Thursday, May 27, 2010

One hurdle down on repeal of DADT - not time to pop the champagne YET

Champagne will NOT be popped until the work is completed, but this is still a big deal:

WASHINGTON - The U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday to end 'don't ask, don't tell,' the 1993 policy that bars openly gay men and lesbians from serving in the military.

The vote followed passage earlier by a Senate committee that took a first step toward ending the policy that allows gays to serve in the military only if they don't disclose their sexual orientation.

In a 16-12 vote, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved a provision to repeal the 1993 "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, the only Republican to vote for the amendment to a defense spending bill, said it passed after "vigorous and aggressive debate."

Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., who promoted the measure with Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., said: "It's time for this policy to go. It doesn't reflect America's best values of equal opportunity, and it's not good for the military."

Repealing the 1993 law, a priority of gay rights groups that President Barack Obama has pledged to pursue, still faces a tough road.

The full House took up the identical amendment late Thursday amid fierce opposition, particularly among Republicans who cited letters from military service chiefs urging Congress to hold off on the legislation until the Pentagon completes a study of the impact on military life and readiness.

The measure could face a filibuster when it reaches the Senate floor.
For my money, the ignorant comment of the night against the repeal was by Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon of California:
Congress going first "is the equivalent to turning to our men and women in uniform and their families and saying, 'Your opinion, your view, do not count."

McKeon is proof that some people can't wrap their heads around the fact that many of our soliders are lgbts who merely want to openly serve the country they love.

Homophobia certainly makes one stupid, doesn't it?

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Ugandan anti-gay bill creator wallows in the filth of his own homophobia

It has been said that sometimes you have to let purveyors of ignorance and hate speak freely because sooner or later they tend to damage their own cause.

This saying should be remembered when listening to an interview with MP David Bahati, the creator of that awful anti-gay Ugandan bill.

The interview is courtesy of outtakes from the Current TV’s Vanguard documentary Missionaries of Hate which looked at how this bill came into being. Bahati was interviewed by reporter Mariana van Zeller.

Among other comments, Bahati claims that evangelicals in America have given him private support for his efforts, although he doesn't tell who these folks are.

Bahati also says that he has no compunctions in making family members suffer because of the bill and that Uganda is "leading the way" in this issue.

Don't let anyone fool you. Behind Bahati's self-righteous veneer is pure hatred.

Bahati: “I’m proud. I’m proud to be a part of the cause to defend our family here in Uganda, but also to protect our children. That is very positive to me. The negative is in the way of fighting pressure from all over the world for people who are sometimes not really informed on what is the real issue we are fighting, are people who are just depending on what they hear in the media, and sometimes and most of the time being distortions.

van Zeller: How did you feel when you heard President Obama come out and specifically reject this bill?

Bahati: Fist of all, I have a lot of support for President Obama. He has inspired is, me also, of young people across the world. WE know he stood on the platform of change. But clearly we know that homosexuality is not the change the world is seeking, but the evil the world should confront. At the same time, I thought it was improper for a man who knows African culture, related to African culture, at the same time a man of great faith to use the platform of prayer, to go to the pulpit of God and try to convince the world to embrace sin. I felt a bit low that he could do those things in that fashion. But I will continue to pray for him and continue to love him, but I know that along the line what matter most is the people of Uganda.

van Zeller: Do you think there are other people in America such as Rick Warren who deep inside back this bill, support this bill but are now coming out and rejecting it?

Bahati: The many friends that we have, especially evangelicals in America, when we speak to them privately they do support us. They encourage us, but they are in a society that is very hostile. And we appreciate that and we say do what you think is right for your conscience. But remember at the same time remember we are engaged in a spiritual battle. We are engaged in a very difficult battle and it is important that you come out clearly. But we accept that they are in a bit of a hostile environment because America has… so of the many leaders in America been blackmailed by pro-gay communities. But we have support in America. There are people who support what we are engaged in. Many, many Americans don’t accept homosexuality as a human right, who take it as sin. They know it.

But how we treat these homosexuals is a matter that all of us disagree. There are those who think we should appreciate them, be tolerant of them. But for us we are saying, no we shouldn’t. We should call sin, sin because we cannot relate the Bible.

van Zeller: How powerful do you think this “gay agenda” as you call it, how powerful do you think it is?

