It is official! June was GLBT Pride Month!
It was declared first by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then sheepishly a few more hours after that by President Barack Hussein Obama. The Gay & Lesbian Community has finally received a boost toward equality because as of now thirteen states have considered and eight passed or decided to make marriage available to everyone. Nevada and Wisconsin are in the process of creating Domestic Partnerships and the approximately 18 thousand Same Sex Marriages in California performed during the 6 month window last year were also retained as valid. Ironically even Rhode Island is considering legislation to allow for Same Sex Divorce proceedings. But wait, before you hoist your lovers across the threshold, that initial euphoria has begun to ware off.
That hope was quashed recently by two drastic legal injunctions done by the Obama Justice Department in recent Supreme Court cases which, as some speculate, set our fight for equality back five to ten years, as well as negate legislative and judicial victories across the fifty states. This has brought the GLBT Community to honestly call into review all of the previous promises made and financial investment in not just political campaigns but also national queer lobbying organizations also. Soon after the threats of such boycotts, like the DNCs 10th Annual LGBT Leadership Council Dinner fundraiser in D.C. last week (which still raised 1 million dollars supposedly), the Obama Administration made several courtship moves to keep the GLBT Community from curtailing any future investments in his and others of his Party's campaigns, leading up to the 2010 federal mid term election cycle.
WHEN JOHNNY COMES MARCHING HOME WE WILL ALL FEEL GAY!
Previously on F6 we covered the story of Air Force Major Margaret Witt whose case in the Ninth Federal Circuit Court elevated homosexuals judicial scrutiny to a suspect classification, in need of greater legal protections, and raised the bar in 9 western states for Military discharges based on United States Code 10§654 to include that "the military can't automatically discharge all openly gay soldiers, but must prove in each case that dismissal would promote troop readiness or unit cohesion" in order to permit the constitutional discharge from Military service, based upon sexual orientation or association within a judicially protected minority group.
The Obama Administration refused to challenge the decision in the Witt case to the Supreme Court, which 1. allows the precedent while the case is brought back to lower courts to be retried; 2. allows for the Obama Administration and certain Lobby Groups to strategically delay a Judicial Review of DADT; 3. puts pressure on Congress to repeal DADT through HR1283 Military Readiness Enhancement Act.
However at the same time, "President Obama's Solicitor General, Elena Kagan," interjected in the 1st District case (formerly Cook v. Gates) of James Pietrangelo II whom along with 12 other plaintiffs originally challenged their separation from US Military under DADT, "filed a brief with the Supreme Court urging it not to hear Pietrangelo's appeal. But Kagan's brief said that the 1st Circuit "properly upheld" the statute." The 1st District ruled that: 1. DADT is an exercise of Congressional judgment in the area of military affairs and warranted enormous deference from the judicial branch; 2. laws based on animus Romer v. Evans (1996) couldnt be used against DADT because the policy, it said, was based on legitimate concerns, not animus. 3. the military should do more than prove homosexuality to warrant dismissal 4. ensuring national security outweighs arguments from 12 former military members who say their rights were ignored when they were dismissed for being gay. The Supreme Court declined to hear the Pietrangelo appeal on the 8th of June 2009. (Source: The Bay Area Reporter)
Rather than standing on the principles of equality now for our Troops, by not having the Witt case go before the Supreme Court, The Obama Administration also threw off the 1st District case from being reviewed, as this would have forced the Supreme Court not only to deliberate the role of scrutiny in the lower courts, but also deal at the same time with the lower courts interpretation of the Supreme Court's legal precedent in Lawrence v Texas (2003) which was cited in both the 1st District and 9th District case regarding the same issues under law. In other words, certain politicians in Congress and the Administration are both trying to make DADT a mid term election cycle victory and at the same time prevent the Courts from doing their job by using legal tactics which remove the exercise of scrutiny and review of these two distinct precedents, and possibly overturning DADT, before Democrats in Congress could claim it as a victory for equality coming up to the midterm elections cycle in 2010. In summary Gay and Lesbian Service Members are nothing more to the Democrats than bargaining chips in an upcoming election cycle and they are using every trick to keep us and them in line.
There is nothing "LEGITIMATE" about the arguments in support of DADT, and "CONCERNS" over UNIT COHESION or GENERAL ORDER and MORALE are simply defamatory! Every time someone utters the absolute fallacy that is the arguments for the restriction on integral and honest lives of Gay and Lesbian Service Members they disrespect the honour of all of our Service Members. The very nature of the arguments for exclusion in fact surmises that our men and women in uniform cant uphold themselves to the highest standards. That is a slap in the face to every person who has, does, and will, wear the uniform in service and sacrifice for our freedom and liberty!
