Thursday, October 28, 2010

Young Gay Dads

I've met some young closeted gay dads recently.

I am asked the question: "what do I do now?" as they drift in and out of their marriages.

I can only counsel: Courage. Be strong. Be who you were created to be. And love your children.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Boy Scouts and Gay Dads

Next essays in the Q Notes column: the Boy Scouts and gay dads.

Read this essay from Dallas Morning News via
A University Park father learned this week that he will not be able to serve as a leader in his 9-year-old's Cub Scout pack because he's gay.
For the last two years Jon Langbert has organized a popcorn fundraiser for Pack 70 at University Park Elementary. Then at a September Scout meeting, someone complained about his homosexuality, Langbert said.
He said he was told this week that he can't wear the Scout leader shirt he was given last year and that he cannot serve in a leadership position because of his sexual orientation.
"What message does that send to my son? It says I'm a second-class citizen," Langbert said.
Robert McTaggart, the Cubmaster for Pack 70, said Langbert will be allowed to continue as a popcorn fundraiser. That position is not considered a leadership role and can be held by a volunteer.
The Boys Scouts of America has had a long-standing policy that rejects leaders who are gay or atheist. In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the organization's rules in a 5-4 decision.

This is blatant discrimination.



Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lt. Choi in NC!

I heard Lt. Choi tonight at NC State University. It was an amazing evening. It started out slow. It got interesting when Todd Jeffrey's--a retired military service personnel--commented on a column he wrote for NC State University's newspaper, the Technician. Choi defended freedom of speech, and then used that freedom to tell off Jeffrey's.

This is, in part, what Jeffrey's wrote:

For those who argue from the heart and not the head, they may not know the military, due to its unique mission (which includes killing people), is legally exempt from many of the federal laws which govern job employment. The military can and does discriminate against handicapped, obese, tall/short people, etc. Nobody has a right to join the military, it is a privilege with very specific entrance requirements.

The majority of people who are currently serving in the military do not want DADT repealed. Talk shows and newspaper editorials are filled with people who argue for the right for homosexual people to serve, but have never spent one day in uniform themselves. To say the military should let openly known homosexuals serve, because Walmart hires homosexuals, is truly a case of apples vs. oranges.

Just because a person does not endorse homosexuality does not mean they are a bigot or close-minded. It is a choice many people refuse to accept for religious or moral issues. You cannot order a person to accept homosexuality. The military has realized this for over 220 years and is one of the major reasons why it has not allowed it. To allow the trampling of heterosexual rights to allow homosexual rights is not consistent with military values.

Another consideration is the harsh reality of military leadership. A Commanding Officer will never place a flamboyantly gay person in charge of leading troops into combat if his mannerisms and way of speech reflect his sexual orientation. I guarantee you, the bonds of esprit de corps and unit cohesion, which are vital to a combat unit, would be shattered if this occurred. That is the last thing you want missing as you climb out of your foxhole to face the enemy.

As a former military leader, I willfully, voluntarily and without complaint or regret, had numerous of my rights suppressed so you, the civilian reader, could live your rights to the fullest. The military is not perfect, but DADT remains the best solution for all involved. If DADT is repealed, I believe it could possibly cause our nation harm and make soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines question if they want to continue their sacred and honorable duty just so the rights of a very small minority can be affirmed.



But freedom of speech lives on!



DADT Halted!

New development from Associated Press:

A federal judge issued a worldwide injunction Tuesday stopping enforcement of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, ending the U.S. military's 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops.
U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips' landmark ruling was widely cheered by gay rights organizations that credited her with getting accomplished what President Obama and Washington politics could not.
U.S. Department of Justice attorneys have 60 days to appeal. Legal experts say they are under no legal obligation to do so and could let Phillips' ruling stand.
The federal government is reviewing the ruling and has no immediate comment, said Tracy Schmaler, spokesman for the Department of Justice.
Phillips declared the law unconstitutional after a two-week nonjury trial in federal court in Riverside and said she would issue a nationwide injunction. But she asked first for input from Department of Justice attorneys and the Log Cabin Republicans, the gay rights group that filed the lawsuit in 2004 to stop the ban's enforcement.




Monday, October 11, 2010

Hate Vs. Indifference

In recent days, there has been a great deal made of the issue of hate in terms of increased public awareness of bullying, e.g., Tyler Clementi of Rutgers; the gay bashing at Stonewall in NYC, etc.

But I was struck by something the Elie Wiesel said on Sunday afternoon at UNC-CH: what he fears the most is indifference, not hate. Indifference; ambiguity, apathy...these are the opposite of love, not hate.

On this "National Coming Out" Day, let us fight ambivalence and indifference.



Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tim Gunn: It Gets Better

I've watched "Larry King" on CNN and all the personalities showing up to call out to teens who are LGBTQ, and was especially touched by Tim Gunn's message. It is sincere and honest.

See below.