Friday, March 19, 2010

From JMG: The Dutch Are PISSED At Gen. Sheehan

Led by Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, the Dutch government today blasted retired U.S. Gen. John Sheehan over his claim that gay Dutch soldiers caused the Bosnian genocide.
"The remarks were outrageous, wrong and beneath contempt," Balkenende told a news conference. The Dutch Defense Ministry called Sheehan's claims "absolute nonsense" and added that gay Dutch soldiers routinely cooperate with the U.S. military in the NATO mission in Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen called the claim "the bizarre private opinion of someone without an official function". Renee Jones-Bos, the Dutch ambassador to the United States, said in a statement, "I couldn't disagree more" with Sheehan, adding there was no evidence of his claims in the extensive record of research on Srebrenica. Military unions were equally angry. Dutch news agency ANP quoted the head of the military union AFMP as saying Sheehan's comments were "out of the realm of fiction", while the head of the gay soldiers' group SHK called his comments "the ridiculous convulsion of a loner".
The Dutch commander that supposedly informed Sheehan about those weak gay soldiers has not come forward, if he exists at all.

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via JMG

From JMG: Today On Ellen DeGeneres: Constance McMillen Gets $30K Scholarship

Mississippi teen Constance McMillen will appear on today's episode of Ellen where she'll be awarded a $30K scholarship in recognition of her activism on behalf of gay youth. McMillen's school board canceled her prom several weeks ago rather than allow her to attend with her girlfriend. Since then she's appeared on countless media outlets talking about discrimination against LGBT youth. The scholarship fund was raised by the readers and owner of Here's a clip from today's show.

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via JMG

Joe's Weekly Message

Dear Daniel,

Repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" requires strong, decisive actions from our President and Congress, which means that our community and allies must put the pressure on and keep it on. This week, the message from our community was clear: the time for repeal is here, and we hold our leaders accountable for delivering it.

Earlier this week, General David Petraeus, the Commander responsible for our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, declared that the time has come to consider changing Don't Ask, Don't Tell. In addition, two accomplished veterans, Major Michael Almy and Lieutenant Junior Grade Jenny Kopfstein, provided the Senate Armed Service Committee with compelling testimony about how Don't Ask, Don't Tell failed them. Unfortunately, however, we were appalled by the committee testimony of former NATO commander General John J. Sheehan. General Sheehan, who only spent 3 of his 35 years of service under Don't Ask, Don't Tell, made the baseless claim that the presence of openly lesbian and gay service members in the Dutch army led to the massacre of Muslims in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica in 1995. This groundless claim was not only an insult to a U.S. ally, but also a disservice to our national debate on a serious policy issue. We can make good laws and policies with truth; lies have no place in lawmaking. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), Chairman of the Committee and a supporter of repeal, rejected General Sheehan's assertions and fought back against his baseless claims during the hearing. The Dutch ambassador to the U.S. also set the record straight and gave openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) service members the respect that they deserve by saying, "I take pride in the fact that lesbians and gays have served openly and with distinction in the Dutch military forces."

Health care reform is at the top of Congress's agenda this week, as lawmakers consider the Senate-passed version of reform. HRC has been lobbying for important health care protections for our community, and saw them included in the House bill passed last fall. We are deeply disappointed that the House, in taking up the Senate-passed bill this week in the reconciliation process, will leave these important provisions –like ending the unfair taxation on domestic partner benefits— behind. Like all communities, we expect Congress to make the system better for us. We work as hard and contribute as much as every other American, but we face severe disparities in health care. While we believe the health reform bill will help all Americans, including LGBT people, and should pass, we will not stop pushing Congress for the policies that we need.

HRC partners with civil rights organizations to promote matters of social justice that reach beyond the LGBT community. A free and just society does not happen when communities are isolated from one another. We are all interdependent, and no one group can achieve our goals alone. Every community is stronger when their neighbors have equal rights. As LGBT Americans work for equal rights, we rely upon our allies to stand with us and make change happen. At the same time, we commit to promote the wellbeing of all communities. This Sunday, March 21st, the Human Rights Campaign staff, members and volunteers will rally side by side with our many coalition partners in support of comprehensive immigration reform. March for America will bring together tens of thousands including labor unions, religious organizations, non-profit and non-governmental organizations, as well as activists, families and individuals, immigrants and U.S. nationals alike. Please join the HRC family as we unite with other civil rights organizations linked to our common struggle for equality with the immigrant community.