Even though he continued to patronize our struggle for equality, by signing a light list of rights for federal employees, allowing GLBT partners to use their married name on their US Passports, and throwing a party on Monday at the WHITEHOUSE on the 40th Anniversary of the STONEWALL RIOTS. He still refused to act as Commander In Chief, as 78 members of Congress have requested him, to also suspend by Executive Order the unconstitutional discrimination towards our men and women that serve in the United States Uniformed Services, from being able to do so openly, without fear, reprisal, or discharge, based upon whom they love and not the merit of their service and sacrifice. The Secretary of Homeland Security did just the same thing with another law in regard to Immigration and Naturalization policies regarding an early death otherwise known as the 'widows penalty' (Source: Dan Savage c/o SLOG).
However over the last week new information has come to light that the Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, whom originally stated that DADT was "something to kick down the road for awhile (13 April 2009)", like a can of tuna in a game of street hockey, while traveling back from the US European Command Center in a recent statement Stars & Stripes, The Associated Press, and ABC News, all report that, under his direction, Pentagon lawyers and Administration officials are now looking at ways to add "flexible enforcement" to the existing law to accommodate when a Service Member is outed by a third party specifically citing a scenario of a jilted ex lover or someone with an axe to grind with the Service Member or their family, while the Congress takes its sweet ass time to repeal the 16 year old law, which it unconstitutionally created.
WE'RE GOING TO SEEK JUSTICE BUT WE CANT EVEN FIND MERCY!
The California Supreme Court in their ruling on the matters surrounding Proposition 8 in essence created three classes of people when it maintained the validity of the 18 thousand marriages performed during the six month window in 2008 when it was legal to do so. Besides the actions by the Obama Administration in the above cases of law you also have the Justice Department interjecting with another case brought by Arthur Smelt and Christopher Hammer out of San Francisco, California, in regards towards the validity of Proposition 8 in California, which directly challenges the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA based on several Constitutional grounds and previous Court precedent.
After having the case pulled from the State Courts to the Federal Court The Justice Department, according to John Aravosis of The AMERICA Blog, in order to maintain the defense of the current law's discrimination towards homosexuals they compare homosexuals to pedophiles, citing several previous domestic and foreign cases of heterosexual incest and adults marrying children, in their 54 page brief (pdf)to the Court.
Why did the Obama Administration file the brief if they are opposed to the law?
At first Justice Department Spokesperson Tracy Schmaler said that, "... until Congress passes legislation repealing the law, the Administration will continue to defend the statute when it is challenged in the justice system." After an outcry and official boycott of two DNC Fundraisers one in Boston (with picture to left c/o Wicked Gay Blog) and the 10th Annual LGBT Leadership Council Dinner in the District of Columbia began a week went by and Robert Gibbs, The WHITEHOUSE Press Secretary stated to Jake Tapper during his Daily Briefing on the 17th of June:
"Well, as you know, that the Justice Department is charged with upholding the law of the land, even though the President believes that that law should be repealed....Well, again, it's the President's Justice Department. And, again, we have the role of upholding the law of the land while the President has stated and will work with Congress to change that law."Then during a panel discussion 10 days later President Obama's Staff "Secretary Lisa Brown, expressed personal reservations about some of the language in the Justice Department brief against same-sex marriage" by deflecting the conversation "It was an awful lot better that the brief that was written in the Bush administration," and trying to one up the Obama brief by comparing it back to the original Bush era version of the brief. (Source: Jake Tapper, Political Punch, ABC News)
That was not even an apology! That was an excuse, and a bad one at that!
After the DOJ brief in both the San Francisco DOMA case and the several DADT cases, the GLBTIQAS Democrats have finally had enough, and called the National Democratic Committee and certain elected officials to task for their pandering to and blatant disregard for our struggle for equality. The call went out across the blogoshpere and twitaverse and exploded center stage with the National Democratic Committee getting spanked across sidewalks and caught fudging the numbers to make it look like they raised up to and possibly exceeding 1 million dollars during the fundraisers, when most of the main players for the event backed out in protest of the political pandering and judicial slams against Our Community.
OUR QUEER PRIDE! OUR COUNTRY'S INDEPENDENCE?
As I have stated many times before, specifically in F6's original format back in June of 2005, GLBT PRIDE is not just about being proud of who we are or forcing everyone to accept our flamboyant displays of independence. OUR PRIDE is outlined by individual sense of dignity and our collective value as created equal in the image of God/dess and viewed as such under the law of this land too. OUR PRIDE is defined as a group formed not necessarily based on heredity or biological connections, similar to that of a pride of lions. When we shout and holler back about OUR PRIDE, the rally cry doesn't mean we are a bunch of Dancing Queens but that We ARE Family!
