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 2020-09-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

House members demand LGBTQ Pride flags be allowed on military installations
2020-07-31

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Armed Services Committee Vice Chair and 30-year Army veteran Congressman Anthony Brown ( MD-04 ), Subcommittee on Military Personnel Chair Congresswoman Jackie Speier ( CA-14 ), Congressman Chris Pappas ( NH-01 ) and 31 members wrote to Department of Defense Secretary Mark Esper to demand he lift the effective ban on sovereign Native Nations and LGBTQ Pride Flags on military installations. The members argue the exclusion of these flags undermines diversity and inclusion efforts.Congressman Ted Lieu ( CA-33 ), Congressman Reuben Gallego ( AZ-07 ), Congresswoman Veronica Escobar ( TX-16 ) and Congresswoman Deb Haaland ( NM-01 ) also served as co-leads for this effort.

On July 16th, the Department of Defense issued a new policy on the display or depiction of flags through an authorized list of flags able to be flown on Department of Defense property. The authorized list includes the U.S. flag, the flags of states and territories, the POW-MIA flag, those of allied countries, unit flags, senior leader flags and flags flown for protocol purposes. This policy does not explicitly ban the Confederate Battle Flag, and by omission bans sovereign Native Nations and LGBTQ Pride Flags on installations.

"The implicit banning of these symbols of diversity and inclusion runs counter to our ideals as a nation and a military. The Department must have the strength and courage to be able to simultaneously stand against a symbol of hate and oppression in the Confederate Battle Flag while allowing the display of support for civil rights, equity, and justice," the members wrote. "The resolute ideal that "all men are created equal" is embodied by the victory of the United States Armed Forces in the American Civil War, and the defeat of an armed insurrection that sought to maintain the slavery and oppression of African Americans.

The members continued, "We ask that you immediately revise the new policy on flag display, explicitly ban the Confederate Battle Flag, and ensure that service members can express support for diversity and inclusion through the display of sovereign Native Nations and LGBTQ Pride flags."

Joining Reps. Brown, Speier, Pappas, Lieu, Gallego, Escobar and Haaland are: Reps. Nanette Diaz Barragan (CA-44), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Salud O. Carbajal (CA-24), Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Susan A. Davis (CA-53), Suzan K. DelBene (WA-01), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Jesus G. "Chuy" Garcia (IL-04), Raul M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Joseph P. Kennedy, III (MA-04), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Grace Meng (NY-06), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Darren Soto (FL-09), Mark Takano (CA-41), Dina Titus (NV-01), Lori Trahan (MA-03), and Nydia M. Velazquez (NY-07).

The Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard have all banned the Confederate flag internally. The House of Representatives passed a provision, led by Congressman Brown, to ban the Confederate Battle Flag in this year's National Defense Authorization Act with strong bipartisan votes in committee and on the floor.

Full letter is included below.

July 30, 2020

Dear Secretary Esper:

We are writing today with concern regarding the Department of Defense's policy for the display of flags on military installations. While we applaud the Department for taking steps to remove the Confederate Battle Flag from our military bases, the action unnecessarily avoids a clear rebuke of this oppressive symbol while simultaneously limiting how servicemembers can freely express themselves in line with our values.

The Department issued a new policy on July 16, 2020 on the display or depiction of flags. This policy does not explicitly ban the Confederate Battle Flag, and instead outlines which flags are exclusively allowed on installations. Such a blanket ban on the display of all but a limited number of flags is convoluted, harmful, and unnecessary. While we understand the intent is to ban divisive symbols from Department installations, this policy has inadvertently banned other flags, such as those of professional or collegiate sports teams, and most significantly, those that support diversity and inclusion, including sovereign Native Nations and LGBTQ Pride Flags.

