Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Death of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" And The Next Step

Unless you have been living under a rock the last couple of days you have learned that the much anticipated death of DADT came full swing at 12:01am Tuesday morning. This is a great step for the GLBTQ service men and women in this country. This is also a great step in equality for everyone. With the amount of support by lawmakers such as Nancy Pelosi and the president, Celebrities like Lady Gaga, and even straight service members at all levels and branches of the military it gives me hope to what else we can accomplish. While this is possibly the best news for the GLBTQ community this week, let us not celebrate and lose focus.

There are many inequalities that still plague the community. Violence towards the community, discrimination, marriage bans, and so much more are on the list. Many states have passes, by way of legislation or court decision, the rights to marry to gay. New York is the most recent to be added to that list. I think that if we continue to fight on the state level that it will just be a matter of time until the federal government follows suit. That is not to say that we should give up on the federal fight. I just think that we should start from the inside and work our way out. With one exception...DOMA. There is currently a big introduced into congress known as The Respect For Marriage Act. If passed, this bill will repeal DOMA once and for all. For those who are not aware of just what DOMA is, it is a bill passed the defined Marriage federally as a union between one man and one woman. Initially I never really let this bother me beyond the usual principle of it. Then I began to learn more about the law and what it really meant for the gay community. Although the bill does not override a states ability to grant marriage rights to GLBT members, it does bar them from federally instituted rights. I am talking about rights such as but not limited to: Immigration rights, spousal rights (such as joint taxes and insurance), etc. This is blatant discrimination. It also says that a state does not have to recognize our marriages if it does not want to unlike in a heterosexual marriage where if I get married here in Iowa Texas has to recognize it. This makes the GLBTQ community second class citizens and this is not acceptable. 

This is why I am stressing so much about the importance of the 2012 elections. We need to fight for our rights and elect those that will stand with us or at least will be willing to remain objective on the subject. With the Republicans taking a drastic turn to the right and being influenced by the Tea Party more and more we must do all we can to make sure Democrats and liberal independents not only remain in office, but beat their GOP opponents in the coming election. 

DADT is cause for celebration, but lets not forget there is so much more that needs to be done. I call to you to let the excitement you feel today fuel the drive to fight harder and harder for GLBTQ equality. I have talked a lot of this subject and I promise you it will only get more passionate as time goes on. The road ahead will be rocky but what lies at the end of the road is worth it. Who will take the road with me?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Here is something to celebrate
Tomorrow is a truly historic day in American history.   For tomorrow, September 20, 2011, will mark the end of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy, which bans lesbian, gay, and bisexual men and women from serving openly in our armed services.  Since 1993, gay Americans willing to risk their lives and serve their country in uniform have been forced to serve in silence, out of fear of being discharged. (keep reading)