Our partnerships for equality also include a census project. Starting next week, HRC steering committees and volunteers will be working to promote Census participation in Latino/a communities through community assistance forums, canvassing efforts, social networking sites and other online media. This Census marks the first time that the Census Bureau will be recognizing both same-sex married and unmarried couples. To learn more, please visit and check out this YouTube video featuring the faces and voices of a diverse group of LGBT people. Also see HRC Backstory for more.



Joe Solmonese
President, Human Rights Campaign

Joe Conason | Right Wing Gone Wild

Joe Conason, Truthout: "Demagogues often prosper under the rules of democracy, intimidating the moderate and preying on the weak-minded. But in a healthy society, such figures cannot cross a final threshold of decency without jeopardizing their own status - and today's right-wing nihilists seem to be on the verge of doing just that."

Read the Article

From Huffington

Rob Smith: Did Dan Choi Jump the Shark, or Has the Gay Community Forgotten What Real Activism Is?

People keep wondering who's going to be the Martin Luther King of the gay rights movement, and that I still don't know, but I think yesterday's actions may have put us one step closer to finding our Malcolm X.

VIA JMG: HomoQuotable - Rob Smith

"Dan Choi will always be that rock star activist that handcuffed himself to the gates of The White House. Of course Dan Choi jumped the shark, and he did it in his military uniform for all the cameras to see. You know what, though? I think what we needed was to see something like this to light a fire under each and every one of us that cares as deeply as he does about Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal, and about full equality in general. This movement needs him as much as it needs me, or Jarrod Chlapowski, or Lt. Col Victor Fehrenbach, or any of the other gay veterans who share our past of silent service knowing that it reflects the present of thousands of gay soldiers currently serving. Maybe it's time to act up all over again. Maybe the rumblings of this being a part of a more coordinated activist effort are true. Maybe it is time to Get Equal.

"People keep wondering who's going to be the Martin Luther King of the gay rights movement, and that I still don't know, but I think yesterday's actions may have put us one step closer to finding our Malcolm X." - Huffington Post blogger and armed services veteran Rob Smith, who says he finds Dan Choi's action yesterday to be both inspiring and baffling.

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a repost from JMG

Via JMG: We Can Do It

Reichen Lehmkuhl appears in a new campaign from the Open Artist Movement along the lines of the NOH8 photo series.
We Can Do It! is a photo campaign to build solidarity and personal strength through positive messaging. The goal is to bring to life modern iconic individuals, by depicting them as powerful and not victims in support of the global LGBT movement worldwide.
Prints sell for $10 and you can be photographed too, although it's not clear how much that costs. Hit the link above for a gallery of other well-known activists. I like this, but I'm not about to showcase my ballerina arms.

(Via - Towleroad)

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another great repost from JMG

Via JMG: Friendly Voices - Miley Cyrus

"There has been so much controversy sometimes about what I’ve said or done because I believe there are no mistakes because God is the only one who can judge us. That’s the reason I deleted my Twitter account because I said on there that I believed in gay marriage because everyone should have the right to love each other, and I got such hate mail about my being a bad person." - Teen pop star Miley Cyrus, talking to People Magazine.

Miley adds: "I don’t really watch television at all. But there is one show I’m addicted to: RuPaul’s Drag Race. I love me some RuPaul. I love RuPaul’s motto. It goes something like, ‘A real lady is never bitchy, a real lady is sassy.'"

(Tipped by JMG reader Arthur)

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reposted from JMG

From JMG: Traditional Values Coalition: Massa Attack

Andrea Lafferty at the Traditional Values Coalition took a little longer than expected to issue this bit of predictable blather.
The ex-Congressman from New York is now the new poster child for upholding the 1993 law banning gays and lesbians from serving in the military. His former Navy colleagues are coming out of hiding to expose his decades-long habit of trying to seduce his subordinates – known as “snorkeling” in the Navy. As the public learns more about Massa’s aggressive homosexual advances toward his subordinates, his former Navy colleagues are going public with lurid tales of his gay exploits aboard Naval vessels.

Here is a clear case of a gay sexual predator assaulting his subordinates in the Navy and getting away with it. Massa’s shipmates were afraid of turning him in for fear of retaliation. If the Congress overturns the 1993 law banning gays and lesbians from openly serving in the military, lechers like Massa will have free reign to aggressively stalk and conquer young subordinates. Does Congress really want to legalize the predatory behaviors of such men? Overturning the 1993 law will give gays and lesbians license to go after young soldiers, sailors and Marines. Men like Massa will then multiply in the Armed Forces – undermining unit cohesion and military readiness.
Lafferty omits the extremely inconvenient fact that Eric Massa is a straight-identified opposite-married man with four children. Just the type that commits the very offenses she claims to fear and someone that would be unaffected by a repeal of DADT.

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reposted from JMG