"> ">
Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-05-16
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



'LET THEM SERVE' Braun at SLDN Benefit
by Bob Roehr

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Pictured Former U.S. Senator from Illinois Carol Moseley Braun at SLDN's Washington, D.C. benefit. Photo by Bob Roehr. David Hall, a plaintiff in SLDN's historic court challenge, accepts the Barry Winchell Courage Award. BG Evelyn "Pat" Foote, USA ( Ret. ) . Jenny Kopfstein, a plaintiff in SLDN's court case, and Deb Price of the Detroit News, recipient of this year's Randy Shilts Visibility Award. Last three photos by Judy G. Rolfe for SLDN

The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network ( SLDN ) kicked off their lobby days in Washington, D.C., with an upbeat report of progress made over the last six months.

Former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Carol Moseley Braun offered a moving keynote address at SLDN's annual dinner May 7.

C. Dixon Osburn said one of the highlights is introduction of the Military Readiness Act of 2005 ( HR 1059 ) to repeal the antigay policy known as 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' ( DADT ) . Their goal had been to gain 40 cosponsors within the first year of introduction; that number already has reached 83.

He pointed to comments made by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., a conservative Cuban-American and cosponsor, as illustrative of his optimism. She told the Miami Herald, 'We investigate people, bring them up on charges, basically wreck their lives. We should be thanking them.'

Osburn said this is the right time to push for repeal of the ban, 'Because America needs us, America supports us, and we are already doing the job.' The latest polls show that 56% of the country supports repealing DADT, and a majority of junior officers within the military have come around as well.

Last December SLDN initiated the other major challenge to DADT when it filed a lawsuit in federal court in Boston. The case, known as Cook v. Rumsfeld, has gone through preliminary filings of arguments.

In a separate interview, SLDN spokesman Steve Ralls said they will have three weeks notice on the date for oral arguments. The judge is likely to set that date this month.

Retired Brigadier General Evelyn 'Pat' Foote is a member of SLDN's advisory board. She is sure that she served with many GLBT service members, 'But you don't ask them their sexual orientation because that is inconsequential. It only becomes consequential when men and women of any sexual persuasion bring their conduct to the workplace or to the barracks … . So I don't understand what the problem is.'

'Any extra discrimination that has to do with gender, or race, or sexual orientation is a fraud on this nation,' Foote said. 'I hope we can try and screw into the brains of Congress and the DoD [ Department of Defense ] , the reality that we as Americans take advantage of this tremendous diversity and meld it into a force that serves all of us.'

Syndicated columnist Deb Price regaled the audience with tales of visiting the small town of Perry, Ga., the home of then Sen. Sam Nunn, during the debate on DADT in 1993. Democrat Nunn led the fight for the gay ban.

She reminded them that Nunn was on to something when he linked gays serving in the military and gay marriage. 'Those are the two things [ the homophobes ] don't want us to have, because then they have to respect us ... . The fear is that we will have those two things, and people will come to understand and welcome us, which is what is happening.'

Price looked at the number of marriages conducted in Provincetown, Mass., in all of 2004, including the seven and a half months in which gays were allowed to marry. There were 863 marriages in the town; 24 were straight. She is optimistic that victory on both counts is near.

Former Sen. Carol Mosley Braun has broken many barriers of gender and race within her illustrious career. She placed the struggle of gays for equality squarely within those struggles, saying, 'The liberation of the human spirit is the real core of the American dream.'

She outlined how at the founding of this country, 'the vast majority [ of Americans ] could not participate' in Thomas Jefferson's stirring vision of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 'Over time, we have moved as a nation in the direction of America as good as its promise.'

'Everyone is better off when we tap the talent and contributions of all of the people and not just some of them ... . Discrimination, exclusion, racism, sexism, homophobia, all of these are evils that affect not only the person who suffers second-class citizenship, these are evils that drains capacity from our society as a whole.'

Braun said, 'Our military will be better able to defend our values abroad when we stand firm in defense of them here at home.'

