves we’ll admit that there are too many who do not yet know in their lives or feel in their hearts the urgency of this struggle. That’s why I continue to speak about the importance of equality for LGBT families — and not just in front of gay audiences. That’s why Michelle and I have invited LGBT families to the White House to participate in events like the Easter Egg Roll — because we want to send a message. And that’s why it’s so important that you continue to speak out, that you continue to set an example, that you continue to pressure leaders — including me — and to make the case all across America.

Captain James Pietrangelo and Lt. Dan Choi heard the order of the President and acted by chaining themselves to the fence in front of the White House.  For “following orders” they were arrested.  Now, as the two prepare to confront the criminal charges at trial, the President’s testimony has become relevant in their defense.  They have issued a subpoena for the President to appear and testify; however, service of the subpoena on the President was not made as guards at the White House refused the process server entry.

Attorneys for Pietrangelo and Choi issued a memo explaining the rational for the subpoena:

[Pietrangelo and Choi] seek to compel the testimony of President Barack Obama who has, on several occasions as President and Commander in Chief (and previously as a Senator and Presidential Candidate) called on the LGBT community to “pressure” him to change the DADT law and policy, thus allowing gay servicemembers to serve their country openly and honorably.

The subpoena of the President is necessary for the defense to prove that Defendants were following and obeying lawful orders or directives by their President and Commander in Chief, and were therefore under an obligation and authority to act as they did in order to pressure him – in a non-violent, visible way – on this important public issue. In addition, these statements support the contention that Defendants were acting out of necessity, in order to prevent discrimination and greater harm to gay servicemembers now serving.

Obviously, there are problems with a subpoena issued to a sitting president and, generally, presidents have not complied with or have made other arrangements to testify when a subpoena is issued for their appearance.  It is highly unlikely that, even if served, Obama would be subject to the subpoena.  However, regardless of your feelings toward the “gay rights movement” or more direct action type activism such as that employed by Pietrangelo and Choi, you must admit that it was a pretty smart maneuver and an interesting use of the “following orders” defense.

LGBT Lessons for Straight People: What Do You Tell A Seven Year Old About Homosexuality?

June 14, 2010 By: geekgirl Category: Headline, LGBT Lessons for Straight People

Representative Ike Skelton from Missouri is against the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (“DADT”), which bans service in the military by openly gay people, because he doesn’t want to open a national dialogue about homosexuality. Specifically, he doesn’t want to have to force families to explain homosexuality to their children. Setting aside the absurdity that repealing DADT will come up at the dinner table with our children, let’s talk about the real issue here. Homo-ignorance.

Was there ever a moment in the LGBT movement more perfect than this for Geekgirl to speak out?

Mr. Skelton sounds like he is, what I call, homo-ignorant. Let’s be honest here and take off the politics. A lot of straight people don’t know what to say to their children about gays, lesbians, bisexuals or transgender individuals. Heck, many of them don’t know what to say about straight relationships.

We’ll talk about what to say. But first a little story. When I was in 5th grade I watched two boys fighting and one of them said the word fuck. I didn’t know what it meant. Being the straight A student that I was, I turned to my dictionary. No word. So I asked my mother. She slapped me across the face and sent me to my room without an answer. I remember sitting there thinking, “hmm, whatever this word means, it must be good because it has power.”  My parents never told me about sex. Imagine my horror when my best friend told me that sperm go into your stomach through your belly button and that is how you get pregnant. She never did say where the sperm came from.

The point of that little story is that parents don’t know what to do when they feel uncomfortable. Having grown up to be a biologist, I was determined not to make that mistake with my own children. When my son was born, I read a lot about how and when to explain sex and sexuality to a child. I wanted my son to grow up healthy – both physically and psychologically when it came to sex. I remember when our son was four years old. He knew that my friend Sandra liked girls. She didn’t have a partner at the time, but I had already explained this to him. I remember he said to me, “So, it’s ok if girls love other girls?”

