2009 Pride Edition
Don't Tell Policy
DADT and the
What’s Going On?
by Tom Field
For those who seek repeal of DADT, the
courts have produced both good news and bad in
the past year.
The bad news is that the courts have
failed to strike down DADT on due process, equal
protection, or First Amendment grounds. The
good news is that an important crack has opened
in the wall that stands in the way of a court
decision overturning DADT.
Here’s an explanation of what is going
Stages of Litigation
During the last 30 years, there have
been two main stages of litigation over the
military ban on gays and lesbians. We are now
entering stage three.
Stage One. Stage one began in the
1970s, when a series of cases attacked the
long-standing policy of discharging all gays and
lesbians from the armed services, whether or not
they had declared their sexual orientation.
This policy was coupled with extensive “witch
hunts” to ferret out actual or suspected
homosexuals, and was enforced through an
intrusive question on physical examination forms
which inquired whether an individual had
Starting in the mid-1970s, plaintiffs
such as Air Force Technical Sergeant Leonard Matlovich began to challenge these policies in
court. After Matlovich declared his
homosexuality, he was discharged as “unfit for
service” despite an exemplary record. He
promptly sued for reinstatement. After years of
litigation, he eventually won an upgraded
discharge and a substantial cash settlement.
openly gay freshman
Representative Jared Polis is the first openly gay male elected to Congress
as a freshman. He is a co-chairman of the LGBT Equality Caucus, and a
member of numerous House committees and
subcommittees. While attending Princeton University
he began founding highly successful business
ventures. He first ran for and won a seat on the Colorado State Board of Education in 2000
and served as the youngest chairman in the
history of the Board. He founded two innovative charter schools to help
meet the needs of Colorado’s underserved
students. In 2004, seeing the difficulty faced
by older immigrant youth in mainstream public
schools, he established and served as the
superintendent of the New America School.
We interviewed him on
May 4th, 2009; congratulated him on his victory in the
election last November, and asked him how he is
supporting efforts at progress on gay rights
Gay Military Times: Many people view you as a
new gay hero, having run as an openly gay
candidate, winning, and starting out in Congress
advocating rights issues right from the start.
What motivated you and what did you experience
running as a gay candidate?
Jared Polis: I was civically active for a
number of years. I was on the State Board
of Education and was a superintendent of a
school for new immigrants. The
situation arose, when Congressman Mark Udall ran
for the Senate, the seat was open. And a lot of
the issues I cared most about need to be
addressed at the federal level. That is:
improving our education system, the war in Iraq,
and working to make health care more affordable
for American families. That is really
what drove me to run.
is the sort of solid soldier that can be counted
on, over and over, to do his duty and do it
exceptionally well. While others give
orders and get accolades, he's the one on his
feet actually making things happen and making
sure that they get done in the most outstanding
manner possible. They don't give medals
for that, alas. The fact that he's gay and
enjoys dressing up rather spectacularly like a
woman shouldn't matter any more than what flavor
ice cream he likes.
Anthony Breton is
of proud French Canadian-American
Catholic descent. He was born
in Waterville, Maine in the mid
1950s; his grandmother was born on
the St. Laurence River in Quebec.
His first language was
French-Canadian and he grew up
bilingual. The family has a
proud tradition of American military
service. His father served in
WWII in the US Navy, and was part of
an advance reconnaissance team that
was in Normandy, behind enemy lines,
before the D-Day Invasion of Allied
forces. It was fortuitous that
his father was a native Francophone
for that mission. His mother
served in the Nurses Corps in WWII.
Both of his brothers served, one in
Vietnam as a Marine, the other
in the Air Force.
diversity, and Equality
Our American Armed Forces
By Denny Meyer
Sometimes I wonder if opponents
of gay rights are somehow anti-American.
Isn't this nation of immigrants all about
equality? Many Americans would agree that
our military's mission is to defend freedom
around the world. When our armed forces show up,
their unique diversity is in-and-of itself a light
unto the world. Nowhere else on earth will
you find an armed force so fully integrated.
Just seeing the faces of our troops, speaks of
freedom to people everywhere who are fleeing
oppression simply because of who they are.
Afghan guide, coming to his first meeting with
American soldiers whom he has been hired to
guide to local villages where their mission is
to meet with elders and provide aid and
education in democracy. As he enters the room,
four American soldiers are examining a map of
the local terrain. The first thing he
notices is that one of the sergeants looks
Russian; the Russians killed his grandparents,
he hates Russians. But this American
sergeant is merely of Lithuanian decent; his
name tag says, "Epstein," he's Jewish American
from New York City.
notices the senior officer in the room, an Asian
American Major whose name tag says "Chin."
For a moment, he wonders whether he's Chinese
Communist; but of course he can't be, he's an
American Army officer. He doesn't trust
Communists, Russian or otherwise.
a new name:
Gay Military Signal has the same advocacy,
articles, archives, commentaries, profiles
in patriotism, and even Sgt Denny's Rants.
your bookmarks, favorites
and organizational website links to:
Gay Military Signal
Our new e-mail
We have been, with out previous name, and
remain, with our new name, a totally independent
website, unrelated to any other entity.
Summer Pride Event Listings
Summer 2009 LGBT Veterans'
Pride Parade and Event Listings
Veterans' Pride events are happening in
cities across the nation. Come and see
us honor our own. Better yet, join in
and BE a part of it. Our June listings
include parades and events in:
New York NY