“Why can’t they have gay people in the army? Personally, I think they are just afraid of a thousand guys with M16s going, ‘Who’d you call ‘Faggot?” ~ Jon Stewart
This is a summary of the history of that has impacted person’s who are homosexual. Also, the Bible has been used to oppress and harass women and slaves, so I have included a part of that history as well.
In 1777, Thomas Jefferson made a liberal move at the time by proposing a revision of the Virginia law to reduce the penalty for gay men from death to castration and gay women mutilation of nose cartilage. Jefferson was considered a liberal. At the time, the most common penalty on the books was death.
In 1865, the Civil War ends and slavery is abolished and voting and civil rights are granted to blacks.
In 1892, Hungarian psychologist Benkert invents the word homosexual to describe people attracted to the same sex. This created a shift change in the medical profession to rather than it being a sin or criminal act, it was seen as a psychological condition to be cured.
In 1920, women win the right to vote.
In the 1930’s, homosexuals were among those that the Nazi's persecuted and were marked with larger triangle than for other "offences," so that it could be seen from a distance. It was a pink triangle pointed face down. It is estimated that 220,000 gay men and lesbian women were executed for this "offence." This is the reason for the usage of the triangle as a homosexual symbol. Both as an identification symbol and a reminder that they were part of the Nazi atrocities.
In 1950, Harry Hay and others found the Mattachine Society in Los Angeles, America’s first on-going gay right organization.
In 1953, the American Psychological Association adds homosexuality as a list of disorders to be addressed by psychologists and psychiatrists to treat. In 1973, they vote to remove homosexuality from its lists of “illnesses,” thus ending efforts to “cure” gays.
In 1953, both, State and Local governments began to follow suit as did private employers. Although the Civil Service Commission curtailed the discriminatory policy in 1975 it still lacked sexual orientation nondiscrimination policies.
In 1956, The Daughters of Bilitis, a pioneering national lesbian organization, is founded. Read more: The American Gay Rights Movement: A Timeline — Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0761909.html#ixzz117HZGUhB
In 1923, the American Law Institute has long been one of the most influential legal organizations in the country. In the late 1950s, it issued an opinion that stunned many: That victimless crime laws, such as laws banning sexual intercourse between consenting adults, should be abolished. Illinois agreed in 1961. Connecticut followed suit in 1969. But most states ignored the recommendation, and continued to classify consensual gay sex as a felony on par with sexual assault--sometimes with prison sentences of up to 20 years.
On June 28th 1969, the “beginning” of the gay rights movement began with the Stonewall Riots in New York City. At that time, gay bars were like the bars during prohibition, blacked out, entrance in the back and lots of raids and police harassment. On this particular night at the Stonewall Inn, a New York gay bar, they fought back against police harassment which initiated several days of rioting and began an uprising from the oppression and harassment in which homosexuals had been living.
In 1973, members of the American Psychiatric Association finally stated that homosexuality was not a mental illness.They announced that they would be removing homosexuality from the next printing of the DSM-II, and spoke out in favor of antidiscrimination laws that would protect lesbian and gay Americans.
In 1977, before giving blood the American Red Cross implements that all men are asked if they have had sex, even once, with another man since 1977. Those who say they have are permanently banned from donating. The FDA said those men are at increased risk of infection by HIV that can be transmitted to others by blood transfusion.
In 1978, Harvey Milk, a gay Supervisor of San Francisco and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White. On May 21, 1979, the verdict was for 5 to 8 years for manslaughter. This sparked the White Nights Riot. The 5,000 person march turned violent as police vehicles are overturned and set on fire. Later, in the evening, police retaliate in the Castro neighborhood, arresting and beating gay men. Ironically, and much to the dismay of police, the following day 4,000 people gather for a peaceful celebration of Harvey Milk’s 49th birthday. They had already obtained a permit for such a gathering.
