Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Via PinkNews: The US has had openly gay soldiers for five years, world hasn’t ended yet

World still not ended.
World still not ended.
This week marks the fifth anniversary of openly gay soldiers being allowed in the US military, after the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994 as part of a compromise deal with conservatives, banning military authorities from carrying out gay ‘witch hunts’ while maintaining a ban on gay soldiers. 

For nearly two decades under the policy, gay people were dismissed for speaking about any their sexuality while serving in the United States armed forces, while officials were prohibited from ‘investigating’ service members they suspected of homosexuality. 

The policy came to an end on September 20, 2011, after Barack Obama signed a law repealing the instruction – allowing gay, bisexual and lesbian soldiers to serve openly in the military for the first time.

Transgender soldiers followed earlier this year, when the armed forces amended its medical code to remove ‘transgenderism’ as a disqualifying condition.

At the time, evangelicals and senior Republicans claimed that allowing gay people into the military would lead to the destruction of US armed forces. 

Former Presidential hopeful Rick Perry famously played off it in 2012, releasing a TV ad complaining there’s “something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas”. 

Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s Vice Presidential pick, also bitterly opposed reform on the issue. Pence fumed at the time: “Homosexuality is incompatible with military service because the presence of homosexuals in the ranks weakens unit cohesion.”

The Democratic National Committee’s LGBT Caucus Chair Earl Fowlkes hailed the anniversary. He said: “In the five years since Congress repealed the discriminatory Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, we’ve made great strides in expanding and protecting the rights of the LGBT community in the United States, but we still have further to go.

“More than 13,000 service members were discharged under DADT, denying those men and women the opportunity to serve our nation, and diminishing the strength of our armed forces in the process. “By repealing the policy, we no longer treat members of the LGBT community as second-class citizens in our armed forces, and we are a stronger nation for it – both militarily and morally.

“Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine want to build on that progress. They believe in standing up for the LGBT community, ending discrimination, and fighting for our full rights. Donald Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, would only drag us backwards on LGBT rights.

“They both support North Carolina’s discriminatory HB2 ‘bathroom bill,’ and as governor, Pence signed a so-called ‘religious freedom’ bill into law, which threatened to allow businesses to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

“We need to elect a president and vice president who will treat members of the LGBT community as full citizens, and who will fight to protect the civil rights of all Americans.”

Read the original and more here

Via Ram Dass / September 21, 2016:

We’re all just walking each other home.

Via Sri Prem Baba: Flor do dia - Flor del día - Flower of the day - 21/09/16

“É dando que se recebe”. Essa é uma lei básica neste plano, que é muito simples de entender, mas muito difícil de viver. Nós estamos aqui justamente para ativar ou despertar nossa capacidade natural de doar, pois ela se encontra adormecida. Todo o ser humano tem essa capacidade, pois o Amor é a nossa essência; é a fragrância do Ser que nos habita. Ele está e sempre esteve dentro de cada um de nós, mas encontra-se encoberto por camadas de medo e ódio. Portanto, precisamos trabalhar para remover essas camadas, até que possamos desvendar o Amor.”
“Es dando que se recibe'. Esta es una ley básica en este plano, que es muy simple de entender, pero muy difícil de vivir. Nosotros estamos acá justamente para activar o despertar nuestra capacidad natural dedar,pues se encuentra dormida. Todo ser humano tiene esta capacidad, porque el Amor es nuestra esencia; es la fragancia del Ser que nos habita. Él está y siempre estuvo adentro de cada uno de nosotros, pero se halla encubierto por capas de miedo y odio. Por lo tanto, necesitamostrabajar para remover esas capas, hasta que podamos desvendar el amor.”

“It is in giving that we receive. This is a basic law on this plane that is very simple to understand but very difficult to live. We are here precisely to activate or awaken our natural capacity to give which is lying dormant within us. Every human being has this capacity, because love is our essence. It is the fragrance of the being that inhabits us. It is, and has always been, in each and every one of us, only it remains covered by layers of fear and hate. We must, therefore, work to remove these layers until we area able to unveil love.”

Via Daily Dharma / September 21, 2016: On Generosity

If we keep our own light selfishly hidden, it will only provide a limited amount of illumination. But when we share our light with others, we do not diminish our own light. Rather, we increase the amount of light available to all.

—Master Sheng-Yen, "Rich Generosity"