I said, “Of course, love is important.”

His answer came in the form of a four year old experiencing relief, “That’s good. Because I love Sandra and I want her to be happy.” I’m proud to say that Sandra and Kim have been part of our family’s life to this day. They adore our son and he adores them.

Explaining gays and lesbians to a 7 year old can be this simple. Some people are born attracted to the same sex. Two girls can feel the same love for each other that a girl and a boy can. The same is true for two boys. Love is love. Children instinctively understand love and family. It makes them feel safe.

People have a tendency to make sexual orientation about sex acts. But do we ever explain straight couples this way to our children? “Well, Johnny, meet your Aunt Sue and Uncle Bob from California. You haven’t met them before. They are married. And when they have sex, Uncle Bob puts his penis inside Auntie Sue’s vagina. Oh Bob, do you also have oral sex?” Of course we don’t explain it that way. That’s absurd.

So, am I saying don’t explain how gay people have sex?  Children do need to know about the physical acts of sex. Part of that conversation must include preventing pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, how sex and sexuality affect us psychologically. Children need to know about “bad touches,” respecting and being respected.

But if you never talk about gay sex, it’s fine. That isn’t what they need to learn from you. They need to learn that all humans, all couples, experience love. They need to learn that commitment and respect are very important in all relationships. Our children are not born with prejudice or discomfort. It is learned.

jaysays.com contributor geekgirlgeekgirl: Jude, the author of this post, is a straight woman, a mom and has been married for 32 years to the same wonderful man. She believes in Buddhism and attends the United Church of Christ. She is a molecular biologist, her best friend is a lesbian, and she believes that every human deserves equal rights, respect and a life free from hate, fear and discrimination. The only thing she hates is pickles. Her science blog can be found at LGBT Latest Science.  More of LGBT Lessons for Straight People can be found here.

VIDEO: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Protests Interrupt Obama Fundraising – Dan Choi and Others in Chains Again

April 20, 2010 By: jaysays Category: DADT, Featured

GetEQUAL activists interrupted President Barack Obama during a speech designed to raise funds for California Senator Barbara Boxer’s re-election campaign.  The group shouted for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the U.S. Military’s policy prohibiting openly gay soldiers from serving this country.

President Obama attempted to regain control of the speech and stay on topic, by acknowledging the group, then returning to endorsements for Senator Boxer.  Early on during the interruption, Obama states:

I don’t know why you have to holler, we already hear you.

Thereafter, Obama continually advises the group that he supports the repeal of don’t ask, don’t tell, but again reiterates his inquiry:

Barbara and I are supportive of a repeal of don’t ask don’t tell, so I don’t know why you are hollering.

But support doesn’t equate to action, and therein lies the problem.

In what is becoming typical fashion for GetEQUAL organizers, bicoastal events were held.  The day after the group interrupted Obama in Los Angeles, Dan Choi, Autumn Sandeen and 4 others chained themselves to the the gates of the White House [photo by David Mailloux of dymsum]:

Repeal DADT GetEQUAL: Protestors outside of the White House

CNN has some video footage of the chained veterans available here.

Army Secretary McHugh’s Big Fat April Fool’s Joke on the Gay Community.

April 01, 2010 By: jaysays Category: DADT, Featured

"We Will Not Be Silent." Don't Ask Don't Tell ("DADT")When reports hit the blogosphere that Army Secretary, John McHugh, was ceasing prosecutions under the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law, there were more questions than answers.  But before our minds could fully wrap themselves around the implications, Secretary McHugh backtracked, stating that:

With regard to the three soldiers who shared their views and thoughts with me on ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’, I might better have counseled them that statements about their sexual orientation could not be treated as confidential and could result in their separation under the law. [emphasis added]

That’s right, Secretary McHugh totally pulled a take-backsy. Roughly translated, McHugh acknowledges that they will still fire military members from their employment, based solely on that person’s sexual orientation – talk about a need for an inclusive “Employer Non-Discrimination Act!” Further, McHugh likely realized the potential backlash from conservative America should he decide not to prosecute homosexuals.