In 1982, President Reagan implements Defense Directive 1332.14, it was military policy that "homosexuality is incompatible with military service" and persons who engaged in homosexual acts or stated that they are homosexual or bisexual were discharged.
DADT has been upheld five times in federal court, and in a Supreme Court case in 2006, the Supreme Court unanimously held that the federal government could constitutionally withhold funding from universities if they refuse to give military recruiters access to school resources, in spite of any university nondiscrimination policies.
Note: I wrote all of the other parts of this post prior to Federal Judge Phillips ordered an injunction for DADT.
Gay rights advocates, however, tempered their celebrations, warning service members to avoid revealing their sexuality for fear that the injunction could be tossed out during an appeal and they would be left open to being discharged.
If the government does not appeal, the injunction cannot be reversed and would remain in effect. If it does, it can seek a temporary freeze, or stay, of her ruling. An appeal would go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Either side could then take it to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Pentagon did not immediately comment, and a Justice Department spokeswoman said the government was reviewing the decision. Meanwhile, a group of 19 Democrat senators signed a letter sent to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder urging him to let the injunction stand.
Opponents state, "The judge ignored the evidence to impose her ill-informed and biased opinion on our military, endangering morale, health and security of our military at a time of war," said Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, a public policy group. Wright said Phillips should have let Congress continue to investigate the impact of the repeal."
Phillips' order goes into effect immediately, said Dan Woods, the attorney who represented the Log Cabin Republicans, the gay rights group that filed the lawsuit in 2004 to stop the ban's enforcement.
Phillips' ruling also ordered the government to suspend and discontinue all pending discharge proceedings and investigations.
Government attorneys had warned Phillips that such an abrupt change from an injunction might harm military operations during wartime. They had asked Phillips to limit her ruling to the 19,000 members of the Log Cabin Republicans, which includes current and former military service members.
The Justice Department attorneys also said Congress should decide the issue – not the court. Phillips disagreed, saying the policy doesn't help military readiness and instead has a "direct and deleterious effect" on the armed services by hurting recruiting when the country is at war and requiring the discharge of service members with critical skills and training.
"Furthermore, there is no adequate remedy at law to prevent the continued violation of servicemembers' rights or to compensate them for violation of their rights," Phillips said in her order.
In June 2010, despite the urgings of the American Red Cross, America's Blood Centers and politicians including Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, the FDA voted to keep the lifetime ban for gay men in place. It should be noted that all blood is screened including for HIV and hepatitis routinely. This remains an area of continued discretion.
I do not agree with DADT as it does not make sense to me when implemented and it is discriminatory. It doesn't work and I believe that it should be terminated. The men and women serving in our military have all voluntaryily committed to fight for our country and are willing to die for us. They all have had to go through the same training and deemed fit for combat. Heterosexuals and homosexuals are already working side by side to implement DADT implies that homosexuals do not exist. (or the government doesn't want them to; therefore, they don't have to deal with the complexity it holds and stop the harrassment that exists now...just my opinion)
I wonder how many heterosexual military have the TREMENDOUS amount of COURAGE to "come out." Sadly, they probably don't even know what that sentence means. The courage to be who you are and not hide behind the traditional military "macho" image. I also believe that the American Red Cross is discriminating for reasons stated above.
DADT is quite an emotional issue for me as I wholeheartedly disagree with the policy. As a result, I will not write about this anymore in this post. I will say that their is slow progress.
The following is from my friend Mike at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff:
Technical Sergeant Leonard Matlovich (1943–1988) was a Vietnam War veteran, race relations instructor, and recipient of the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.
Matlovich was perhaps the best-known openly gay man in America in the 1970s. His fight to stay in the United States Air Force after coming out of the closet became a cause célèbre around which the gay community rallied. His outspoken manner resulted in articles in The New York Times and a television movie on NBC. His photograph appeared on the cover of the September 8, 1975 issue of Time magazine, making him a symbol for thousands of gay and lesbian service members. In October 2006, Matlovich was honored by GLBT History Month as a leader in the history of the GLBT community.