A poll published in Sunday's Boston Globe reports that 79% of Americans believe gays should be allowed to serve openly in the U.S. military. 'Large majorities of Republicans, regular chuchgoers, and [ even ] people with negative attitudes toward gays think gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve openly in the military,' the Globe reports.

The Globe poll follows other recent polls showing growing support for allowing gays to serve openly. Recent Gallup polls have reported between 65% and 79% support for lifting the military's gay ban. The Annenberg Survey reported in October that half of junior enlisted personnel and their families support allowing gays to serve. And in 2003, FOX News reported 64% support for allowing gays to serve, SLDN reported.

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


2018 Transgender Military Summit June 6-8 in Washington, DC 2018-05-18
Trans military persons file in Trump ban case 2018-05-12
NATIONAL Military ban, Joy Reid, Sen. Doug Jones 2018-04-17
Lambda Legal Challenge to Military Trans Ban on Course to Proceed to Trial 2018-04-14
AMA disputes transgender military policy in letter to Sec. Def. Mattis 2018-04-04
OutServe-SLDN, OUT Foundation Join Forces in support of LGBTQ servicemember and veteran health 2018-03-30
Senior DOJ Official Diana Flynn Moves to Lambda Legal 2018-03-29
Palm Center Memo on Trump Trans Military Ban Analyzes Latest DOD Announcement 2018-03-28
Former Surgeons General Debunk Pentagon Assertions on Medical Fitness of Trans Troops 2018-03-28
26 Retired General, Flag Officers Oppose Trump Transgender Military Ban 2018-03-28
Lambda Legal, OutServe-SLDN Want Trans Military Ban in the Dustbin of History 2018-03-27
Lambda Legal, OutServe-SLDN Urge District Court to Block Transgender Military Ban 2018-03-25
LGBTQ veterans briefed on scams targeting veterans 2018-03-24
Trump issues transgender military ban 2018-03-23
LGBTQ military, veteran event on March 16 2018-03-07
LGBT military groups celebrate first out trans recruit joining the Armed Forces 2018-02-27
OutServe-SLDN moves hires key staffer to focus on LGBT veterans 2018-02-27
Full page USA Today ad shows bipartisan opposition to Trump's trans military ban 2018-02-26
Lambda Legal, OutServe-SLDN ask for permanent block on transgender military ban 2018-01-25
Center talk explores VA's commitments to LGBT healthcare 2018-01-23
BOOK REVIEW Tell: Love, Defiance, and the Military... 2018-01-10
DOJ Backs Down, Ban on Transgender Service Members on Hold 2017-12-31
Court of Appeals Denies Trump Administration Request to Delay Trans Enlistment 2017-12-22
Former military leaders dispute claim of trans training burden 2017-12-20
Retired military officers, national security officials support trans plaintiffs 2017-12-15
PASSAGES World War II veteran Ed Zasadil 2017-12-11
Fed. Judges reject requested delay on trans military enlistment 2017-12-11
Federal Judge Denies Trump Administration Attempt to Delay Transgender Enlistment 2017-11-27
Federal Court Blocks All Aspects of Trump's Transgender Military Ban 2017-11-22
AVER hosts Veterans' Day dinner 2017-11-15
Under Review: Transgender airman inspired by grandfather's service weighs future 2017-11-10
Chicago GLBT veteran group elects new officers, plans Veterans Day events 2017-11-06
Federal District Court Stops Transgender Military Ban in Doe v. Trump 2017-10-30
TLDEF Files Brief in Support of Transgender Servicemembers on Military Ban 2017-10-18
GLAD and NCLR Call Out Trump Administration For Transgender Military Ban 2017-10-18
Attny Gen Madigan files brief opposing ban on transgender military service 2017-10-16
Military Partners & Families Coalition to join OutServe-SLDN 2017-10-11
100+ congress members seek information on transgender military service ban 2017-10-11
Groups condemn ban on transgender military service 2017-10-05
City council committee advances resolution opposing trans military ban 2017-10-04

Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.