Bahati: Well in terms of resources, in terms of propaganda, resource in terms of money, they are very, very, very powerful. And we know that what we are against us a spiritual battle in a way, and we know that our commander is God. So we think at the end of the day, we are more powerful than them. People who believe in heterosexual family, people who believe in God are more in the world than those who don’t believe in God. And so we think they are powerful, they have their resources, they have money, they are using public relations funds to realize, to work with the media to put a negative propaganda around this one, but at the end of the day I think the people of Uganda, the resolve of the people of Uganda has remained very firm and we think that God is using this small bill to shake the foundations of sin around the world. And also we think that God may be using this country, Uganda, to provide leadership in the area of moral issues where actually the world needs it most.

van Zeller: Many people say that the visit of three American Evangelicals to Uganda back in March and the conference that was held here was the main catalyst for this bill.

Bahati: Well, I think that that is in a way to be a bit insulting our country, that you’re suggesting that Ugandans cannot think for themselves. They cannot try to address the issues they are faced with. And it is somehow… refreshes the memories of colonialism, so it is something that is very disturbing.

van Zeller: What would you, what do you think you would do if you found out that one of your relatives is a homosexual?

Bahati: If I knew that my brother and my relative is a homosexual, and the laws of Uganda require that if I know that I should report to police, then I would really respect the law of the country and report him or her to police.

van Zeller: Even if that meant that he would have to spend the rest of his life in prison?

Bahati: Yes, because I know if he was kept around he would be doing something bad to our society.

van Zeller: So you think that other countries would use this bill as an example of something they should follow as well?

Bahati: I think this is in a way providing leadership in the world where it is needed most, especially where the moral values are really decayed. 

Big hat tip to Box Turtle Bulletin, which has been on top of this mess in Uganda since the start.

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American Family Association spokesperson: Gays were responsible for the Holocaust in Nazi Germany

 Oh Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Those who claim to follow you have lost their minds. This is the quote from the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer:

Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews. Gays in the military is an experiment that has been tried and found disastrously and tragically wanting. Maybe it's time for Congress to learn a lesson from history.

Since the news of a DADT compromise came into focus, the religious right have been melting down. So far, according to them, DADT should not be overturned because:

Gays will rape their fellow servicemen,

Gays will taint the Armed Forces with their "nasty, AIDS-diseased" blood,

and now this awful statement by Fischer which is a spit in the eye of everything accurate and decent.

The comment is also a spit in the eye of the innocent men,women, and children - be they Jewish, gypsy, gay, lesbian, and all other nationalities and walks of life - who were ruthlessly and so needlessly slaughtered in the Holocaust.

It's usually fun to watch the religious right go into meltdown, but this has ceased to be fun days ago. Some of these folks actually believe this mess.

And just so you know, Fischer's source for this lie is Scott Lively - one of the men responsible for that awful "kill the gays" bill in Uganda..

I doubt that there will be anyone from the religious right denouncing Fischer's comments. He will be one of the speakers at the next Family Research Council Values Voter Summit. And joining him will be Rep. Michele Bachmann, Rep. Mike Pence, and Mike Huckabee.

Does this scare the hell out of you? It should.

Hat tip to Jeremy Hooper.  Hooper has a plethora of comments by Fischer which leads one to wonder not only about the integrity of his Christian beliefs, but also the beliefs of the American Family Association, who employ him.

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Family Research Council pushes bogus report supporting DADT

In what has to be a desperate attempt to derail the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Family Research Council Senior Fellow for Policy Studies Peter Sprigg held a phone conference today with several reporters.

During this phone conference, he referred to what he called the "first-ever study of 'homosexual assault' in the military."

What? Did you expect anything different from a spokesperson of an organization which says that it was created in part to fight the alleged "homosexual agenda?"

Rather than go into detail about the "report," I would rather give two very good reasons as to why its validity should be doubted.

It's not that Sprigg's nonsense echoes a report by discredited researcher Paul Cameron, who earlier claimed that gays are four to seven more times likely to rape their fellow servicemen. Cameron also claimed that some perpetrators of heterosexual sex assaults can be termed as gay because apparently some gay men "like women too."

That offhand, sly referral to Cameron's lies isn't the reason why Sprigg's report should be lining birdcages.

The reasons involve past statements of Sprigg, such the one in 2008 when he said that he would like to see gays exported out of the United States:

Or earlier this year when on Hardball, he said that "gay behavior" should be outlawed:

I think it's a relatively safe assumption that (and I apologize to the late Mary McCarthy) every word Sprigg writes about the gay community is a lie including and and the.

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