E Pluribus Unum, Out Of Many One, is also why OUR PRIDE is very much attached to our Country's Independence, and why we can also say We The People with the greatest of honour and demand at the same time that self evident truth declared so many years ago "That All Men Are Created Equal" be applied to us also. That is what also caused our Founders during that first Continental Congress to not just Declare Independence from the tyranny of an oppressive King and a clueless Parliament that refused to hear our forebearers redress of grievances. That is what makes the United States of America by definition a Republic and not a Democracy. That is what prevents the majority from eliminating the rights of the minority.
America, please pay attention to your own words:
Have We forgotten to swear to one another our lives, fortunes, and sacred honour?
Have We traded each for the sake of ego, greed, and power rather than brotherhood?
How long will We stop declaring our independence and let these truths be denied us?
WE THE PEOPLE DEMAND THE SIMULTANEOUS REPEAL OF DADT & DOMA
In all reality both pieces of legislation DADT & DOMA are tied at the hip they revolve around the same issues of law and the same religious prejudices within Civil Society, but they also revolve around similar issues within the Constitution too.
1. The Declaration of Independence
A. The DOI has the force of law today as it is included in the United States Code at the beginning under Organic Laws of the United States of America. As the Constitution falls within that same category, The DOI, if
2. The Constitution Of The United States of America
A. Obviously 1st is the Full Faith & Credit Clause of Article 4 section 1:
... shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.
B. Article 6 paragraph 3 (specify last clause)
... no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust.....
C. Amendment 14 (1868)
section 1 All persons born or naturalized...subject to the jurisdiction...are citizens of the United States....
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Marriage and Military Service an Office of or part of the Public Trust?
I would argue that they are. When clergy perform the marriage ritual they evoke two authorities to solemnize the act of Sacred Union, that of Deity and the State: "By the power invested in me by the State of Indiana and (insert affiliation) I now declare you (plural) to be partners in life" As I stated here a month ago, originally Civil Unions were intentionally done to strip religious test out of marriage in this Country, by the Puritans. Some how between the Civil War and Reconstruction through World War II and Korea religious test found their way back into the public ambiguity of normal regulation, to preventing interracial marriages from happening, until 1967 when Mildred and Richard Loving took on the State of Virginia at the Supreme Court.
I HAVE FOUR MORE QUESTIONS FOR YOU AMERICA:
Are We The People willing to put our money where our mouth and motives are, not in politicians hands? Are We The People willing to allow the men and women whom fight for our freedom be free to love?
Are We The People willing to let them live together with whom they choose and raise their children?Are We The People willing to deny them the very sacrifice they offered us freely, personal liberty?
F6 LINKS & RESOURCES
Normally there would be a full battery of links, resources, and recommendations for the readers and other works cited either stated and/or recapped here from throughout the post, However due to both the length and the detail of both this post and the amount and individual text of the works cited, I felt it necessary to create a separate post on F6's LINKS PAGE for this post alone. Please refer to it for some pretty cool finds over the last month that it has taken me to write this post out, please. Thank you for your consideration.
F6 EDITORIAL POLICY STATEMENTS F6 has several resources and commentaries regarding GAYS IN THE MILITARY. As an issue of editorial policy, F6 will challenge any assertion that Don't Ask, Don't Tell is either Constitutional or proper policy in our great country, the land of the free and the home of the brave, especially in a place where all men are created equal!
F6's EDITOR UPDATE: 08 JULY 09 US Representative PATRICK MURPHY of Pennsylvania, a retired Army Captain, and West Point Professor, has taken pointe on HR1283, The Military Readiness Enhancement Act which will cause the repeal of Dont Ask Dont Tell by Congress. Please also note that Representative Murphy, four days after this post was originally published, specifically used (7:15 mark) my direct arguments above, that the Oath of Office that both Members of Congress and the Military both swear and affirm are equal and therefore our Troops have status as an Officer of or part of the Public Trust and therefore are free from any religious test or bias to hold such positions. Thank you Congress Member Murphy for picking up the ball for the final run across the field! (MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show via News Politics News)
F6's EDITOR FOLLOWUP: John P. Mortimer, Esq., a retired civil rights attorney, has a wonderful post that I was just referred to by RobMuch on You Tube, which also outlines similar ideas and develops deeper the arguments against The Defense Of Marriage Act, details stringently President Obama's hypocrisy and political pandering when dealing with the Gay and Lesbian Community's struggle for equality, and why he wants to keep DOMA out of the Court's proper place of review. I'm glad that he also chose to speak out about the disenfranchisement we have and are suffering at the whims of a religious bias in a secular nation.