The implicit banning of these symbols of diversity and inclusion runs counter to our ideals as a nation and a military. The Department must have the strength and courage to be able to simultaneously stand against a symbol of hate and oppression in the Confederate Battle Flag while allowing the display of support for civil rights, equity, and justice. The resolute ideal that "all men are created equal" is embodied by the victory of the United States Armed Forces in the American Civil War, and the defeat of an armed insurrection that sought to maintain the slavery and oppression of African Americans. Our country has courageously carried these principles into the global sphere, rising to advance human rights and fighting for the oppressed wherever they may be found. We do not honor or display the Parteiflagge of Nazi Germany on our military bases, and any decision on the Confederate Battle Flag must likewise be unequivocal: it must be banned outright.

Furthermore, an explicit, direct ban of the Confederate Battle Flag has broad support throughout the services and in Congress. The Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard have all banned the flag internally and the House passed a provision to ban the Confederate Battle Flag in this year's National Defense Authorization Act with strong bipartisan votes in committee and on the floor. Such a policy would clearly establish that the Confederate Battle Flag has no place within our military while providing a diverse and inclusive environment in which service members may freely express themselves in line with our values.

While the Department and the United States Armed Forces have long been at the forefront in advancing diversity and inclusion in our nation, we have fallen far short of expectations. Minorities remain vastly underrepresented in commissioned officer and senior leader ranks. The action by the Department to implicitly ban the LGBTQ Pride flag only serves to create a discriminatory environment for LGBTQ service members and continue to isolate them from their fellow Airmen, Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers. If the Department is to continue to lead on advancing diversity and inclusion, and to ensure that all Americans who wish to serve are able to do with pride, it must be an active partner and an ally for these causes.

We ask that you immediately revise the new policy on flag display, explicitly ban the Confederate Battle Flag, and ensure that service members can express support for diversity and inclusion through the display of sovereign Native Nations and LGBTQ Pride flags. We look forward to continuing to work with you to ensure that our military represents the ideals to which our nation aspires.

Sincerely,


facebook twitter 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.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Lambda Legal on probable Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett 2020-09-26 - ( Washington, D.C., September 25, 2020 ) — In response to reports that President Trump intends to nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett, currently ...


Gay News

Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame 2020 induction ceremony on Facebook Live Oct. 13 2020-09-26 - The Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame was founded in 1991 to honor people and entities, nominated by the community, who have made significant ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2020 Guide to the LGBTQs 2020-09-25 - This year's general elections will feature a record number of openly LGBT candidates throughout Illinois. They include: —Karla Bailey-Smith Race: Illinois state ...


Gay News

State rep Grant apologizes for racist, anti-gay remarks 2020-09-24 - Illinois state Rep. Amy Grant, R-Wheaton, apologized after making disparaging comments in a recorded telephone call about her opponent, Ken Mejia-Beal, which referenced ...


Gay News

Early voting and vote-by-mail information for Chicago residents 2020-09-24 - Due to COVID-19, voters are encouraged to use vote by mail or early voting before Election Day on Nov. 3, according to the ...


Gay News

Chicago Bar Association releases 'Judge Smart Guide' 2020-09-23 - The Chicago Bar Association has released its evaluations for judicial candidates who are seeking election or retention to the Illinois Supreme Court, the ...


Gay News

Carey stepping down as Task Force executive director in 2021 2020-09-23 - On Sept. 23, the National LGBTQ Task Force announced that longtime Executive Director Rea Carey will be stepping down in early 2021. ...


Gay News

HRC Pres. Alphonso David reacts to U.S. approaching 200,000 COVID deaths 2020-09-21 - WASHINGTON, DC - Today, as the United States approaches the grim milestone of surpassing 200,000 deaths caused by COVID-19, Human Rights Campaign Foundation ...


Gay News

Groups, officials condemn state rep's anti-gay remarks 2020-09-21 - Organizations and elected officials condemned comments Republican Illinois state Rep. Amy Grant made during a fundraising call about her Democratic challenger, Ken Mejia-Beal. ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Lambda Litfest, #BiWeek, whistleblower, Equality Awards, Blade 2020-09-21 - The 4th annual Lambda Litfest ( Oct. 5-9 ) has been transformed into a specially curated, virtual event celebrating Black LGBTQIA+ excellence and ...


 



Copyright © 2020 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.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar 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      Post 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 publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.