Secretary McHugh needs to learn the rules of April Fool’s jokes – you can’t just outright lie about something until 12:00 midnight on April 1st.  If you do, your April Fool’s joke is invalid.  So, if I have this right, Secretary McHugh’s take-backsy is void and his earlier statements about a moratorium on DADT remain in full force and effect.

As far reaching as that argument may seem, it’s still as rational as the arguments by opponent’s of a repeal on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell who claim that, based upon their interpretation of words translated by politicians (i.e. King James), and according to their imaginary friend in the sky, gay is bad and should therefore be prosecuted.

Vandals Attempt to Silence Pro-LGBT Messages.

September 28, 2009 By: jaysays Category: DADT, Featured, Hate Crimes, LGBT News

Former marine, Tim Smith, is one of the many who have risked their life to defend this country’s freedom.  However, in spite of his heroism, he was discharged under the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy.  Having served in the marines, Tim Smith is no stranger to fighting.  Rather than just roll over in the face of his discharge, he chose to become the face for a Memphis area billboard:MGLCCprevandal

Unfortunately, this particular billboard was attacked by vandals on Friday night. All that remains visible are the faded faces of past messages:

MGLCC

This act wasn’t the only bit of vandalism that occurred this weekend. The Equality Texas offices were attacked as well. Vandals left the office contents, but shattered the facade:

vandalism

In spite of the efforts of vandals, our message remains. We are still standing and we must continue the fight for civil equality until we can proudly change our message to a victory cry: “Mission Accomplished.” We too shall overcome.

Equality Texas is seeking contributions to help pay for the damage to the center.  While insured, the coverage is for contents only and a lease exclusion makes the organization responsible for damage to glass.  If you can help, please donate to Equality Texas.

Military Humiliation and Abuse: It’s Not Just Abu Ghraib it’s DADT

July 02, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Featured, Thought of the Gay

DADT - We Will Not Be SilentWe all remember the terrible photos coming out of Abu Ghraib showing what appears to be American service members abusing prisoners. Several soldiers were discharged over the events and spent time in correctional facilities; however, such harassment and abuse is not confined to just Abu Ghraib.

Joseph Rocha, a 23 year old veteran of Iraq was humiliated and abused by his military leadership over rumors that he was a homosexual. In one incidence, Rocha was “grabbed and held by military working dog handlers in front of the kennel, duct taped to a chair rolled outside and then left in a dog kennel until released.” This event was witnessed by someone on base who reported it and led to an investigation.

On another occasion, Rocha was “directed to role play homosexual simulation simulating oral sex with other male kennel support members.” Rocha states that this incident was videotaped and showed Rocha being told by his military leadership that he needed to be “more believable, act more queer, have a higher pitched voice, be more feminine and make the sounds and gestures more realistic.” The investigation made its way to Washington, D.C.; however, Rocha learned three years later that the investigation was dropped.

In Rocha’s official statement to the Navy he advised that he is, indeed, a homosexual. He was then discharged under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. The people who did this to Rocha are still active duty.

California State Senate and the San Diego City Council approved separate resolutions on June 23, 2009 in support of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act (HR 1283), which would lift the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. The California State Resolution is expected to be voted on by the full California Senate in August.

At hearings, Joseph Rocha spoke in favor of the resolutions. He was joined by:

  • COL Stewart Bornhoft, SLDN Military Advisory Council (MAC)
  • CDR Zoe Dunning, US Navy, SLDN Board Co-Chair
  • Ben Gomez, US Navy (Ret) and Chapter President, American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER) San Diego Chapter
  • CAPT Eric McDonald, US Navy (Ret)
  • LCDR Craig Wilgenbusch, USNR, SLDN MAC

Joseph Rocha’s recorded statement is available for download thanks to youthradio.org.